Key Things Financial Advisors Would Tell Their Young People Themselves
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For anyone embarking on adulthood, financial matters can be among the hardest things to deal with.
This may be the case even for those who become financial advisors.
For these professionals, some of the advice they routinely give their clients now — after years of extra education and real-world experience — was unknown to them when they were younger. And there are essential things they would tell their youngsters if they could.
For example, certified financial planner Marguerita Cheng said she entered adulthood knowing she needed to save money – that is, put it in a savings account – but investing those funds in the stock market wasn’t on his radar at first.
“Today I would say to my younger self, ‘It’s great that you’re working and saving money, but make sure you understand the difference between saving and investing,’ said Cheng, CEO of Blue Ocean Global Wealth in Gaithersburg, Maryland.
“You create wealth by investing,” said Cheng, who sits on CNBC’s Financial Advisor Council.
Regular savings accounts typically pay interest rates that don’t keep up with inflation, which was 8.5% a year in March (well above the Federal Reserve’s 2% target rate). This means that money left in cash loses its purchasing power over time. In contrast, the stock market has averaged annual gains of around 8.3% over the past 30 years, after adjusting for inflation.
In the meantime, there are also many good reasons to have money in savings for emergencies.
PSC Diahann Lassus, managing director of Peapack Private Wealth Management in New Providence, New Jersey, learned a big lesson from having nothing saved as a young adult.
Lassus had to learn how to replace a broken water pump in her car’s engine herself because she couldn’t afford to pay someone to install it – and she needed her car to get to work .
“Set up an emergency fund,” said Lassus, who also sits on the CNBC FA Council. “I learned to plan ahead and focus on what might happen instead of spending everything you have today.”
Advisors generally recommend setting aside at least three to six months of living expenses.
Advisor Recommended Reading:
“The Psychology of Money” by Morgan Housel. “The book provides valuable lessons on how to think about money, investing and personal finance. It would be a great primer for anyone looking to earn, save and invest money,” said Cathy Curtis of Curtis Financial Planning in Oakland, California. .
“A random walk down Wall Streetby Burton Malkiel. “It really makes you think about the lack of predictability in financial markets,” said Diahann Lassus of Peapack Private Wealth Management in New Providence, New Jersey.
“Be Good With Money: Ten Simple Steps to Become Financially Whole” by Tiffany “The Budgetist” Aliche. “It’s a process to help readers find peace of mind and financial stability. She shares her personal experience to help others achieve financial success on their terms,” said Marguerita Cheng of Blue Ocean Global Wealth in Gaithersburg. , Maryland.
Lassus also said that when she was able to save money, it was with a specific short-term goal in mind, which was to buy something that caught her eye.
“I never looked beyond the short term,” Lassus said. “There were a lot of positive things that could have happened sooner had I looked further down the road to longer-term goals.”
To buy a house
PSC Cathy Curtis said she wished someone had spoken to her about the true cost of owning a home.
“It’s really easy to overlook important details that can add thousands of dollars to your household budget over the years,” said Curtis, founder of Curtis Financial Planning in Oakland, Calif., and also a member of the FA Council.
“There are expenses beyond the mortgage, property tax, insurance, routine maintenance and even home improvements that you will want to do in the future,” he said. she stated.
For example, she says, look carefully at the yard. If there are large trees on the property, consider that they may need to be pruned or felled regularly one day, which can be costly, depending on a variety of factors including the height of the tree and the equipment needed to do the job. The same goes for lawn and garden maintenance, if you end up needing to hire a professional to take care of what you can’t.
It’s also important in the buying process to carefully read any seller’s disclosures, as well as the home inspection report, Curtis said. Both will warn you of problems with the house that could end up costing you money to fix. Or, potentially, the issues discovered could lead to negotiating a discount with the seller.
“The goal is to go out there with your eyes wide open,” Curtis said. “Don’t let your emotions override your reason for such a big purchase.”