Are Your Finances Stuck in Default Mode?

By Michael J. Searcy

Are there financial decisions you need to be making or actions you need to be taking that you’ve put off because you don’t think you have time to make a decision? Consider this scenario…A man is told that due to his family’s health history, he needs to start having an annual physical earlier than normally suggested. He’s busy and knows his health needs attending to and he’s been feeling some discomfort, but doesn’t make time to speak with his insurance or find a doctor. When his wife asks if he’s scheduled his physical, he says “I haven’t made a decision yet.” However, as a medical professional, you realize he has made a decision. Putting off a decision or action does not mean that you haven’t made one. It just means that you’ve chosen your default option. In this case, the man has made a decision to avoid checking his current health status and possibly lose out on catching an issue early.

Is NOT making a decision costing you?

Just as important as recognizing how decisions you make affect your finances is recognizing how your finances are affected by decisions you avoid. The stock market is constantly changing and your investments can be a tool to help you reach your financial goals. However, if you’re stalling rather than investing, your money is more like a surgical tool stuck in a drawer, rusting. Not only could you be missing out on growth, you could be losing money due to inflation.

Consider another example: You are eligible for participation in your company’s employer-sponsored retirement plan. You avoid turning in your enrollment form because you aren’t sure how much you want to defer and are still considering who you would name as a beneficiary of your plan. In your mind, it seems that you are waiting to start participating and haven’t yet made the decision to do so. Again, this isn’t the whole truth. In reality, you have made a decision to not put money into your retirement fund, thus, letting the time you have available for compounding and market gains shrink.

If your time is valuable and scarce, working with a financial advisor who can help you navigate and stay on top of financial decisions could make a difference in your life. A discretionary money manager who understands your goals and risk tolerance and manages your investments for you alleviates your need to keep up on market changes and make strategic investment moves. When you meet with a potential advisor, ask them how many physicians and medical professionals they have worked with and the unique challenges they have helped them overcome. You should feel confident that your advisor can meet the needs of your lifestyle.

What decisions are you avoiding regarding your finances? What decisions are you making by NOT making a decision? Make the decision to take action now by calling (913) 814-3800 or email me at [email protected].

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Please remember that different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product made reference to directly or indirectly in this content, will be profitable, equal any corresponding indicated historical performance level(s), or be suitable for you or your portfolio. Due to various factors, including changing market conditions, the content may no longer be reflective of current opinions or positions. Moreover, you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this newsletter (article) serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from Searcy Financial Services, Inc.

The content of this letter does not constitute a tax or legal opinion. Always consult with a competent professional service provider for advice on tax or legal matters specific to your situation. To the extent that a reader has any questions regarding the applicability of any specific issue discussed in this content, he/she is encouraged to consult with the professional advisor of his/her choosing.  

Published for the blog on July 12, 2017 by Searcy Financial Services, your Overland Park, Kansas Fee-Only Financial Planner and Investment Manager.