Dear Advisor: I’m ready to get started. But how?

The following is part of Blueleaf’s The “Dear Advisor” Campaign, encouraging open collaboration and service innovation in the financial industry like never before. 

erika headshotLetters are submitted by members of the general public who, at all stages of life, have an honest message to share with you. Let’s redefine what “value to my client” means.

Erika Gordon works as Community Manager at Mobee, a data crowdsourced collection company based in Boston, MA.


 

Dear Advisor,

It is so funny, I was just talking about how I wanted you to be around the other day, and here you are. Thanks for stopping by!

Here’s my story… I have a reasonable income, I don’t have any extravagant number in the bank, but I am content with where it is. I can live life “comfortably”. Stressing about money is usually never an issue. When talking about finance, I really like to plan and I like to save. Actually, I love to save. I have a Roth IRA, I have a savings and a checking account, I have one credit card, yet I am not satisfied.

I like to make my financial decisions modestly, not too risky for fear of loosing what I’ve worked hard to save. I believe I have a decent sense on how to budget and how to make good decisions (ex: “Can I afford that?”) but I am not satisfied because I lack the understanding and knowledge of where to go next. I would love to walk into a room to someone who has that knowledge. I would like to present them what I have, all of the amounts, where they are, and then receive the marching orders or options for how to move them around.

Here are my questions: How do I make my money grow? How much money should I keep in a regular “savings” account? When is the right time to start investing? Where should I begin and how much time or involvement will that require? For someone who isn’t used to making risky decisions, where do you suggest I focus and are there any tips or resources you recommend for getting started?

I’m looking forward to some advice to get me up and moving.

Thank you,
Erika

← Last week’s letter: Dear Advisor: Why haven’t I heard from you?

Carolyn McRae Carolyn is Blueleaf’s in-house marketing guru. She writes on The Blueleaf Blog to make advisors’ lives easier, offering practice management and client engagement tips where and when they’re useful. Outside of the Blueleaf offices, she can be found running a 10k or cooking her famous chili. Chat LIVE with Carolyn on Twitter @BlueleafAdvisor!
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  • Erika,

    First, congratulations on you interest and initiative to learn more about protecting and growing your wealth. I am happy to discuss things with you in more detail, but for now let me address some of your specific questions.

    How do I make my money grow and how much money should I keep in a regular “savings” account? – We advise clients keep enough cash in a regular savaging account to cover 3 months of total expenses. This should be seen as the “emergency fund”. All other assets should be exposed to different types of investments so that they can grow.

    When is the right time to start investing? – NOW, and the sooner the better. The power of compounding is the secret miracle of investing success. Read this article by Vanguard of you wish to learn more about compounding https://personal.vanguard.com/us/insights/saving-investing/power-of-compounding

    Where should I begin and how much time or involvement will that require? – You should begin as you are, by seeking out professional advice. There are really two large questions you must answer 1. How much is enough. 2. How to invest my assets. While the time commitment from you may not be much if you are working with a professional, I would stress that the responsibility is always yours. We tell our clients, your can delegate actions (like financial planning or investment management) but you can never delegate responsibility.

    For someone who isn’t used to making risky decisions, where do you suggest I focus and are there any tips or resources you recommend for getting started? I recommend you read a paper on investing that my business partner and I wrote called “Top Three Mistakes High Net Worth Investors Make.” You can download a free copy at our website http://www.KairosCapitalAdvisors.com

    I hope this helps you get started. Please reach out to me directly with any further or more specific questions.

    James

  • Erika,

    First, congratulations on you interest and initiative to learn more about protecting and growing your wealth. I am happy to discuss things with you in more detail, but for now let me address some of your specific questions.

    How do I make my money grow and how much money should I keep in a regular “savings” account? – We advise clients keep enough cash in a regular savaging account to cover 3 months of total expenses. This should be seen as the “emergency fund”. All other assets should be exposed to different types of investments so that they can grow.

    When is the right time to start investing? – NOW, and the sooner the better. The power of compounding is the secret miracle of investing success. Read this article by Vanguard of you wish to learn more about compounding https://personal.vanguard.com/us/insights/saving-investing/power-of-compounding

    Where should I begin and how much time or involvement will that require? – You should begin as you are, by seeking out professional advice. There are really two large questions you must answer 1. How much is enough. 2. How to invest my assets. While the time commitment from you may not be much if you are working with a professional, I would stress that the responsibility is always yours. We tell our clients, your can delegate actions (like financial planning or investment management) but you can never delegate responsibility.

    For someone who isn’t used to making risky decisions, where do you suggest I focus and are there any tips or resources you recommend for getting started? I recommend you read a paper on investing that my business partner and I wrote called “Top Three Mistakes High Net Worth Investors Make.” You can download a free copy at our website http://www.KairosCapitalAdvisors.com

    I hope this helps you get started. Please reach out to me directly with any further or more specific questions.

    James