7 Money Mistakes Every High-Achieving Professional Should Avoid

I’ve been a financial planner for about 15 years. My team and I specialize in building one-page financial plans for high-achieving professionals and families that come with simple and concise next steps.

Today I thought I’d share with you the seven most common money mistakes that we see high-achieving individuals and families make on a recurring basis:

MISTAKE #1:  Failing to Plan

I’ve found that many people don’t have a plan because they procrastinate, and they procrastinate because they don’t have a plan. It’s a vicious cycle that robs you of time, and time is opportunity. If you can relate to this, I implore you break the cycle and engage with a financial planner to establish a plan for yourself going forward. ⏳

MISTAKE #2: Thinking a Financial Plan Is Solely About Investing

A big misconception about financial planning is that it’s all about investing. Don’t get me wrong, investing is a large part of financial planning, however, there are many other important components:

  • Goal identification
  • Budget and cash flow planning
  • Debt management
  • Retirement planning
  • Insurance coverage
  • Charitable giving
  • Estate (beneficiaries) planning

MISTAKE #3: Not Communicating with Their Partners About Money

According to a survey of 191 Certified Divorce Financial Analysts®, 22% of divorces are caused by money issues1. Please include or get included with your spouse or partner in the financial conversation. Of course, we realize and see all the time, one spouse is more interested than the other, and that’s great and normal. We simply suggest that you at least brief your spouse or partner every once and a while about what’s going on, or request to be briefed if you’re not already in the conversation.

Working with a financial planner makes this automatic, as they’ll usually request that you’re both present early on and typically on an annual meeting basis.

MISTAKE #4: Trying to Time the Market

There’s a saying, and you may have heard it before: “It’s about time in the market, not timing the market.”  As common a phrase as that is, it still surprisingly doesn’t stop people from trying to jump in and out of various investments at the “perfect time.”

When the market’s experiencing all-time highs, people sit out and claim they’re waiting for it to cool off before buying again. When the market’s experiencing a correction (a decline of at least 10% from recent highs) or a bear market (a decline of 20% or more from recent highs), people claim they’re waiting for things to get better “I’m not going to throw good money after bad!”

Surely you can see the problem here.

MISTAKE #5: Not Knowing Their Risk Tolerance

This is another area where good financial planners can pay for themselves. It’s also an area in which do-it-yourself investors struggle because they lack an independent third-party’s perspective.  Taking on appropriate risk to pursue your long-term goals is expected.

MISTAKE #6: Keeping Up with The Joneses

One of my favorites. Your neighbor, or your children’s friends parents have a picture-perfect house, a wonderful yard, two luxury vehicles, are flashing the latest gadgets, and consistently share Instagram-worthy vacations.

How can they afford all that?

Most often, they can’t. They’re broke.

Not necessarily broke day-to-day, but in big trouble long-term and if the music stopped (paychecks paused) ⚠️

MISTAKE #7: Not Getting Help

Two people are in the gym preparing for a workout: One person has never been to a gym before and doesn’t know how to use the weights, machines, or cardio equipment. The other person is clearly familiar, exhibiting all the muscles and tone.

That said, BOTH people will benefit from a personal trainer.

The same is true in financial planning. Both inexperienced, novice investors and veteran savvy investors will benefit from independent, unemotional guidance and planning.

If you or someone you’re close to could use help aligning their finances and establishing a financial plan, please reach out to us, we’re accepting new clients and eager to help. 




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