Diversity Woman Magazine

SPR 2019

Leadership and Executive Development for women of all races, cultures and backgrounds

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42 D I V E R S I T Y W O M A N S p r i n g 2 0 1 9 d i v e r s i t y w o m a n . c o m ISTOCKPHOTO Financial Advisory and Lumina Finan- cial Consultants. For her, working with women to help them understand their finances is personal. When Fried was in corporate finance, she went through a divorce and thought she knew how to manage her money. She was wrong. "I realized many women don't have the fi- nancial expertise to evaluate the choices they're making," she says. "A lot of per- sonal financial planning doesn't address women's unique challenges. We come from a place of informing and support- ing, and we teach clients that they are valuable and strong, and they can take care of themselves in the financial arena." It is important to note that the term "financial advisor" is a broad way of de- scribing professionals trained to help manage finances, including investments and retirement planning. Some financial advisors are financial planners, and they may also specialize in certain types of planning, whether to fund education or to retire. Financial planners often have Certified Financial Planners (CFPs) cer- tifications. Both planners and advisors charge fees, which vary widely and may be fee- or time-based. Setting your goals to get set for success Financial professionals offer expert guid- ance, but you don't have to hire an advisor or planner to begin putting together a plan that works for you. To get an overview of your situation, consider your current stan- dard of living, as well as your hopes for the future. Do you aspire to buy a home, or to pay off your mortgage? Does anyone else—a spouse or partner, or a dependent you support—contribute to your financial goals? Consider any risks that could im- pact your planning, such as an illness. Fried says this personal inventory can be an especially important exercise for young women. In her practice, where she works mostly with women in midcareer or later in life, she says, "We sometimes see the back end of mistakes that could have been avoided." Women who plan as early Pros and cons of using a financial advisor G ood financial advisors spend time getting to know their clients. Whether or not you work with an advisor, here are some potential benefits and drawbacks to consider. Why a financial advisor may be for you E X P E R T A D V I C E Financial advisors and planners closely follow the mar- kets and do extensive research. Professionals focused on financial planning simply know more than the average consumer. It's their job to assess the best products for each client. E X P E R T T O O L S Financial planners use sophisticated research and data projection tools to track changing markets and antici- pate what types of volatility may lie ahead. While there are plenty of consumer websites and apps that can help you manage your investments, some people prefer the best-in-class products used by professional advisors. A C C O U N T M A N A G E M E N T Some financial planners can help you set up accounts for retirement or other savings goals, such as a 529 plan for education costs. Financial advisors can also advise about special after-tax retirement contribution options, such as setting up a Roth-IRA or a SEP-IRA if you are self-employed. C O O R D I N AT E D C O N S U LT I N G A financial advisor may work with your other profession- al service providers, such as tax preparer or tax attorney, to ensure your needs are met. A financial planner can also offer referrals for these and other money-related services, such as a real estate agent, trust attorney, or mortgage broker. Reasons to go it on your own F E E S Financial advisors charge fees in several ways, includ- ing on a time- or transaction-based payment structure. Fees vary widely, and it's crucial to understand the fees and any fee structure change as long as you work with a certified planner or advisor. S C H E D U L I N G Some busy professionals—you may be one of them—prefer to have as few meetings as possible. With some financial planners, it's important to meet at least occasionally to discuss updated life choices and financial goals. While it can be help- ful to check in with a professional, some people simply would rather run their own accounts without that additional input. DW Life >

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