This Year, Make a Financial Resolution that Works

By Alex Fishman - January 17, 2019

The allure of the New Year's resolution is the fresh start and the hope of better things to come. But we all know that resolutions, including financial goals, are difficult to maintain. If your goals fall short year after year, it's harder to catch up, especially when it comes to your money.

One time-tested solution for keeping your financial resolutions: Don't go it alone. This year resolve to reach out for financial help.

Does Financial Help Really… Help?

Just as an athlete relies on a coach or a writer consults an editor, investors also can benefit from a helping hand. Some people are confident managing their finances and investing on their own. Warren Buffett made a career of it, and by any measure, has done quite well for himself. But managing money likely isn't your full-time job, and failure has dire consequences for your net worth.

Many people cite lack of time, lack of expertise and lack of desire as barriers to financial planning. But when you realize that assistance is just a call or click away, you may fare better—and feel better. Successful investors often have a defined financial plan, regularly seek financial advice and guidance, and rely on a repeatable process over a lifetime.

And in our experience, those who stick with a plan save more than those who don't.

The Value of Advice

You're the expert on your future goals. Outside financial expertise can be a valuable tool to get you there.

Financial help can come in the form of a trusted financial advisor, online tools or managed portfolios (instead of individual stocks, bonds or mutual funds). Research has shown that investors who actively sought these types of financial assistance added an average of three percent to their investment returns, even after accounting for fees.1,2

How? The answer likely lies in the individualized nature of financial help. No company can guarantee top performance, but when you seek help, the result is tailored to you. Advisors and investment tools help you articulate your needs, evaluate your current situation, and build a comprehensive plan that's customized to your life stage and goals.

Developing a relationship with an advisor or investment company can ensure your needs are the basis of every financial decision. Whether it's retirement contributions, account types, asset allocation, investment selection, buy/sell transactions or tax strategies, making the right decisions for you can contribute to your financial success.

Take the First Step

To determine what kind of financial guidance is appropriate, we start by asking our clients a few questions:

  • Goals: What's important to you? What do you want to achieve?
  • Time frame: Are you just starting out, or are you closer to your goal (college savings, retirement, etc.)?
  • Comfort: How do you feel about managing your entire financial portfolio? Are there certain areas that you're more or less comfortable with? What keeps you up at night?
  • Safety: How vulnerable is your portfolio to market volatility? Do you feel you have enough time to recover losses in the event of a downturn?
  • Investment universe: Do you have money with multiple investment companies or employer plans? Which types of accounts and assets do you own? What other resources might be available to you?

Your answers will help you determine whether you are comfortable with a do-it-yourself approach or need expert guidance. For a more nuanced approach, or a more complex financial picture, it may be time to consult a financial advisor.

An ongoing relationship with a trusted professional can result in a clearer, more personalized path toward your future. Other benefits:

  • Peace of mind, knowing you have a plan in place
  • A holistic look at your financial past and future
  • The potential for higher returns than investing on your own, although advisors can't guarantee future results
  • Less time spent on planning, and more time spent on what you're planning for

Read more about the When, Where and How of Choosing a Financial Advisor.

Keep Your Financial Resolutions, with Our Help

Your life is unique, and your financial plan should be, too. Call us today to learn more.

1 "Help in Defined Contribution Plans," May 2014, Financial Engines and Aon Hewitt.
2 "A Close Look at the Value of Your Financial Advisor," 2017, Envestnet.

Alex Fishman
Alex Fishman

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      Investment return and principal value of security investments will fluctuate. The value at the time of redemption may be more or less than the original cost. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

      The opinions expressed are those of American Century Investments (or the portfolio manager) and are no guarantee of the future performance of any American Century Investments' portfolio. This material has been prepared for educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide, and should not be relied upon for, investment, accounting, legal or tax advice.

      Private Client Group advisory services are provided by American Century Investments Private Client Group, Inc., a registered investment advisor. This service is generally for clients with a minimum $50,000 investment. Call us to determine the level of service that is appropriate for you. The advisory service provides discretionary investment management for a fee. All investing involves risk.

      You could lose money by investing in a mutual fund, even if through your employer's plan or an IRA. An investment in a mutual fund is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government agency.