“All financial success comes from acting on a plan. A lot of financial failure comes from reacting to the market.” —Nick Murray

A Functional Retirement Advisor (FRA) is an advisor that may put emphasis on plans and not products. With a dysfunctional advisor, you will have a dysfunctional retirement that will leave you feeling stressed and far from the self-supporting and honorable retirement you dreamed of. But, how do you spot the difference between the two?

Successful Investing

Successful investing is not about picking the best mutual fund or index. Just because some mutual fund or investment did very well the last year or three doesn’t mean it’s going to continue to do well.

An FRA starts with a plan, has your investments well-diversified and is patient, and they have the discipline to act toward your plan based on your individual wants, needs, goals, and intentions within your circumstances. If your long-term goals have not changed, the FRA will counsel you to not change your plan.

A dysfunctional advisor or dysfunctional client, meanwhile, may push for changes because they are so worried about what’s going on in the markets and the economy. Therefore, they may be obsessed with the performance of their funds or beating some index.

Measuring Performance

I am not talking about the advisor’s “track record” or their performance, I’m talking about more than just the numbers. We live in the conventional wisdom of investing, which is all about market timing and is performance-driven. That’s what the TV and media teach us about investing and about financial advisors. That is the perception.

In reality, all successful investing is based on working toward your goals through a plan; patience and discipline are the reality. All unsuccessful investing is based on performance and market timing.

One of the difficult tasks for advisors is taking the time to get to know clients as people and collect the much needed QUALitative data. This means asking questions that really don’t focus on money as part of their data gathering process. This may be different between an FRA and a dysfunctional advisor.

When an FRA takes the time to ask the right questions, many clients basically “mail it in” when it comes to answering questions about themselves as people, and often the client just winds up concentrating on the numbers and money — the QUANtitative – because it may be what they are used to when working with a dysfunctional advisor.

The FRA who chooses to practice holistically in this way, already understands it may lead to a win-win relationship. When an advisor takes the time to get to know their clients, they will be more open to trust the advisor’s recommendations and to provide the much-needed QUALitative data in a trusted setting.

Neither you, your Functional Retirement Advisor (FRA), nor anyone else on this planet, can predict with accuracy and consistency short-term moves in economies or the timing of good and bad markets. (Any advisor saying they can = BIG RED FLAG.) Dysfunctional advisors, as well as dysfunctional clients, try to do this. When you work with a Functional Retirement Advisor they pursue successful investing through a plan that is based on getting to know you as a person and your goals for retirement.

Joseph F. Falbo, CFP®, AIF®, CRC® is an independent LPL financial advisor that helps grow and preserve clients’ wealth using cutting edge, customized, and comprehensive strategies. With over two decades of experience, Joe helps clients to pursue and retain the lifestyle they want in retirement. To discuss your retirement goals or any financial topic you want, schedule a 20-minute complimentary call. To learn more about Joe, please visit falbowealth.com.

CRC conferred by InFRE®

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.