For some reason, some people take their social connectedness with a dose of pride bordering on arrogance. We all know that person that has a guy for everything. Need a mechanic, plumber, roofer, baker, barber, or a manicurist? He has the best person in the field in his contacts list. Many folks find the financial world very intimidating, and they want to take the easy out and get a professional that is top notch to do the heavy lifting. The problem is this: Your investing plan and portfolio allocation strategy are among the most important decisions you will make in life.
You can spend your golden years trying to build a time machine so you can go back in time and punch your younger self in the face, or you can spending it feeling smug about your successful life. Given those stakes, do we trust this “guy” to make those decisions for us? You may well want to find a fiduciary advisor to help you plan and keep your investments safe from your puppy brain, but you must at least master enough of investing so that you can tell whether your advisor is doing a good job or not. (By which time you don’t really need the advisor).
For this reason, you must not neglect your financial education. Even if you prefer watching paint dry, you need to invest some time and energy into financial mastery on an ongoing basis. If nothing else, commit to reading two books per year. The more you know about risk management and portfolio design, the more you can rest in tranquility when you climb into bed each night. Of course, you can neglect your financial education when you are young, and you will only lose sleep over the problems this creates when you are older and have a little less color in your hair. Those that start young will find retirement saving to be relatively painless; those that start late in life are facing an uphill battle and lots of sacrifice to get where they need to be.