How Did You Learn About Money?
Chances are, your financial education did not begin in school. Instead, like most American adults, your financial education began the moment you were able to earn money and acquire assets. Along the way, you may have experienced a few lessons from "The School of Hard Knocks" as well.
When we began Shilanski & Associates Inc., or goal was to educate middle-class Americans on money. Floyd Shilanksi's objective then was simple: teach people to "Win At the Money Game".
Over the years, our objective hasn't altered. We are still just as passionate about educating our clients so that when they chose to work with our firm, they feel empowered in the decision making process and comfortable as we construct their financial plan.
We spend a significant portion of each year teaching educational programs and writing articles to increase financial literacy in America. Over the years we have taught classes like:
- Successful Money Management,
- Financial Strategies for Successful Retirement,
- Bible Based Money Management,
- Smart Women Finish Rich,
- Social Security and You,
- CSRS Pre-Retirement Class and,
- FERS Pre-Retirement Class.
Financial literacy is a life long process and during each stage of your lifetime, a different aspect plays a part.
Here, we will guide you through some of those areas with helpful information and of course, if you have questions please call our office at 907-278-1351.
Financial Literacy Includes Understanding of These Areas:
- Money Management and Cash Flow,
- Understanding Credit Scores and Debt Ratios,
- Risk Management (Insurance),
- Investments and Goal / Retirement Planning,
- Tax Planning and,
- Estate Planning.
By clicking one of the titles on the right, you will be guided through a series of informative articles written by our Financial Advisors.
Why Hire a Financial Advisor?
We live in an age when there is a wealth of information readily available to us. It has never been easier to access resources than it is today and that is empowering. But it also begs the question, with all the information available online is it prudent to hire a financial professional?
That is a good question and we want to discuss some of the reasons we think that it may make sense to hire someone.
Financial Advisors advise clients on money management; savings and investing; tax allocation; risk management and estate planning. It is a rather comprehensive field and each areas holds its own significance.
A Financial Advisor works in both a macro and micro capacity. On a micro side, they can assist you in tackling a specific goal like buying a new car; buying a home; starting a business or planning for that exotic vacation. On the macro side, they look at the entire picture of your life, career, values, family, goals and aspirations.
Some Financial Advisors specialize in one area of the planning process like investments or retirement planning so be careful to ensure that their aea of specificity aligns with what you are looking for.
Comprehensive Financial Advisors take the entire financial picture into account when designing, building and maintaining your financial plan. Hiring a Financial Advisor is not an easy decision and one that you want to take your time with.
You want to work with someone that you trust. A human being that you feel provides knowledge, guidance and value. Finance is a complex area that requires a financial professional to spend hours continuing their education to remain informed on how changes in tax laws; legislation; health care; investments and estate matters could impact your plan.
What to Look For in a Financial Professional.
When it comes time to determine how to hire a financial professional try following these steps:
1. Start with the Why. When you learn why someone is working in the profession that they are you can gain a better understanding of their values and what drives them to do what they do. Determine if those values align with your own. When you are interviewing a physician do you want to develop a life time relationship with the doctor who got into the profession to "make a ton of money" or the one that wants to "heal"?
2. Avoid the "Rate Boasters". If performance is all that a Financial Advisor is bringing to the table than chances are they are not comprehensive planners because rates of return are only one sliver of your financial plan. Likewise, when friends boast about rates of return in their portfolio they make not like their Advisor as much as they like their returns adn when the table turns, they wil look for another Advisor.
No one can predict the market so make sure you are working with someone that doesn't just love what they do during smooth sailing days but someone who is willing to weather storms too.
3. Review Accreditations. There are more professional associations and charters than a person can shake a stick at. However, the two main designations for Financial Advisors, aside from their various licenses, are the Certified Financial Planner (R) and the Registered Financial Consultant (R). Those two alone are the leading designations within the industry. Both associates require that their members achieve several hours of continuing education each year as well as testing and the highest ethical standards.
4. Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) works to protect market integrity and investor relations. All Financial Advisors are required to register with FINRA which is public information. It will tell you where the Financial Advisors place of business is; what States their allowed to do business in and what licenses they hold. Ask your Financial Advisor to help explain anything on the site you don't understand.
Make the decision to hire a Financial Advisor because you feel comfortable that they will help propel you towards achieving your goals.