One reason people seek financial advice is to become more comfortable with a variety of issues related to
their finances. “I want to be able to sleep at night” is how one client described her focus on getting a solid
wealth plan in place. Another client approach to financial issues has been to ask “what things should I be
worrying about and what things do I not need to be concerned with in my finances?”
A good rule for anyone considering financial issues is to choose not to worry about the things that are out
of your control and to take steps to address those items that are within your control. Like many simple
rules, it is much harder to follow the rule than to break it.
For example, we all know that we cannot control or even predict what the markets will do tomorrow, next
week, next year. But at the same time, we want to maximize our return on investment, not miss the big
winners, and definitely not sustain any significant losses. What can we control to reduce our fears about
market results? Avoid unnecessary risk, lower costs and invest with purpose.
Another worry common for many of us is how we might handle the death of a spouse. Many clients ask
advisors something like “what if my husband (or wife) dies?” Understanding your finances, arranging for
life insurance coverage, discussing the issue with your spouse and getting their view of how things like the
funeral, personal possessions, bequests or charitable gifting should be handled all are very helpful and
steps YOU control. A truly caring and thoughtful spouse will participate with you in these discussions and
in ensuring that both of you are prepared – as much as you can be – for such an event. Though nothing
can really prepare you emotionally, having the more mundane financial aspects in order will help you or
your spouse better handle this change when it comes.
A closely related concern is a parent’s wish or worry – as they age and perhaps experience a decline in
health – not to be a burden to their children or other family members. Some of the steps you might
consider and that are within your control include:
Of course, clients also worry about their children and younger family members, with concerns ranging
from a bad marriage and divorce to illness to layoffs to substance abuse to an inability to handle money
and more. Fortunately, there are many things clients can do to ameliorate or mitigate these problems,
Your financial advisor is familiar with all of these issues and the tools and techniques employed to address
them. Your advisor will be able to educate you about the steps you may take, helping you reduce the
worries we’ve discussed as well as other concerns you may have.
©2015 George Chamberlin