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Goal setting vs. advising: How our financial advisors give you both

What we'll cover

  • The building blocks of the advising relationship

  • The true value of the weath advisor relationship

  • How to start your advising journey

As you travel through the journey of life, new goals and challenges constantly arise. Maybe you go to school to become an engineer, but it turns out working with animals is your life’s calling. Perhaps you always saw yourself living in your beloved hometown, but that all changes when you fall in love with someone who lives across the country. As the saying goes, life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.

The same can go for your finances. While it’s a good idea to have financial goals, it's important to recognize that your objectives might shift — a financial advisor, such as an Ally Invest Financial Advisor , can help you remain agile and nimble through life’s ups and downs.

Goals: The building blocks of the advisor relationship

To be sure, goal setting is an important aspect of financial planning. A financial advisor will help you assess your needs and create a plan for how best to meet them not just at the beginning of your partnership, but throughout the relationship as your life, finances and priorities evolve and change.

Financial goals represent your “what.” In other words, the immediate, short- and long-term things you want to achieve financially. Common examples of goals your financial advisor can help you set and accomplish:

 • Determine what you can afford to save and what you want to save for

 • Define where your money will go next if and when you meet a saving goal

 • Establish how much money you need to fund your desired objectives (like buying a home or planning for retirement)

 • Anticipate future lifestyle desires/needs (i.e., the ability to travel, planning a family)

Advising: The true value of the financial advisor relationship

Designing a plan for achieving goals is a first and essential step toward establishing a relationship with your financial advisor. But their true worth is realized during everything that comes after.

Think of your advisor as your coach who you check in with regularly as you play the “game of life,” so to speak — they help you course correct as needed and even think beyond the playbook to  modify your strategy  when the truly unexpected happens.

The real advising lies in your “how” — the strategies you will use to accomplish your goals. Your financial advisor can help you:

  • Overcome hurdles (anticipated and unanticipated, i.e., job loss, divorce, death of a spouse or partner)

  • Continually reassess goals and progress to keep you on track

  • Ensure your goals are attainable and based on your income and lifestyle

  • Change course of action as life stages and needs change

Marriage , becoming parents and grandparents, job changes, moving and coming into an inheritance are more common life events that also call for a fresh look at your financial trajectory. At each of these turning points, your financial advisor provides updated, real-time counsel, helping you pivot as needed.

Some hurdles can be anticipated. For example, retirement is a life stage we should all financially prepare for. Other challenges are unplanned, though. Medical emergencies, job loss and death of a partner or close family member are just a few examples of unexpected circumstances that could have a large impact on your finances. These events are overwhelming, but they don’t have to derail your financial progress. Your financial advisor helps you recalibrate and stay steady during these times of upheaval.

An objective third party

Money matters can be emotionally charged. Your ego might get in the way and cause you to make a risky investment decision. Or you and your spouse might have completely different attitudes toward spending and saving, causing conflict. Maybe you’re having trouble setting and keeping financial boundaries with your children. Perhaps you’ve become too reactive to the market roller coaster, making for knee-jerk investment decisions that don’t pan out.

Your advisor acts as a neutral third-party in these situations, utilizing their expertise to ensure your emotions don’t cloud your judgment and helping you make the most financially sound decisions.

Starting your advising journey

Life is all about the journey, not the destination — and financial planning can be much the same way. Twists and turns are inevitable, and you will encounter both challenges and opportunities that were not part of your original plan. An Ally Invest Financial Advisor can help give you the tools, insights and personalized advice needed to help you make the right move at every fork in the road.

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