Atlanta Financial Blog

Asking the Right Questions

Asking the Right Questions

Chris Blackmon, CFP®, CPA
October 29, 2019

People say the only bad questions are the ones you don’t ask. That can be true, and asking bad questions likely won’t hurt you, but it is more important to ask the “Right” questions. In the last year, I met with a potential client who asked me a question I want to share with you. After some “get to know you chat” he asked me, “So, how are your results?” to which I responded, “Very high.” I could see the confusion on his face, so I just waited. As I will explain later, this had nothing to do with guaranteeing results.

I assume he wanted to know about the investment returns I had earned for my clients, but that wasn’t what he asked, and it wasn’t the “Right” question to ask. Investment returns vary from client to client based on their goals and investment allocation. Older clients closer to retirement are likely just as pleased with a lower return and less volatility as a younger client with an aggressive allocation is pleased with higher returns in retirement accounts they do not plan to touch for 15+ years.

I explained that to-date, my success rate is very high for clients who collaboratively developed a retirement income plan and stuck to their budget. Those who set realistic goals and lived within the parameters we created had yet to fail. I think at times we get to caught up on #FOMO (fear of missing out) and don’t think about the minimal impact external events have on our own goals and needs. For example, if we have worked hard and saved diligently and live very comfortably in retirement, should I be concerned that a new hot tech stock is up 50% YTD and I don’t own it? Not really. So what if the price of oil is down 10% this month, is it going to change the amount of gas I purchase? Probably not. If my plan is designed to achieve my goals and manage through volatile periods, the day to day noise in the market doesn’t matter. It makes great television but shouldn’t drive the questions you ask of your advisor. The best questions to ask your advisor are “Am I still on track to reach my long-term goals?” and “What are the risks to that plan and how do I mitigate them?”

If you aren’t sure if you are asking the “right” questions of your advisor, haven’t gotten straight-forward answers to the questions you have asked, or are simply ready for a conversation that focuses on what really matters, reach out to an advisor at Atlanta Financial today to start a dialogue.

Share This:

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on google
Google+

Why Fear Shouldn’t Drive Your Investing

As the world has dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic over the last several months, we’ve seen an unprecedented impact to global stock markets.  The decline in US and foreign equities was surprising in both its severity and speed, with the S&P 500 falling more than 30% in just over a month.  This sharp drop from recent highs caused some investors to panic and race for the exits, preferring the safety of cash or treasuries to the volatile stock market.  While getting out of the market during a “freefall” might seem like the best move, over the long run it can actually do more harm than good.

Read More »

Strategies to Grow Your Wealth During the Pandemic

During times of market turmoil and economic uncertainty, its tempting to focus exclusively on risk – risk to your portfolio, your income and your plans for the future. And making sure your portfolio is aligned with your appetite for risk and with your time horizon for investing is critical.  But focusing exclusively on the risk of losing money can lead investors to overlook the opportunities market declines may bring. Baron Rothschild, an 18th-century British nobleman and member of the renowned Rothschild banking family, is famously credited with saying that “the time to buy is when there’s blood in the streets.” He took his own advice and made a fortune in the panic that followed the Battle of Waterloo against Napoleon. 

Read More »

AFA Gives Back to the Atlanta Community

Atlanta Financial recently donated $1,000 worth of Girl Scout cookies to medical first responders to assist both the local front line medical workers and a great cause, Girl Scouts, which has been impacted so severely by the coronavirus pandemic.

Read More »