Top 3 Advantages of Retirement Planning

By Daniella Rand

In the abstract, you know that it’s important to plan for retirement. Once you stop working completely, you can’t count on earned income to cover your expenses. Having a plan in place ensures that the cumulative income generated by your invested assets and other sources is sufficient to fund the lifestyle you’ve always envisioned for your post-work life — and to prevent you from burdening younger relatives.

Retirement planning has other advantages, too. Why don’t we take a closer look at some of the most important?


The Top 3 Advantages of Retirement Planning (In No Particular Order)

In no particular order, these are the top three advantages of retirement planning. They’re not the only three reasons to save for the future, though. What would you add to this list?

1. Increasing the Chances That You’re Able to Do What You Want in Retirement, When You Want to Do It

Isn’t this what retirement is all about? After you’re done with the daily grind, you deserve to be able to live life on your own terms. Making and adhering to a realistic retirement plan empowers you to do just that, when the time comes.

2. Preserving Assets for the Next Generation — Or a Very Long Retirement

Beginning the process of retirement planning today, while you’re still a ways off from hanging up your hat, is a great way to increase the chances that you’ll have a surplus to pass on to the next generation — if you have any heirs worth rewarding in such fashion, that is. Otherwise, you’ll ensure you have more than enough to see you through the remainder of what’s hopefully to be a very long life.

3. Boosting Your Self-Reliance (And Lessening Your Dependence on Benefits That May Never Come)

Lastly, putting in place a comprehensive retirement plan allows you to boost your self-reliance and lessen your dependence on outside sources of income — sources that may not be there when you’re ready to use them. Rather than rely on an overburdened corporate pension or an increasingly shaky government benefits program, you can reap the fruits of your labor: the nest egg that’s rightfully yours, now and for years to come.

What’s Your Reason for Saving?

As noted, these three top advantages of retirement planning aren’t the only reasons you should begin saving for the future today. Every investor has his or her own reasons for doing just that — some intensely personal and specific, some commonplace.

Regardless of your reasons for saving for retirement, you should never feel like you have to apologize for your sacrifice. The money you sock away and invest today will come in handy tomorrow. Indeed, it could mean the difference between a rewarding second act rich in novel experiences and self-discovery, and a tedious wait for whatever comes next.

Make the right call. Begin planning your retirement today.

Wealth Managers and the Concept of Enhanced Sales!

By Daniella Rand

“Wealth management” and “enhanced sales” don’t often appear in the same sentence. However, in a rapidly changing finance industry, wealth management professionals are increasingly cognizant of the importance of client prospecting. Word of mouth may no longer be sufficient to sustain a thriving practice.


4 Tips for Better Client Prospecting

For wealth managers more comfortable with market research reports than sales calls, the good news is that attracting new clients doesn’t require an overly aggressive approach. This isn’t a car lot, after all. If there’s one consistent theme in these four tips for better client prospecting, it’s that a gentler approach still gets the job done. 

1. Represent Your Approach Honestly

Why hide who you are? If you’re willing honestly and forthrightly represent your approach to wealth management, you’ll find prospecting a far more efficient exercise. These frank early conversations help clients self-select into relationships that fit their needs and investing philosophies. That’s far preferable to the alternative: trying desperately to shoehorn prospects into relationships that fundamentally disagree with their priors (and yours).

2. Be Clear About What You Look For in a Client

By the same token, it’s important to be upfront about what you look for in a client. Without limiting yourself to any great degree, emphasize your strengths, whether that’s working with small business owners, younger investors with high student debt loads, or high net worth families with complex financial holdings. Your prospects will appreciate the honesty.

3. Don’t Push Prospects to Sign Before They’re Ready

At some point, you’re going to have to make the ask. But hold off until you’re sure the prospect is ready to pull the trigger. Discretion is the better part of valor.

4. Never Forget Who You Work For

Lastly, never forget who you work for: the clients who’ve entrusted you with their hard-earned money. Your dedication will shine through in prospect meetings, if you allow it to, and you’ll attract the sorts of clients that you’ll genuinely enjoy serving. Think of this as a softer approach to enhanced sales — a way to allow your practice to speak for itself, rather than the other way around.

