THE IMPORTANCE OF “PERSONAL” IN PERSONAL FINANCIAL PLANNING

Given the personal nature of Financial Planning, it’s no real surprise about the findings of a recent Gallup Poll.  Only one in three U.S. investors were “very comfortable using online technology for investing.”  Among respondents, 44% use an adviser, while 20% rely on a website.

Less than a third of investors — 30% — say they are “very comfortable” using online or mobile technology for their investing or financial advice needs. While another 27% are somewhat comfortable, 43% say they are not comfortable with this.

The survey results acknowledge there is a substantial generational bias in these attitudes. Not surprisingly only 35% of people already retired indicate they are comfortable with some level of online financial advice tools.  This is compared to 66% of people not yet retired.  In addition eight in 10 investors report that they do receive advice in some form, as opposed to the two that strictly do it themselves.

This isn’t to say technology isn’t important, and at our firm we integrate a health dose of technology in most client relationships.  One of the reasons people may not be comfortable with using strictly online sources for Financial Planning was suggested in Money Magazine. They observe “To really help people, financial planners have to delve into the feelings and emotions that drive their clients’ financial decisions.”  This is something very difficult to do online, and is even challenging on the phone.

One area Forbes Magazine suggests is useful online advice is tracking where your money is going.  You can not only analyze your spending habits, but even compare them to what others are spending.  This is one of three personal finance tips they suggest from all the data available out there.  At Financial Freedom Planners we have personal spending and budget capabilities incorporated with our client’s Personal Financial Website.

While we don’t believe the personal relationship is ever going to go away in Financial Planning, we do believe technology will become increasingly important.  That’s why Retirees and wealthier investors still gravitate toward dedicated Financial Advisors.

One of the benefits of working with a Financial Advisor in the Garrett Planning Network is we have no minimums.  We also work with people on an as-needed basis, and are very cost conscious on behalf of our clients.  Another point of differentiation is we adhere to the Fiduciary Standard – only a small portion of Financial Advisors are.

Give us a call at Financial Freedom Planners, or check out the Garrett website for an advisor near you.

“If you want to work the rest of your life, that’s your business.  If you don’t, that’s ours.”

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About Charles Roberts, CFP®

Founder & CEO, Financial Freedom Planners™
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