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No doubt, for the financial do-it-yourselfer, there is an abundance of material on money matters in newspapers, online and on the street. But when it comes down to dollars and sense, those raw materials may be useless without the proper skills and tools for applying them. In many cases, a financial professional can mean the difference between a loosely constructed plan and a well-built financial foundation.
Preparing for Your Financial Future
Despite the plethora of commentary on financial matters, not all of that information can be applied in the same way to every investor. An experienced financial professional can help you get your financial house in order – offering advice and guidance to assist you in building a financial plan and an investment portfolio suited to your particular situation.
Step 1: The Blueprint
One of the key benefits of working with a financial professional is that he or she will partner with you to identify your individual financial goals, your investment time horizon and your tolerance for investment risk. One-size-fits-all does not apply when it comes to investing. Your neighbor’s “hot stock” may be way too risky for you. A financial professional can help you to make a plan – a financial blueprint – that you can live with.
Step 2: Construction
Once you have identified your key financial goals, your financial professional can help you to sift through the myriad choices in building a well-diversified investment portfolio that is customized to your needs. You must consider not only the type of assets in which to invest (stocks, bonds, cash), but also the proper allocation to those assets, the best vehicle for owning them (e.g., a mutual fund, separately managed account, direct shares) and an investment manager that is equipped to offer the solutions your financial plan requires.
Step 3: Maintenance
Your thoughtfully constructed portfolio of securities is not static. Market dynamics will result in changes to your asset mix, your risk tolerance will change as your goals approach and/or new goals may be added to the mix. At certain points in your financial lifecycle, for example, college funding may take precedence over retirement savings. Your financial professional can help you to rebalance and adjust your portfolio to changing markets and your evolving needs.
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Investing is just one of the many complex cash management functions most treasury professionals must perform on a daily basis