Financial Advice: What’s It Worth To You?

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Financial Freedom

In our last post, “Are You Overdo for a Financial Review?” we explored how an advisor like Vertical Investments can help you assess where you’re at today and position you and your financial arrangements for where you would like to be tomorrow. Once this sort of initial preparation is complete and you’re headed in the right direction, there are still plenty of ways in which an ongoing relationship with a financial advisor remains worth your while. We divide these sorts of benefits into three, “good, better and best” categories.

Tangible Savings (Good)

As we’ve stated before, minimizing the costs of investing in our wild, wooly markets is integral to successful investing. Following are three of the most hard-hitting ways we help with that.

We help you stay the course. A body of solid evidence substantiates that most investors face enormous, emotionally driven temptations to flee down markets and chase hot trends, usually to their own detriment.  By providing a bastion of discipline to your investment experience, we help you avoid costly and nerve-wracking trades that are unnecessary, poorly timed or both.

We use low-cost funds to build your portfolio. Especially if you were trading individual securities or investing in actively managed funds, the savings derived from shifting to low-cost, evidence-based or index funds can be profound.

We help you minimize taxes. We are vigilant in minimizing the impact of taxes on your net worth by ensuring that taxes are carefully considered across the spectrum of your financial plans, such as managing specialized career benefits, spending in retirement, funding college, donating to charities, estate planning and more.

Subtle Rewards (Better)

Beyond the hard-dollar values we seek to deliver, there are other ways we seek to contribute more subtly, but potentially as significantly to investors’ bottom-line results.

We bring you financial clarity. When you understand the essentials of evidence-based  investment theory – why we do, what we do – it makes you a better, more confident investor than you would likely be if you were going it alone.

We’ve got your back. We hope you’ll remain informed and engaged as described above. But it helps when you can delegate the granular details to an advisor relationship, from monitoring and managing your portfolio to reporting on the results and addressing your questions.

We see your forest for the trees. Beyond simply managing investment portfolios, we also seek to oversee and eliminate inefficient, potentially costly gaps or overlaps in a family’s related wealth management, such as estate planning, charitable giving, tax planning, risk management (insurance), college and retirement funding plans and more.

The Immense Immeasurables (Best)

Let’s say none of the above were true for you. You’ve learned all that you need to know about sound portfolio management, and you’re well-equipped to take over the helm. Bottom line, even if you can confidently answer “yes” to having the financial acumen, emotional temperament and practical tools to plan, implement and manage your own best investment portfolio, there is still a larger consideration:

Is ongoing portfolio management really how you want to spend your free time?

Even Professor Ken French – who co-authored the Fama-French’s Three-Factor Model for describing stock returns – hires a financial advisor for his personal wealth. “We get an enormous amount of value out of our financial advisor,” he says in the following video.

Like Dr. French, chances are that, even if you could successfully manage your own money, you would gain greater satisfaction by spending your time with loved ones, in your chosen career, on community activities or enjoying your personal interests.

Another important consideration is the legacy you are leaving for your spouse or other family members to manage. In the face of change, having an objective advisor who is deeply familiar with your personal wealth can offer immeasurable “assurance insurance” when family money management roles are in transition, helping to ensure that transitions occur smoothly, deliberately, and in your and your family’s best interests.

True wealth is the confluence of you and your relationships, of your intellectual and emotional needs, of your money and your mission. The most valuable financial advice helps you best manage your wealth according to your most heartfelt personal goals amidst life’s many uncertainties. If you ask us, that’s a value-added worth investing in.

If this sounds like the kind of guidance you could use for your own financial journey, let’s stay in touch. Visit my blog regularly, connect with me on LinkedIn, or be in touch with me directly.


Mark Shelby is President of Vertical Investments, LLC., a Registered Investment Advisory firm offering fee only financial planning serving Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Mclean, Tysons Corner, Reston and Williamsburg Va. Vertical Investments helps successful individuals and families with comprehensive wealth management needs.

This article is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as specific investment advice tailored to an investor’s unique needs, risk tolerance, and investment objectives. Investing entails risks, including possible loss of principal. There are special risk considerations associated with value strategy investing, international investing (including emerging markets), and small company investing. Consider the investment objectives, risks, and expenses of any mutual fund carefully before investing. This information does not represent a recommendation of any particular security, strategy or investment product. Vertical Investments is an investment advisor registered with the Virginia State Corporation Commission. Information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed. Past performance is not indicative of future results and no representation is made that stated results will be replicated.

Past performance is no guarantee of future returns.