As one goes through a career, you accumulate wisdom from others and sometimes you create a few pearls yourself. This is the first of a two-part series about twenty-five pieces of wisdom to ponder as you think about financial planning, goal setting, saving and investment management.

    1. Financial planning is the glue that brings it all together. Everything else, including investing, is a subset of the plan.
    2. Pick a competent and ethical financial planner that has good tableside manners much like you want a doctor with good bedside manners.
    3. There are many credentials financial planners have, but the CFP® designation is the gold standard. They are required to work as a fiduciary acting in your best interest.
    4. Never take any action or invest in anything that you do not understand. If you have doubts, follow your instinct to walk away.
    5. The more that someone pushes a product or an idea, the more likely it is better for them than it is for you.
    6. While taxes are an important consideration when making or selling an investment, it is economics that are most important.
    7. If a financial decision does not add value to your life, why do it? If you do not see value in an investment going forward sell it no matter the profit or loss.
    8. Over a long period of time, more of your return comes from asset allocation rather than investment selection.
    9. Rebalance your asset allocation annually, at least. This means you sell some of your winners to buy some of your losers. It forces you to sell the things that went up (high) and buy those that went down (low). What a concept.
    10. Do not fall in love with your investments and, most importantly, do not fall in love with a deal regardless of you being the buyer or seller. Emotions have no place in the room.
    11. There is nothing wrong with saying, “No”. Never feel obligated to do anything that does not “feel” right/good.
    12. We are all going to make mistakes, so cut your losses early. Do not hope for the impossible to bail you out.

If you have others to add to the list, please send them to Ferrara@Provise.com. We always offer a complimentary consultation in our Tampa or Clearwater office or via Zoom. Do not pass up a good opportunity.