A New Approach to Wealth Management

No one seriously argues that wealth management professionals should prioritize sales prowess over the myriad other skills demanded by the job. While reasonable people can differ on the precise emphasis, it’s generally understood that wealth management professionals do well when they’re able to balance a range of competing interests while maintaining an even keel. Clients tend to stick with steady hands.

At the same time, we can’t ignore what’s going on around us. As attention spans shorten and technological disruption threatens long-settled business models, the wealth management industry must adapt — as must every other profession facing the same inexorable trends.

If that means adopting a more, shall we say, outgoing style, then so be it. At the end of the day, any wealth management professional thrives on excellent client service. Whatever we can do to deliver on that promise — within ethical and practical bounds — is fair game.

Manage Your Wealth With 3 Amazing Tips!

By Daniella Rand

You know that your life has more value than the sum total of your bank and investment account balances. But you’re also painfully aware that life is easier and more enjoyable when you don’t have to worry about the dollars-and-cents impact of every single decision you take.

That’s why it’s so important to understand the basic principles of wealth management. No need to enroll in a four-year finance degree program or sit for your Certified Financial Planner certification, mind you — unless you’d like to make a full-time career out of it. Just a basic overview of the what, where, why, and how of money management. You’ll surely be a better saver for it.

We don’t have space here to go over everything you need to know to manage your wealth better. Instead, we’ll zero in on three things you can begin doing today to improve your financial footing.


3 Amazing Tips to Manage Your Wealth Better

Ready? Follow these three amazing tips to manage your wealth better.

1. You Must Spend Less Than You Earn

This is, arguably, the golden rule of personal finance. While there may be short periods of time in which it’s simply not possible to spend less than you earn, your default position should be cash flow positive — in other words, taking in more than you send out. Follow this rule and you’ll be well-positioned for what comes next.

2. You Should Always Take Advantage of Tax-Advantaged Accounts

They exist for a reason: to reduce your net investing costs and help your money grow faster. Pretty much everyone with a steady income should have and contribute to an Individual Retirement Account (IRA). Families with smaller children should have at least one 529 education savings account per beneficiary. And folks who expect to face serious medical expenses in the future should begin contributing to a health savings arrangement as soon as practically possible. If your employer offers a 401(k) and matches contributions, all the better.

3. You Need to Know Where You’re Going, and How You Expect to Get There

You don’t have to be a professional planner to appreciate the importance of long-term goal-setting. Take the time to lay out your life goals and financial priorities, and you’ll find it far easier to make the money moves needed to turn them into reality.

What’s the Secret to Wealth Management Success?

Despite what you might think, this question does not have an easy answer. There’s no single secret to wealth management success, no sound bite that applies across the vast universe of financial situations. 

The secrets to wealth management success, such as they are, are situation-specific. What works for you and your family might not work for your neighbor. That’s what makes life — and the wealth management business — so interesting.

With that said, these three tips to manage your wealth better really do have near-universal appeal. Why not try them out today and discover what so many others already know?

Life Changing Tips For Retirement Planning!

By Daniella Rand

When was the last time your life changed for the better?

Hopefully, this question brings back recent, pleasant memories. Think back: Did you feel as if you were responsible for that positive change, or that it was due to (fortuitous) forces beyond your control?

If the latter, perhaps it’s time you put yourself in the driver’s seat and made yourself the architect of a positive life change. What better way to get started than to implement some life-changing retirement planning tips?

Riveting, no. Essential to your financial future, and your family’s? Yes, absolutely. Consult with a financial advisor as soon as you can — see #1 — and begin implementing these six life-changing tips for retirement planning.


1. Connect With a Financial Advisor Who’s Committed to Your Success

First things first: Find a financial advisor whose investing philosophy aligns with your own, and who you can trust not to treat you as just another source of income. It’s important to take your time during this part of the process, as severing ties later on can be costly, time-consuming, and emotionally trying.

2. Learn the Basics of Saving and Investing

You can’t depend on your financial advisor for everything, of course. It pays to know the ropes around saving, investing, and general money management, even if you have no intention of managing your own portfolio anytime soon. Free financial education resources abound; take advantage of them!  However, a good financial advisor should be able to give you some sound advice in this area, too.  

3. Assess Your Risk Tolerance (With Help From Your Financial Advisor)

Work with your financial advisor to assess your personal risk tolerance, which may be higher or lower than others in your cohort. You’ll probably complete this step with your advisor during the onboarding process, but it never hurts to periodically reassess your tolerance after important life changes (such as the birth of a child).

