Hiring a financial advisor after taxes

Three surefire signs you need to hire one.

Tax-season is finally over and hopefully the results of your 2020 return landed in your favor. But, what should you do now? Sure, you’ve gotten last year out of the way, but what about your future? What about the long-term? Now that you know your numbers, is it time to hire a financial advisor?

Getting your taxes done is great, and of course, if you were able to save money on them this year, that outcome is even better. But, do you know if you are on track to retire when you expect? Do you have an estate plan in place? Would you bet your life on your investment strategy? If you answered “no” to any of the above, you should start looking for a financial advisor

Here are three surefire signs you need to hire a financial advisor:

1. You Don’t Have a Long-Term Plan in Place

When it comes to your financial future, the decisions you make today will have a profound effect on the way you live your life tomorrow. Unfortunately, we have seen many physicians’ life plans thrown off course and retirement dates become unknown due to a lack of planning.

Simply being a high-income earner does not guarantee a successful retirement. In fact, being a high-income earner, in many ways, complicates the challenge. You are charged with accumulating more wealth in tax-efficient ways to maintain your lifestyle as you age during retirement. There are far too many medical professionals working well into their sixties and seventies who express regret about not hiring a financial advisor sooner.

2. You’re Making Your Own Investment Decisions

Physicians are rarely ever financial experts. They simply don’t have time to be. Not to mention that an investors’ biggest threat to his financial success is generally himself. When it comes to money, emotions can get the best of an investors’ decision-making and cause premature, untimely, and costly investment errors.

For the past 25 years, a financial services market research firm known as DALBAR, has been performing a Quantitative Analysis of Investor Behavior (QAIB) which measures “the effects of investor decisions to buy, sell and switch into and out of mutual funds over short and long-term timeframes.” Time and again, this research indicates that solo investors underperform market averages as a result of their own emotion-driven money moves.

Fiduciary financial advisors don’t just guide you in the direction of your goals, they also support you when market conditions get scary. They know how to handle fluctuations in the market to protect your assets and provide you peace of mind until conditions improve.

3. You’re Aren’t Working with a Specialist

No one need remind you that the nature of your career presents unique financial challenges. You likely started earning income years later than your peers due to medical school. And if you’re like the millions of other physicians who financed their education, you began your career with a sizeable amount of debt.

Many physicians are surprised to learn this, but these are challenges that not all advisors are familiar with and equipped to handle. Luckily, though, there are advisors who specialize in helping physicians overcome these obstacles to save and build wealth for the future.

Let’s put it another way. Would you visit a cardiologist for gastrointestinal issues? Or a neurologist for a broken bone? When you work with a professional who specializes in working with physicians, you increase your overall probability of success.

As a physician, it’s best to work with professionals to understand the nuances and complexities of your chosen career and can strategize the best plan for your needs.

About the Author
Julianne F. Andrews, MBA, CFP®, AIF® began her career in financial planning in 1988 and co-founded Atlanta Financial Associates in 1992, merging into Mercer Advisors in 2020. She specializes in working with physicians and executives in the healthcare industry. Her passion for working with physicians comes from being a pediatrician’s spouse for more than three decades. Julie has been featured on Forbes’ list of America’s Top Women Wealth Advisors since 2017 as well as Forbes’ Best-in-State Wealth Advisors since 2018. Julie can be reached at jandrews@merceradvisors.com.