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Information overload for consumers, financial planners

June 10, 2008

By Andrew Frazier, Frazier Hunnicutt Financial

 

 

Today’s world provides us easy access to information, some we seek out and some that is forced upon us. We all receive snippets of information from TV programming, newsletters, websites, newspapers, advertisements, radio shows, magazines, periodicals, and books.  Everyday we are presented with information by “experts”. These opinions and insights are often conflicting. This leaves the consumer in a state of confusion; at times not feeling comfortable with the advice they are given.

 

Which information should you believe and trust?

 

This is an important question that every investor must ask themselves. This is also the hardest question to answer.

 

Everyone’s life is a puzzle and every puzzle is different. Every aspect of your life represents different pieces. Historically, consumers utilize mortgage brokers/banks to develop their mortgage/lending strategy, CPA’s deal with the tax issues in one’s life, attorney’s develop legal documents to assist with legal matters, financial planners/advisors/RIA’s/insurance agents/investment guru’s manage equity and insurance needs, relatives/co-workers/friends offer their advice, and media outlets always have their opinions on products and strategies they would like investors to utilize.

 

In the past, these various sources of information seldom present the client with one distinct path to accomplish their financial goals.

 

This information overload often has consumers moving in multiple directions, causing the pieces in their life to not fit appropriately within their life puzzle. The result of these conflicting strategies is the consumer deciding to make no change within their plan or to pick and choose smaller pieces of the plan to change, often creating additional issues.

 

Information is not always knowledge.

 

Information only becomes knowledge when an understanding of the entire pro and con arguments are understood and a decision is able to be made based on that understanding of information.

 

Today’s best financial planners are wealth coaches. Qualified financial planners should act as the quarterback to many financial situations. They should assist you with collecting the appropriate data from your advisory team, as well as having an in-depth understanding of the client’s goals, values, and life experiences.

 

Consumers will find greater success with their financial planning if they build an advisory management team that is led by a modern day financial planner, who will help keep open lines of communication within the team; if they follow a disciplined investment strategy, thereby reducing the emotional reactions to short term events; and adapt an investment strategy that will allow them to respond to changing market conditions..

 

By hiring, reviewing, and trusting your advisory team you will begin to lessen the confusion brought on by information overload. Unfortunately, this process never ends. There will always be the need for consumers to hold their advisory team accountable for the decisions they make.

  
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