4. Open Tax-Advantaged Retirement Accounts, If You Haven’t Already Done So

Set yourself up for financial success by opening an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) if you haven’t already done so and looking into any employer-sponsored retirement options for which you qualify. The more money you can grow in tax-advantaged fashion, the better positioned you’ll be to make the leap into retirement — or cover other major expenses, such as college tuition — when the time comes.

5. Take Advantage of Your Employer’s Qualified Plan Match, If Available

If you’re eligible for an employer’s 401(k) or other qualified plan and your employer matches contributions up to a certain dollar amount, take full advantage of that deal. Look for ways to maximize your contributions up to the match, even if it’s a stretch to do so.

6. Use Supplemental Tax-Advantaged Accounts to Further Grow Your Wealth

Health savings accounts? 529 education savings plans? Coverdell ESAs? If you’re eligible for these and other plans, and you can use the funds as intended to retain the plans’ tax advantages, talk to your financial advisor and determine how you’d like to proceed.

Give Yourself the Gift of Financial Security, Now and Tomorrow

Taken together, these tips offer something incredibly valuable: the gift of financial security. Even better, they’re well within the capabilities of the average consumer, especially when working closely with a seasoned financial advisor. 

The time is right for you to take control of your financial future, and you have all the tools you need. What are you waiting for?

Why You Must Have A Customizable Retirement Plan?

By Daniella Rand

Surely, you’ve heard of a retirement plan. You might even have one through an employer or union.

Do you know the difference between your typical, cookie-cutter employer-sponsored retirement plan and a living, breathing, customizable retirement plan that addresses your personal needs and goals?

If not, it’s high time you reached out to a licensed financial advisor to learn more about designing and implementing your customizable retirement plan. If you need more convincing before you make that leap, consider these six reasons to have a retirement plan that actually works for you.


It Accounts for Your Unique Needs and Goals, Not What Some Distant Portfolio Manager Thinks You’re After

Your custom retirement plan is the product of multiple conversations with a seasoned financial advisor — someone who’s paid to act in your best interests and help you navigate the pitfalls of modern planning and investing. 

By contrast, non-customized plans come off a glorified assembly line. They’re designed to be just good enough to remain viable, and they may not even match the market over time. They certainly don’t account for your unique needs and goals.

It’s Flexible and Resilient, Built to Adjust to New Inputs and Facts on the Ground

Those unique needs and goals are subject to change, as any retirement investor of a certain age knows. Whether due to major life changes, like the arrival of a new child or a looming college tuition bill, or market forces beyond your control, it’s a safe bet that you’ll need to adjust your retirement plan over time. A custom approach makes that easy.

It’s More Likely to Leverage Active Management Strategies That Consistently Outperform the Market

Your custom retirement plan isn’t only resilient. It’s also designed to outperform the market on a consistent basis, using active management strategies rarely employed by cookie-cutter plans. 

It’s Backed by the Expertise of an Experienced, Human Team

The advent of automated portfolio management software has been good for investors and financial advisors. 

Unfortunately, it has also removed the human element from the lower end of the retirement planning market. When you choose an assembly-line retirement plan, you put your financial destiny in the hands of a complex algorithm, not a living, breathing human. For this reason alone, investors who prefer hands-on service have every incentive to develop a custom plan in consultation with an expert team.

You Can’t Predict the Future, But Your Custom Retirement Plan Is There When You Need It

No one knows what tomorrow will bring, but investors with custom retirement plans know this much: Their strategies will follow wherever their lives — and the markets — take them. Can you say the same for your cookie-cutter retirement plan?

Invest for What’s to Come

Every investor must chart their own course. Some truly believe that a cookie-cutter retirement plan offers the best value; more power to them. But most recognize the appeal of a customized plan that aligns with and responds to their unique needs, goals, and tolerance for risk. 

Are you among them? If so, today’s the day to take control of your retirement once and for all.

Why Are Investments Not Enough As Per The Wealth Managers?

By Daniella Rand

If you’re like most Americans with steady, salaried jobs, you probably have access to an employer-sponsored retirement plan. You’re legally entitled to an Individual Retirement Account (IRA), and possibly to a Roth IRA as well. And, of course, you’re free to open a self-directed brokerage account at any time.

