To get ahead you have to stay informed.


Do I Need a Financial Advisor?

What you'll learn: Reasons why you might need a financial advisor


Is this the year you vowed you’d get around to organizing your retirement investments and long-term finances?

Knocking out a long-term financial strategy may lie well within your interests and your capabilities, but for many people, the available time to make it happen remains just beyond their schedules and energy. If you are thinking about whether or not you need a financial advisor, it’s one thing to check up on your accounts and long-term investments on a semi-regular basis. It’s another thing to weave those together into a comprehensive plan for the future that covers your needs and helps you build your assets.

A financial advisor brings fresh insights and solutions to your financial landscape with time and energy to spare. A dedicated professional can give you a long-range perspective and a plan that preserves, manages, and builds on what you already have.

What’s your long-term plan?

If your company has a retirement plan, you may feel like you’re ahead of the game, but have you considered how any 401(k) plans from previous employers and other pension plans will figure in? Have you thought about college funds for the kids? How long will you need to work to support the retirement lifestyle you’ve been hoping for? Have you been planning to invest in stocks someday?

An effective long-term financial plan weaves together several concerns —

  • Investment planning
  • College funding
  • Tax savings and additional income
  • Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS)
  • Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS)
  • Thrift Savings Plan (TSP)
  • 401(k) rollovers and IRAs

Slow and steady wins the race

You may have assumed that once you got older and have more money, you could make some smart investments and reap the big benefits. The truth is that often the smartest fund managers can’t beat the market. Only about one in 20 actively managed domestic funds beat index funds, according to recent research published from Standard & Poor’s.

If professional advisors can’t even beat the market, you may wonder, why should you hire a financial advisor at all?

One of the most important ways a professional financial advisor can help is simply by making your long-term finances a priority. It’s hard to implement a long-term plan carved out of time snatched from evenings and weekends. Put a seasoned professional in charge, though, and watch your financial plans whirl into motion — and backed by regular, long-term follow-up, too.

A financial advisor won’t recoil from the inconvenient questions you’ve put off answering for too long, like what you would do if you lost your job next week or who’ll take care of your spouse’s aging parents in another 10 years. Your financial advisor will help you to stop talking about it and work out the answers. It’s the same kind of accountability you get from having a personal trainer or coach, only this is for your personal finances.

A licensed financial advisor can also open the door to investment opportunities that aren’t available to individual investors. If you’re concerned about diversifying your investment base, using a professional can get you access to these broader strategies that can produce a smoother ride for your money.

Planning your financial future

What should be on your long-term financial planning agenda? Try out these life stage calculators with PenFed Wealth Management* to see where you stand on retirement savings, investments, 401k and TSP plans, college savings, IRA options, and insurance coverage. The calculators can help you spot where you fall short or where there are holes in your long-term plan.


*PenFed Wealth Management Financial Professionals are registered representatives of CUNA Brokerage Services, Inc. Representatives are registered, securities sold, advisory services offered through CUNA Brokerage Services, Inc. (CBSI), member FINRA/SIPC, a registered broker/dealer and investment advisor, which is not an affiliate of the credit union. CBSI is under contract with the financial institution to make securities available to members. Not NCUA/NCUSIF/FDIC insured, May Lose Value, No Financial Institution Guarantee. Not a deposit of any financial institution. CUNA Brokerage Services, Inc. is a registered broker/dealer in all fifty States of the United States of America.

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