Selecting Investments is just the "Tip of The Pyramid"
Morningstar is a great resource for financial information, and their retirement columnist Christine Benz is one of their best. In todays posting, she discusses the fact that too many people place a disproportionate amount of emphasis on choosing the "best" investment - while ignoring many arguably more important aspects of their financial lives.
Her analysis which you can READ HERE rings true when I consider the work we do as financial planners. Many clients come in expecting us to help them with investment selection. But they will quickly learn that the greatest value we bring as financial planners often comes in other areas - cash flow planning, saving and spending rates, budgeting advice, tax planning, insurance (Christine forgot that one...) and...oh yeah...asset allocation and, finally, investment selection.
The article points out that no decision in any one of these areas can truly be separated from the rest. Every part of your financial life can impact every other. So while there are many financial planners out there who will focus exclusively on investments, others who focus primarily on insurance, we don't think this approach makes sense. Only a truly holistic approach to financial planning makes sense to us - and only through such a holistic, integrative approach can clients realize the full potential of financial planning.
Finally we at Financial Pathways would like to wish all of our clients and friends a very Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukkah, and a very Happy New Year (and new decade)!