Your wealth management strategy is in good shape, then?

Not quite. All experienced wealth managers advise their clients that, actually, investments aren’t enough to form the basis of a complete, resilient wealth management plan. More is required.


Components of a Comprehensive Wealth Management Strategy

These five components form the basis of a comprehensive wealth management strategy. As we can see, investments aren’t enough — you’ve got to cover all your bases. How many do you have locked down already?


  • A Thoughtful, Customized Retirement Plan. Your retirement investing strategy starts with — what else — a thoughtful retirement plan customized to your unique goals, needs, and tolerance for risk. When you begin working with your financial advisor, you’ll talk through your long-term plans and goals, take a risk tolerance assessment, and complete other steps necessary to create a fully customized plan.
  • An Active Investment Management Strategy Designed to Outperform the Market. Passive investing strategies are designed to match the broader market. This is fine, if that’s all you’re after. But why wouldn’t you want to enjoy maximum upside potential? An active management strategy is key here; look for a financial advisor with experience designing and implementing such strategies.
  • Tax Minimization Strategies That Leverage IRAs and Other Instruments. The only sure things in life are death and taxes, but that doesn’t preclude you from taking every legal step to minimize your tax burden and preserve more of your wealth. Talk to your financial advisor about using tax-advantaged instruments like IRAs, 529 education savings accounts, and health savings accounts to protect what’s yours.
  • A Flexible Retirement Income Strategy. Do you know how much income you’ll need to preserve your lifestyle in retirement? Your financial advisor can help you figure this out while designing an income strategy that protects your wealth and preserves upside potential.
  • Multiple Forms of Insurance. Most investors need life insurance, which provides a safety net for loved ones in the unfortunate event of the policyholder’s premature death. Everyone needs health insurance, which covers the cost of needed medical care (and may prevent financial ruin after a serious illness or injury). Disability insurance is important for working-age investors, as well. Your financial advisor may recommend other forms of insurance, too. Once they’re in place, you’re sure to sleep better.


What Is Your Wealth Management Strategy Missing?

If your wealth management strategy is missing any of these components, don’t lose hope. To get back on track, reach out to an experienced financial advisor or wealth management team. The conversation won’t be as painful as you imagine, and in short order, you’ll find yourself in a far more confident position vis a vis your personal finances.

A secure financial future is calling your name. Are you ready to answer?

Why Must You Have A Retirement Plan?

By Daniella Rand

Whether retirement is right around the corner or still in the hazy, unformed future, you can’t afford not to have a comprehensive retirement plan that takes into account your unique needs and goals while ensuring your family enjoys financial protection long after you’re gone.

This isn’t controversial. Ask 100 financial advisors for their opinion on the next step you should take to secure your family’s long-term financial future, and all 100 of them will answer without hesitation that you need to create and implement a retirement plan.

If you press them, and they have the time to engage, they’ll no doubt follow up with these compelling reasons why every investor should have a retirement plan.


You Don’t Know What the Future Holds

No one does, in fact. You could live past 100, you could pass away well before your time, or you could die right about when the actuarial tables say you will. It’s unknowable.

What is knowable is the importance of a thorough retirement plan that accounts for a range of life scenarios. With your plan in place, you and your family will be in a stronger position to tackle the unknown, for better or worse.

You Need to Preserve Income and Assets in Retirement

However long your retirement lasts, you have an obligation to preserve post-work income until you no longer need it. If you wish to leave a legacy for your heirs, you also have an obligation to preserve the assets that produce that income (and others that you wish to pass on to your survivors). This is a much easier lift with a thorough retirement plan in place.

You Have Family Members to Worry About

What will your family members do when you’re no longer working? If you plan to retire before your youngest children complete their education, or you wish to take financial responsibility for grandchildren and other younger relatives, your retirement plan must accommodate their needs. 

You Deserve Peace of Mind (And Certainty)

You’ve worked hard to get this far. You deserve a retirement plan that works for you, come what may. Indeed, the peace of mind that accompanies a well-designed, responsive retirement plan is one of the biggest benefits of looking ahead. Your family will share in that peace of mind, as well.

You Don’t Want to Do Everything on Your Own

You’re busy with work, hobbies, family obligations. Why should you do everything required to secure your retirement on your own? Careful planning allows you to delegate responsibility to your wealth management team, leaving you more time to enjoy the little things in life.

