Financial Advisors Are Life Savers

Got a sick question? See your doctor.
A tooth question? See your dentist.
A money question? Well, that’s why you should have a financial advisor
– a good one, with a clean background.

Maybe you’ve come into a large inheritance or your own income popped suddenly. Maybe you gave birth or recently married. Maybe you just bought or sold a house. Or maybe you just feel uneasy about your money — you’re not sure where it’s going now or how far it will take you in the future. Whatever your money question, a financial planner can help.

Some people spend more time planning their vacations than they do their finances, yet your assets determine whether you can retire comfortably (or be able to retire at all), send your kids to college, buy a house, protect your family from an unexpected mishap or your own death. Hiring an experienced, capable advisor, like Merrill Lynch’s Michael Garcia, gives you the services of someone who knows the landscape of investing and other necessary financial matters, such as the amount and type of insurance you should have, and how you should set up your estate.


Here’s what a good advisor provides:

Expertise. The best have gained an enormous body of knowledge. An advisor assesses your situation and your goals, then figures out what you should own. And shouldn’t own.

Objective View. The best type of advisor looks at your financial situation with no sentiment. That money pit of a second home that you thought you should rent out? Perhaps, you should sell it. Why are you saving only half your limit in your employer’s 401(k) plan? How do you expect to pay for your kid’s college education? Taking that expensive family vacation is not as important as the kid’s future. Instead, open a 529 college savings plan.

Discipline. You and your advisor should conduct periodic reviews of your finances. Things change. Rebalancing may be in order. Your advisor will tell you how to accomplish that. Investing is an ongoing pursuit, lasting a lifetime. Things shouldn’t be allowed to slide. A good advisor keeps you constantly in the game with no let-up. As Michael Garcia likes to tell his clients, “Lather. Rinse. Repeat.” That’s where an advisor comes in.

Michael Garcia recommends the following books for you to read with the first being HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

1. The First National Bank of Dad: The Foolproof Method for Teaching Your Kid the Value of Money (2007) by David Owen. Written by a contributor for The New Yorker, this is presented as a father’s firsthand account of teaching his children to have strong values for saving and good money management. The latter section of the book goes into a variety of basics about finance and money.

2. The Financially Intelligent Parent: 8 Steps to Raising Successful, Generous, Responsible Children (2005) by Eileen Gallo, Ph.D. & Jon Gallo, J.D. Written by noted husband-and-wife team of a lawyer and psychologist, this book explains not only the how-to’s of financial literacy but also the mindset parents should have in approaching the financial education of their children.

3. Raising Money Smart Kids (2005) by Janet Bodnar. This book from deputy editor of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance goes into detail on a wide spectrum of ideas and skills about creating “money smart kids.” It emphasizes the ins-and-outs of teaching good credit and debt management to today’s kids.

4. Raising Financially Fit Kids: 10th Anniversary Edition (2013) by Joline Godfrey, the founder and CEO of the leading provider of financial programs for kids and parents. A parent’s guide to raising financially sophisticated children.

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