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Do I Need A Financial Advisor?

Unless you’re Dave Ramsey or Jean Chatzky chances are it wouldn’t hurt you to get a personal financial advisor. I’ve been struggling with thoughts of consulting a financial advisor for a couple months now and have finally caved in to the idea.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I tend to be pretty egotistical and have the idea that I can figure out pretty much anything on my own. I’ve felt the same way about my personal finances and still do, but have decided that getting the opinion of an unbiased outside observer might not be such a bad thing. Dylan Ross helped me along with his guest post at GetRichSlowly, When And How To Hire A Financial Planner. So, I’ve contacted several local CFP’s and have even set up an initial consultation with one. I’ll let you know how that turns out in a follow up post.

I’m still sure I can figure all this out on my own and hopefully make the best decisions regarding my financial future, after all who cares more about my well being than me (well maybe Mrs. Infant). Truthfully though I can only devote a small amount of time to studying finances and investment. So, while I know I would eventually get the knowledge I need I view meeting with a financial planner as akin to going to Kindergarten for the Money Infant.

Because the CFP spends his/her time continually learning this I think I can definitely learn something worthwhile. The planner I will be meeting with has over 20 years experience and I know has counseled many others on their financial well being, certainly that should provide them with a wealth of knowledge to draw upon? I am only looking for the basics at this point; retirement planning, how to reduce my tax bill and planning for my (almost) newborn daughter’s future education.

It will be nice to get a second opinion on my finances, but I know that all does not depend on my financial worth. I was reminded of this recently by a post about where the readers of The Simple Dollar want to be in 5 years time. Of the seven excerpts posted none of them focused on wealth or financial goals, although many of them did tie in with money in a subtle way.

The way I see it, many goals and dreams can be helped along when you no longer need to worry about money. It frees up so much energy and gives you the peace of mind and freedom to pursue just about anything. Here’s a great quote from Trent that pretty much sums up why we not only need to dream, but also need to chase that dream;

”…it makes you happy regardless of what other people think and whether it makes you any money or not – that’s something you need to dig into.”

My dream is to one day retire to Thailand. Obviously I would like to accomplish this sooner rather than later and have been focusing much of my energy towards this dream of mine. The possibility of working with a financial planner is just one more thing that will allow me to put more energy into my dream. If they are good they should be able to point out places I am making mistakes with my money as well as guiding me to position myself better for the eventual move. If I know more already than I believe than I will just find that I can trust in my own financial decisions more. Either way I should come out a winner.

What do all of you think? Is it necessary to work with a personal financial planner or can you do it all yourself?

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