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The Risks of DIY Investing & Financial Planning
Many successful people refrain from trying to plan their financial futures. They delegate such matters to professionals, as they lack the time, inclination, or knowledge to do it all by themselves.
This makes sense. It takes years to gain a thorough understanding of financial market cycles and behaviors, macroeconomic forces, investment classes, and wealth management principles. Beyond that, continuing education is a must for any financial advisor. As the saying goes, you could make a career out of this. Indeed, financial advisors have.
The learning curve for a do-it-yourself investor may be steep and expensive. Like a basketball team focused only on the fast break, little attention may be paid to defense. A quest for great returns may mean taking an eye off crucial opportunities for tax savings. If the investor succumbs to emotional decision-making and market timing in volatile moments, portfolio performance may suffer.
The core problem is mistaking investing for financial planning. A good financial plan is multi-faceted; it needs to be. It may contain an investment strategy, a risk management approach, a tax management strategy, and a withdrawal and spending strategy if the client is a retiree. There may be college planning involved, and some estate planning as well.
Financial planning is both a discipline and a profession, and disciplined investors can see the value in seeking help from a professional.