Is Financial Planning a Pandemic Necessity?
Financial Planning magazine just released their annual tech survey and a corresponding article: Tech Survey 2020: Advisors losing faith in planning software. I was honored to be interviewed by the reporter and included with the other tech-savvy advisors who weighed in. The journalist and I discussed the tools that Yardley Wealth Management uses to help put together a financial plan for our clients. The reporter shared that their survey results showed that many advisors were cutting back on financial planning software, perhaps as a way to cut costs. Financial planning, and the software involved, is at the heart of our business, and we’ve worked with all our clients to build plans tailored to their specific needs; thus, we have no plans to cut out financial planning and the related software needed from our business model.
At the end of our conversation, the reporter asked if we were experiencing an uptick in use of planning software during the current times of crisis. I shared with him that we were spending all our time rebalancing, tax-loss harvesting and fielding client questions that, given everything else we have going on, we don’t have time to create new financial plans right now.
The beauty of creating a plan is that it can help get our clients through the ups and downs of the market – even those caused by a global pandemic. Yardley clients already had professionally-developed financial road maps in place, so we are for the most part sticking to those plans.
I thought my answers from the article mentioned above might provide some food for thought:
I had a client for whom we did a financial plan in February. He called during the second week of March because he thought his plan would need to be updated, based on the facts that his account values were down and that he had gotten laid off from his job, likely leading him to retire a little earlier than he had hoped.
I explained to him that we had used the scenario in which he would retire immediately because he had hoped to work until next year, but wasn’t sure he’d be able to. In the MoneyGuidePro scenario that we looked at, we had also shown him how bad timing would impact his retirement. His bad timing scenario showed that even if his portfolio was down 20% this year, and a further amount next year, his plan still looked pretty good. At the time of our call, his accounts were down about 20%.
It was nice to show that planning actually can work and be a useful tool for guiding decisions and feeling confident about them even in uncertain economic times.
Please contact us if you’d like to discuss your financial plan. As always, hang in there.
My name is Mike Garry, and my company is Yardley Wealth Management, LLC. We are a fiduciary, fee-only financial planning, and wealth management firm in Newtown, Pennsylvania (that’s in Bucks County).
Our law firm is Yardley Estate Planning, LLC and is in the same place. We only do Estate Planning work and I am licensed in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
If you’d like to talk about this or anything else, please reach out: 267-573-1019, [email protected] or @michaeljgarry