Who is Your Guide?

August 1st 2016, by Timothy S. Tyson

My family recently traveled to Annapolis, Maryland, for a day trip. On our way to Annapolis, we needed the assistance of the GPS in order to get us to where we wanted to go. It took us on a route that I would not have mapped out myself, but we got to our destination in good time. On our way home the GPS had us going through the middle of the city. Not good. Traffic in the heart of Annapolis was crawling. Being a bit impatient, I decided the GPS needed a little human intervention. I looked at the map and was able to navigate some side streets that got us on our way home much faster than if we would have stayed the course with the GPS.

Technology is a wonderful tool…when it works properly. I think I may hear a few groans and chuckles of agreement out there. In the past few years, there has been a buzz in our industry about robo-advisors taking over the financial planning industry. According to Investopedia a robo-advisor is described as “an online wealth management service that provides automated, algorithm-based portfolio management advice without the use of human financial planners.” Is this the end of firms like ours that provide personal financial planning and guidance? We don’t think so.

The robo-advisor technology can be a useful tool, although human intervention is still necessary to navigate areas that technology isn’t capable of handling. There are several areas of financial planning where it is essential to have a relationship with a competent financial advisor who will provide personal guidance in your planning needs, areas such as planning for retirement, evaluating insurance needs, tax planning, estate planning, and general financial decision-making. Not only can a competent financial advisor provide guidance in each of these areas, he or she can coordinate each of these planning areas into a single plan that has your complete financial situation in mind, including your beliefs and values. In addition to the creation of the plan, an advisor will maintain the plan when there are changes in the law, financial markets, or in your own personal circumstances. To help us do this for you, we also embrace utilizing cutting edge technology that serves as a tool to make our work in guiding you more efficient and effective. We consider it a privilege to be your guide to help you make prudent financial decisions on your life’s journey.