There’s a common axiom that most financial decisions are based 1% on facts and 99% on emotions. Fear and stress of any kind, whether they’re job-related, pandemic-related, or financial security related, can impact our spending, saving and investment behaviors. Negative emotions lower our confidence, and the less confident we feel, the more likely we are to give into impulses, whether it’s spending more on alcohol, drugs or unhealthy food or panic-selling stocks when the market is falling. If you recognize the detrimental effects of negative emotions, you can begin to make plans to get your financial life in order. The best time to do this is when your life is relatively stable and the market isn’t going through gyrations. This may also be a good time to seek the services of a trustworthy, fee-only financial planner who can give you greater peace of mind by helping you confront the known and often unknown factors that cause fear and stress. They can offer objective, realistic guidance that lets you know where you are financially today and what you can do to improve your chances of achieving your short and long-term financial goals. But before you hire a financial planner, it’s important for you to set expectations for this relationship. What do you need the most help with: Cashflow analysis? Retirement, estate and tax planning? Investment management? Asset protection? The specific issues, stresses and fears you want to address will help you narrow your search to the kind of advisor who has the requisite skills, experience and resources.
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