Financial Advisor is a role you might never have to play in life. However, it is helpful if you can learn to take care of your own finances, independently. Cheryl Wong offers tips and advice on how to become your own Financial Advisor. Be independent and find a new identity to play!
By Cheryl Wong
A woman’s financial situation can change overnight. If you become a widow, for example, suddenly all the decisions that you and your spouse made as a couple must now be made by you as an individual. If your spouse made most of the household decisions, you may feel overwhelmed and unsure of what to do first.
It’s these types of unique needs that should motivate you to seek a Financial Advisor who can help you adjust to your new independence. An Advisor will help you get a handle on your finances, adjust to your new single status and develop a comprehensive financial plan for you. This article explains some of the things you should look for in an Advisor.
Once a woman becomes single, her household income may decline by as much as 37-percent. This statistic makes it even more important that she fully understand her financial situation as soon as possible so she can confidently make the best decisions for preserving and growing her wealth.
Tips on choosing your Financial Advisor
• Your Financial Advisor should have experience working with women and understand their needs. Your Financial Advisor should have experience helping women map out their financial future. An Advisor should be able to talk about clients who have been in your same situation and explain what they did to help these clients reach satisfactory solutions to financial challenges.
• Trusting relationship. You should feel that you can trust your Financial Advisor and comfortably confide in them. Your Advisor should ask lots of questions about how you are feeling, the life you envision, your family responsibilities, and what you are most concerned about. They should listen carefully to your answers and develop a full understanding of your goals.
• Respect your decisions. Your Financial Advisor should understand why you make certain decisions about your money. Women often view money differently than men. They generally don’t try to accumulate money merely for the sake of accumulating, but instead want to acquire money so they can take care of themselves and their families and feel stable and secure.
• Develop plans with milestones to help keep you financially secure and safe. Your Financial Advisor should understand what financial security means to you and design the appropriate financial plan for you. They should also be able to develop “backup plans” for you should an unexpected emergency like a health crisis or family emergency occur. Your Advisor should periodically review these plans with you, making adjustments should your circumstances change.
• Explain financial information in plain English. You should feel comfortable with the information your Financial Advisor gives you. Whether it’s helping you with goal setting or implementation, your Financial Advisor should be able to answer all of your questions. Your Financial Advisor should clearly explain risks involved for each investment, and be able and eager to educate you about financial strategies and solutions.
Becoming suddenly single and challenged to make decisions she may never have had to make before is just one life situation that is unique to women. Partnering with a professional Financial Advisor could be an important first step in dealing with such a life-changing event and charting a new course for your financial future.
In keeping with the theme, Cheryl answers the Identity 5:
1. What have you accepted in your life that took time, physically or mentally?
Mentally – That I can’t have it all, all the time. Superwoman is for comic books. Physically – I’ll never be a model, so if I try my best to be healthy everyday – beautiful just happens.
2. What do you appreciate about yourself and within your life?
My life is full of people who are my biggest advocates and I did that on purpose!
3. What is one of your most rewarding achievements in life? What goals do you still have?
My kids and making them contributing citizens of the world.
4. What is your not-so-perfect way? What imperfections and quirks create your Identity?
I’m a passionate person and come from a loud family – so I talk loud alot.
5. How would you complete the phrase “I Love My…?”
…life because I choose to make it what it is.
Cheryl Wong is a Financial Advisor with CONCERT Wealth Management in San Jose, California. She specializes in advising women who are dealing with special life situations such as a divorce or the death of a spouse.