Are You Sold on a Retirement Plan?

It’s difficult to imagine that anyone could read through these compelling reasons to develop and implement a retirement plan without being convinced that, yes, a comprehensive retirement plan is indeed in the best interests of every investor.

If, for some reason, you still need convincing, your next move is to consult a seasoned wealth management professional to get their take on your financial situation. They’ll impress upon you the importance of seizing financial opportunity and make clear that creating a retirement plan is not nearly as difficult as you imagine.

5 Golden Rules To Manage Your Wealth!

By Daniella Rand

Wealth management is not rocket science. Nor is it a walk in the park. It’s best done in close consultation with a seasoned financial professional — someone sworn to act in your best interests and provide bespoke advice that preserves and grows your wealth while ensuring you don’t miss out on any of life’s special moments.

Your financial professional will no doubt lay out some ground rules to help you manage your wealth on your own, as well. These five are particularly important for long-term investors to follow. Together, they form the foundation of a secure future for you and your loved ones.


1. Keep a Close Eye on Your Employer-Sponsored Pension and Retirement Accounts

Do you know how much of each paycheck you invest in an employer-sponsored retirement account, such as a 401(k)? Can you identify the assets and allocations in those accounts? Do you know the details of your employer-sponsored pension, if you’re fortunate enough to have access to one?

The answers to these questions are important. Review your plan literature today and make adjustments as needed.

2. Understand Your Tax Obligations (And Work With Your Financial Advisor to Minimize Them)

Your tax preparer or family accountant is the best person to talk through about your overall tax obligations. But you should also work with a financial advisor to create an investment plan that minimizes your tax burden. There’s almost certainly more that you can do on this point.

3. Get a Better Grasp on Your Household Spending (And Adjust As Necessary)

The golden rule of household finances is this: Don’t spend more than you earn. If it’s been some time since you’ve evaluated your family’s budget, now’s your opportunity to trim some fat.

4. Make Sure You’re Protected Against the Unknown

Insurance is a crucial safeguard against the unknown. At minimum, you and your spouse should have life insurance (term or whole, depending on your needs), health insurance, and disability insurance. Speak with your financial professional or insurance agent for details pertinent to your personal situation. 

5. Complete the Estate Planning Process

What will happen to your assets when you pass on? Have you designated someone to act on your behalf should you become incompetent to make legally binding decisions? Are your heirs financially prepared for a future without you? 

The estate planning process is designed to satisfy these questions, and many more. It’s too important to put off for another year.

Take Control of Your Wealth

As we’ve seen, taking control of your wealth is easier than you might imagine. You have the power to begin the process today.

Where should you make your first move? Start by speaking with a seasoned financial advisor with a proven track record of helping clients from all walks of life develop strong, stable financial plans. Talk to this person about your needs, goals, hopes, fears, and tolerance for investing risk. This conversation, and subsequent conversations that elaborate on its contents, will result in the creation of a customized wealth management plan that sees you and your family through to a long, happy retirement — while providing crucial peace of mind that your heirs will be cared for after you’ve left this world.

Are you ready to take control of your wealth? Your future begins with a conversation.

Ways to Hire the Right Investment Advisor

By Daniella Rand

Are you in the early stages of searching for an investment advisor? Are you not sure where to turn to find someone to entrust your hard-earned money?

Finding the right investment advisor isn’t something to rush. It won’t happen overnight. Nor should it. This is a person who, if things go as you hope, will help your family manage their investments for many years to come.

Making the right choice is absolutely crucial. That’s why it’s so important to understand the proper ways to hire the right investment advisor.

Ready to take control of your family’s future? Follow this step by step guide to choosing and hiring the right investment advisor for your needs.


1. Cast a Wide Net Using Several Different Sources

Don’t limit your quest for financial advice to a single Google search. Use a variety of reputable resources, including professional associations to which seasoned financial advisors should belong, to broaden the list of potential providers.

2. Carefully Review Each Advisor’s Background and Methodology Before Reaching Out

Learn more about each advisor before reaching out to them for an initial consultation. If you determine that their approach is not aligned with yours, there is little point in wasting their time and yours.

