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What it Takes to be Your Own Financial Advisor

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Today on the Thrive For[e]ward podcast, we are addressing the debate of … should I do investment management and financial planning myself or hire someone?


There are so many considerations when approaching this topic. We are going to be talking about:

  • What you need to know you are getting into

  • How to keep your financial behaviors in check

  • Tools and resources for you to consider utilizing


Managing your own finances is hard. It doesn’t mean it’s not possible, however you need to do your due diligence aka research and be able to find reliable resources. When you break down financial planning, it’s much more than just investing! Consider: cash flow management and budgeting, tax planning, estate planning, and insurance planning. I strongly suggest hiring an attorney for your estate planning to ensure that it is done correctly and that all your assets and estate are going exactly where you want them to.


Let’s talk about maybe the least sexy part of managing your own financial planning first: Cash Flow – what income you make (goes into your cashflow) and what are your expenses (goes out). You need to understand what you can afford so that you save and invest. This will require time to dig a bit deeper into all your spending.


You can download our free cashflow tool here: www.forethoughtplanning.com/complimentary-wealth-tool

After you address your Cash Flow and before you start your investment strategy, you should consider these two pieces:

  • Time Horizon

  • Risk Tolerance


Your time horizon is how soon you will need to access your money. Investing in the market is a long-term strategy and there is never a guarantee. Therefore if you need the money in a shorter period of time you should be considering this before you invest.


Risk tolerance is something we have talked about before on the podcast. When I reference “do you like roller coaster rides or Sunday drives” it’s talking about how comfortable you are with risk. Your risk tolerance is what you feel comfortable with, not what your partner, your friend, or the internet says you should. Higher risk can have higher reward but not always. If you have a more moderate reward, it might be less risk. Regardless, you always want to make sure that you understand all risks and rewards then evaluate what you’re comfortable with.


Now, when you have tackled the above items you can consider investing. A bulk of your time will be here, as you will need to research and utilize resources to understand what your path and investment strategy will be. Remember that whatever technology you use with investment planning and management will NEVER replace an individual and professional and what they bring to the table with their knowledge and expertise.  This isn’t a practice of following all the trends. You need to understand the long term and short term impacts of how your investment decisions will impact your goals. Investment management is not all rate of return. I will also add that most individuals won’t brag about their losses rather they will always allow their wins will out shine, reality is they exist together.


When you are investing you will want to decide what and where you allocate. We at Forethought Planning work with our clients using Asset Allocation. This is like a variety of pies with your investments (you know I love pie!) making sure that you have a variety if one area of the market were to see ups and downs they likely won’t all occur at once. AKA not putting all your eggs in one basket.


As an individual investor you need to spend some time researching and exploring resources that are available to you. Don’t believe everything that you see someone post or that you read on the internet. There are many pieces of information out there that can be confusing or even seemingly bright and shiny – but are they really that?


As a professional, I utilize resources like MORNINGSTAR and Riskalyze which are sources of independent investment analysis for all levels of fund and stock investors, ranging from inexperienced beginners to sophisticated experts. As well as understanding how these investments align with your risk tolerance.


Let’s talk about trading platforms, you will want to understand the fee structures on the platforms that you sign up with. There are new places such as Robinhood that won’t charge you. Betterment is another good one that focuses on sustainable investing as well as minimal financial planning services.


As you invest, you should look at realigning and rebalancing. Look at what is happening in your portfolios that you manage. At minimum you should consider rebalancing on an annual basis if not more frequently. Always understand the fees associated with investing as well as tax management when rebalancing.


If you do decide that you would like assistance, guidance, and a professional partner to join you on your wealth journey, we at Forethought Planning would love the opportunity!


You can schedule an appointment to our complimentary 30 min Wealth Assessment session to learn more about how we incorporate these strategies and others to assist you through the financial planning process.




Let us know if you have a topic you would like us to explore on the podcast we want to hear from you. Please email us at [email protected]

If you have a topic you would like us to explore on the podcast we want to hear from you. Please email us at [email protected] and in the meantime, we hope you continue to join us on this series and invite you to schedule an appointment to our complimentary 30 min Wealth Assessment session to learn more aout how we incorporate these strategies and other’s to assist you through the financial planning process.


No strategy assures success or protects against loss. Investing involves risk. Loss, including loss of principal, may occur.

Securities offered through LPL Financial, a member of FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Advisors’ Pride, a SEC registered investment advisor. LPL Financial, Advisors’ Pride, Forethought Planning and the guests of Thrive For[e]ward podcast are separate and unaffiliated parties. Any of the parties listed above are not affiliated with Forethought Planning, Advisor’s Pride, or LPL Financial. The views expressed here are those of the participants, and not those of Forethought Planning, Advisor’s Pride, or LPL financial. The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. LPL Financial and Forethought Planning do not offer legal services.

Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) / Environmental Social Governance (ESG) investing has certain risks based on the fact that the criteria excludes securities of certain issues for non-financial reasons, and therefore, investors may forgo some market opportunities and the universe of investments available will be smaller.

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