Words of advice when dealing with finances

by Jamie MacDonald

If I was ever asked what the best advice I ever received it would be:  ‘listen to experience’.   Simply three words, but all too often it is not adhered to.  We try and solve our problems with the knowledge and experience we have obtained over the years and hopefully come to a solution without too much difficulty.    However some issues are beyond our abilities to solve and only those with the proper experience can help you through the difficulties.  One aspect of our lives we all come across or have to deal with is financial issues.

Whether it’s paying down debt, staying ahead of everyday expenses, starting a business, or saving for retirement we often seek advice to guide us through these financial goals.  Although we try and seek credible and trustworthy advice, difficulties in finding the right person for advice can be elusive. When we think about trustworthy individuals, we often think of doctors, clergy, teachers, and police who generally provide free and professional advice.  The key word here is free.  Now when we think of a second group of professionals, such as lawyers, bankers, contractors, insurers, and/or financial advisors we hesitate. Why? Well we may believe they charge a fee and not so trustworthy. Possibly.  Unfortunately human behaviour often creates the belief that if there is a service charge than how can they be trustworthy.   On the other hand, a good professional, regardless of his field, will seek to understand your needs, look for solutions and provide relevant and expert advice.  Only after the professional has conveyed a level of integrity and trust should their service or fee be considered.

Difficulties often appear with individuals seeking professional advice because of the cost or the appearance of pressure sales.  One solution around this dilemma is to seek referrals and find professionals who are known to convey experience and trustworthiness.  Doing some research online could also help.  Avoiding professional advice, especially when times are tough, is not a solution.

As a financial advisor, my main approach for those seeking advice is to understand their needs, build a level of trust, and provide sound and relevant information.  Only then can an individual make an informed decision.   The key word here is trust; and that takes time.   So the next time you think about seeking help from a professional, do your research, ask for referrals and ensure the advice is genuine and relevant.

If you have questions or comments about this post, send a message to jamie.macdonald@sunlife.com

Jamie MacDonald, RHU JS MacDonald Financial Services Antigonish, NS, (902) 735-3011

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