3. Have Detailed, Frank Conversations With Advisors Who Seem Aligned With Your Goals

After compiling a list of advisors who do seem to fit your needs and goals, your next step is to pursue frank, detailed conversations about their methodology and your investing objectives. This is your opportunity to drill down on “fit” and decide which advisors you feel most comfortable working with.

4. Ask Probing Questions (And Don’t Shy Away From Conflict)

During these conversations, don’t be shy about asking probing questions, like “how much do you charge” and “are you sworn to act in my financial interests.” The answers to these questions will determine how you proceed.

5. Understand Potential Fees and Expenses

If it’s not yet clear, understanding your exposure to advisory and management fees is very important. Higher fees aren’t always a bad thing; active managers often charge more, delivering better long-term performance in exchange. But you must know what you are getting into.

6. Understand Strategy and Discipline

Take the opportunity to talk through each advisor’s investing strategy. How do they respond to market downturns? What steps do they take to preserve upside while limiting downside? Answer these and other questions before making your choice.

7. Do Your Own Due Diligence

Next, evaluate advisors’ performance through multiple market cycles. Do assets under their management consistently outperform the market? While past performance is not indicative of future results, it’s certainly heartening.

Choose Wisely. Your Finances May Depend on It.

This is no overstatement. Your investment advisor’s decisions and advice have the power to alter the course of your financial future. It’s imperative that you choose one who acts in your best interests and demonstrates a clear record of success. Hopefully, the steps outlined above will illuminate the process and make your choice a bit easier.

Steps To Take To Prepare For Retirement

By Daniella Rand

Many investors believe themselves to be prepared for retirement. Unfortunately, perceptions don’t always comport with reality.

If you have yet to take any of the steps described below, your retirement plan is not as strong as it could be. This is not meant to be a criticism, merely a statement of fact — one that’s easily rectified by taking concrete retirement preparation actions today.

Daniella Rand

1. Consult a Financial Advisor

Begin by consulting a seasoned financial advisor whose process is aligned with your long-term goals and whose track record of outperformance speaks for itself. This step will take some time, but it’s important to get it just right, as the rest of your retirement planning process will depend on a successful outcome here.

2. Develop a Thorough Retirement Plan That Incorporates Your Unique Needs and Goals

Work with your financial advisor to put together a retirement plan customized for your family’s needs, objectives, and tolerance for investing risk. Your retirement plan should not resemble anyone else’s — that’s the whole point of a bespoke package.

3. Complete the Estate Planning Process

Consult an estate planning attorney to draw up your will, advanced medical directive, power of attorney designation, and trust documents. Properly planning your estate is essential to the smooth transition of asset ownership after your death — a valuable measure of peace of mind for you and your heirs.

4. Understand How to Ensure Adequate Income in Retirement

Speak with your financial advisor about ensuring adequate income in retirement. Your goal must be to preserve the lifestyle to which you’ve become accustomed while ensuring that you are providing for your dependents (and future heirs) during and after your life.  Keep in mind that many people spend more in retirement than they do in their working years.  

5. Get Your Household’s Spending Under Control

Follow the golden rule of personal finance: Don’t outspend your income. In consultation with your financial advisor, take whatever measures are necessary to rein in your spending and create a solid financial foundation.

6. Maximize Contributions to Your Tax-Advantaged Retirement Accounts

Maximize your tax-deductible contributions to your employer-sponsored retirement plan and Individual Retirement Account(s). This will reduce your income tax burden while putting more of your money to work for your retirement plan.

7. Use Other Tax-Advantaged Accounts to Your Benefit

Use health savings accounts, education savings accounts, and other appropriate tax-advantaged accounts to shield more of your money from income taxes and increase your net worth.

8. Add Further Layers of Financial Protection for Your Family

Speak with your financial advisor about life insurance, annuities, disability insurance, and other important forms of financial protection. Your family’s financial security may depend on them.

Are You Prepared for Retirement?

Are you well and truly prepared for retirement?

If you haven’t taken the eight steps outlined above, along with many others not mentioned here, your position may be weaker than advisable. You have a duty to yourself and your family to act with deliberate haste to shore up your financial position and give your retirement plan every opportunity to succeed.

That might not sound like your idea of a great time. But the most important move you can make to ensure that you and your loved ones have plenty of “great times” ahead, without the needless worry that comes with financial ill-preparation.