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+

Common FAQs On Tax Stimulus Checks

When will I get my check? Checks are supposed to be produced “as rapidly as possible.” Mnuchin has hinted they will come in April, but it’s been suggested that could take up to two months. One thing that is true: if you use direct deposit, you’ll get your money faster.

Wait, how does a phaseout work?

Read More »

The CARES Act (Recently Passed Stimulus Bill)

As you likely have heard, in response to the unfolding COVID-19 global pandemic, Congress has passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and the President signed it into law on March 27, 2020. It is a $2 trillion emergency fiscal stimulus package designed to help ease the impact of this health crisis on American workers, businesses and the economy. At Atlanta Financial, we have summarized the new law for you and tried to answer some frequently asked questions we hear from individuals as well as business owners.

Read More »

Federal Income Tax Filing & Payment Deadline Extended

In light of current events and potential financial difficulties caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has postponed the 2019 federal income tax filing and payment deadline until July 15, 2020. [1] [2] [3]  Federal income tax payments due on April 15 2020 are now due July 15, 2020 without penalties and interest regardless of the amount owed (up to $1,000,000 for individuals). Taxpayers do not need to file an extension unless they need additional time beyond the July 15, 2020 deadline.

Read More »