Ted Jenkin discusses financial advice with the Wall Street Journal
You Must Remember This…
The one sentence financial advisers wish their clients would remember…
Looking for financial advice you can actually remember? Something simple, pithy, but useful?
We asked some financial advisers to sum up in one sentence the most important advice they could give clients to help them better manage their financial lives.
Here’s what they said:
Co-CEO and Founder, oXYGen Financial Inc., Alpharetta, Ga.
THE LINE: “You must always pay yourself first.”
THE REASON: Mr. Jenkin says many people don’t realize they are the chief executive officer of their family finances. “As CEO of your family finances, you should always pay yourself first by putting 10% to 20% of your income toward your financial goals before you pay your expenses,” he says. If you can’t meet expenses after savings, it indicates you’re living beyond your means.
He also recommends putting at least one-third of every pay raise into savings. “If you follow the ‘pay yourself first’ rule, you will have a greater chance to reach your financial goals,” he says.
GEORGE PAPADOPOULOS Certified Financial Planner, Novi, Mich.
THE LINE: “Nobody knows.”
THE REASON: “There are so many ‘experts’ out there, investors will drive themselves insane if they listen to all of the opinions,” Mr. Papadopoulos says.
Since nobody knows what the future holds, it’s better for investors to ignore the “noise” and concentrate on what they can control, such as working with their adviser to rebalance their portfolio. “I tell clients to let me do the worrying,” he says.
JIM PRATT-HEANEY Partner, LLBH Private Wealth Management, Westport, Conn.
THE LINE: “Develop a detailed financial blueprint.”
THE REASON: Without a detailed financial blueprint, choosing the proper investments is impossible, Mr. Pratt-Heaney says.
“People often spend their time worrying about which stock or fund to buy and fail to develop a comprehensive plan detailing the proper asset allocation, which ultimately represents over 90% of where their return will come from,” he says.
Not having a blueprint will likely result in higher risk than an investor needs or realizes, scattered investments, duplication and high fees, he says.
JUNE WALBERT Certified Financial Planner,USAA Financial Planning Services, San Antonio
THE LINE: “Know how much you’re spending and on what.”
THE REASON: “Whether you make $50,000 or $500,000, it’s practically impossible to meet all of your financial goals without knowing that answer,” says Ms. Walbert.
By knowing where your money is going, you have the freedom to direct it appropriately, she says. This practice allows people to plan for the unexpected, such as illness, elder care, or a job loss. “By knowing how much you spend and on what, you will know instantly what to cut and how to reallocate funds to cover necessary expenses,” she says.
Ms. Dagher is a reporter for Dow Jones Newswires in New York. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.