Personal Training Your Finances
Applying your fitness approach to financial well-being
By Marifran Georgis, Wealth Advisor & Trust Administrator, Associated Bank
We are halfway into 2019 and most of us probably don’t even remember what our New Year’s resolutions were for the year. If you are like the majority of Americans, your resolution likely had something to do with fitness or finance.
Losing weight, eating better, getting into shape, saving more money for retirement, and spending less are all common New Year’s resolutions. If you stuck to your resolution, congratulations! You are one of the few. Maybe you did it all on your own or maybe you employed the help of a qualified professional.
Most of us are more likely to stick with our resolutions and achieve our fitness goals if we hire and work with an effective personal trainer. The best personal trainers look at your entire health picture to create a comprehensive exercise and nutrition plan that you can stick to for the long haul. They take the time to ask you about your goals, your health history, your eating habits, etc. When it is snowy and you don’t want to leave your house to exercise (or perhaps it’s the perfect sunny day for ice cream), they hold you accountable and help you refocus on your health and fitness goals.
The same is true when it comes to your financial goals. Some people will reach their financial goals with their own disciplined approaches to saving and investing, but many will not. Just as in fitness, the difference can be in finding the right financial “personal trainer” to help you on your financial journey.
A great financial advisor will take the time to get to know you and your goals. Just as training for a triathlon and wanting to lose 5 pounds are two very different fitness goals, so too are saving money for a down payment on a first home and planning for your retirement. A good financial advisor will take the time to get to know you and will help create a plan customized to your goals.
Creating your customized plan, however, is just the beginning. The additional value a financial advisor brings is providing ongoing discipline to keep you on track to get you where you want to be. They understand that life happens and things change. The better they know and understand you, the better they can help you adjust so you stay on track for a better financial future.
So now that you are inspired to focus on your financial goals, how do you find the right financial “personal trainer” for you? A quick Google search will recommend that you review their certifications, how they are compensated, and to which code of ethics they adhere.
But finding the right fit for you involves more than making sure the advisor has the right initials after their name. It is about finding someone that you connect with on a personal level and can trust to help guide you in making financial decisions that will impact you and your family. It is about finding an advisor that will partner with you to create a long-term financial plan and will help you stick to it. Ask your family and friends or maybe even your workout buddy for recommendations for a financial “personal trainer” that can finally help you keep your New Year’s resolution and meet your financial goals. By starting now, you can begin your 2020 with a clearer vision for your financial future. •