There is much talk in the public financial planning domain about whether having an adviser is worthwhile or if it is better to save on costs and go it alone. I am the first to admit that the reason for having this conversation is well-founded based on the industry’s history of smooth-talking con artists and dodgy investment schemes where any benefit to the client is merely coincidental.

Of course, we are going to say we are different; the proof is in the tasting. Let’s compare this situation to the only thing more important than our financial health, which is our physical health.
These days many of us self-medicate when it comes to minor ailments like colds and flu or a stiff back caused by a dodgy golf swing. We head to the pharmacy (or my wife’s medical box) and get a recommendation from our trusted pharmacist, and that normally does the job in a few days. If our condition persists, we head to a doctor or Physiotherapist.

The Benefits Of Not Going It Alone

In a similar way, we handle our daily and weekly finances by trying to stick to our budget by not spending more than we have coming in. We keep contributing to our retirement fund at work and believe all is on track.
In both examples, we are mainly looking days or weeks ahead, not more than that. This is where things can come unstuck. Our long-term physical and financial health depends on doing the small things the right way for a long time, not one or two miracle cures.

Having a family doctor who knows you and your medical history plays a big part in our overall long-term health. In the same way, working with a real lifestyle financial planner who knows you, your family and what you want out of life will give you a strong chance of maintaining your financial health.
We often think that we have things under control until we get an expert opinion. A recent example comes to mind where an associate who does short-term insurance saved a doctor client of ours over R17,000 a month by simply reviewing his current needs. Frank is now his hero!

The Benefits Of Not Going It Alone

Going it alone may work, but why not get a second opinion from a professional? It could give you the peace of mind you deserve.

Dirk Groeneveld, Certified Financial Planner

Previous Columns: