That Awkward Moment

I’m here to free you up from that awkward moment at the cocktail party when you ask the guy next to you what he does for a living and he responds, “I’m a financial advisor.”  After 18 years as a financial advisor I’ve learned to embrace that awkward silence when the person I’m talking to pauses momentarily, presumably waiting for me to solicit their business.  The financial industry has created this phenomenon for itself by focusing more on product sales and stock market prediction than good solid advice.  Fortunately, our society has come up with a clever way to break that silence in the form of a question.  “What’s the stock market going to do? “

First of all, let me just say that no intellectually honest financial advisor will profess to know what the stock market is going to do tomorrow.  Secondly, even if she did know, that should be a very small part of the advice she is capable of administering.

Real financial advice should focus less on trying to predict an unpredictable market and more on ensuring that you are making smart financial decisions that will allow you to live the life you want.  In fact, might I humbly suggest a few questions that might better reflect what I have come to know as financial advice while at the same time breaking that awkward silence.

Am I on track to accomplish the things that are most important to me?
Can I take less risk in my portfolio and sleep better at night?
Will my spouse be taken care of financially after I’m gone?
What if we experience a long term care event?
How can I be confident that I won’t outlive my money?
Which of my accounts is most tax efficient for my bond holdings?
Can I retire earlier than I think?
How will I react to the next bear market?

When should I start my social security?

Give one of them a try.  It will make your next encounter with a financial advisor easier and much more insightful.

Geoff Hall, CFP®
[email protected]

My wife, Crystal, and I have been married for 11 years and have two kids, Cooper (10) and Rhodes (8.) When I’m not spending time with them you might find me downtown serving at our church, pushing my limits during a mountain bike ride or having coffee with a friend in the Five Points area. I've been a financial advisor for 29 years and I'm thankful for the privilege of shepherding my family of clients through the ups and down of the markets, and of life for that matter.