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“Got Any Good Stock Tips?” What Financial Planning Means to Me

By Marjorie L. Rand, CPA, CFP®, RICP®

When I make a new acquaintance and tell them I’m in financial planning, they usually have lots of questions about what I do. One of the most common is “Got any good stock tips?”

I understand why they ask that. Financial planning entails a variety of responsibilities and roles. However, many outside the industry associate financial services with the stock market and investments that instantly translate into profitability. It’s an innocent misconception, but it’s still a misconception on several levels.

The Reality of Financial Planning

The reality is that although I develop investment strategies for my clients, I’m not a stock picker.  My investment strategies focus on developing a diversified portfolio that is focused on the long-term and is prepared for the various economic cycles. The clients I serve don’t come to me because they want to know about the next big investment opportunity. They come to me because they need help refining their overall financial strategy and preparing for and living out their retirement years. There are others that come to me because their job environment is toxic and they are exhausted, wanting to see if they can retire early. Others feel the pressure of paying too much in taxes and they are worried they will run out of money in retirement.  Whatever the reason, our approach is to take a holistic view of our clients’ finances, helping them shape and adjust their affairs in a way that gets them moving forward toward accomplishing and living out their goals and dreams. 

So, why don’t I focus on the latest and greatest stocks? It’s very difficult to find someone who beats the market year after year. In one survey, only 5 of about 5,000 mutual funds successfully landed in the top 25% of results for five years running. Those are risky odds. So, while some investors chase after stocks, we prefer to take a long-term investment approach that protects your hard-earned assets, preparing for a variety of possible futures. If you are prepared for prosperity, inflation, and recession, you are ready to handle the vast majority of likely financial futures. Our process focuses on achieving market-level returns, with expenses as low as reasonably achievable. Followed diligently over the years (along with sensible financial choices), the result is financial independence and the serenity of knowing that you don’t need to worry about money. So, no matter the reason a client comes to us in the first place, most clients want to achieve financial peace in the end. It takes diligence and some patience, but I can help you get there – sensibly, effectively, and realistically.  

What Financial Planning Involves

Comprehensive financial planning involves setting goals, analyzing cash flow, reviewing the current portfolio, reviewing insurance policies, retirement planning, developing and implementing an investment strategy, and legacy planning. My objective is to make sure all areas of my client’s financial life are synchronized with each other. 

As a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional and fiduciary, I’m legally bound to work in my clients’ best interests. That involves listening to their goals and developing plans that align. My primary focus is on setting those I work with up for long-term success. To this end, I recommend practices that provide or build on a foundation for their future financial well-being. I do that by providing objective, unbiased advice that suits their unique financial situations. By acting exclusively in the best interests of my clients, I help them pursue their financial goals with the highest levels of care and due diligence. By focusing on the whole financial picture, we can create a more complete plan.

Rand Financial Planning is devoted to carving out a sensible path to financial wellness. If you’d like to learn more, don’t hesitate to get in touch. 

Schedule a 20-minute introductory call or reach out to me at 908-895-2406 or marge@randfinancialplanning.com to see if I’m the right fit to help you on your financial journey.

About Marge

Marjorie Rand is founder and financial advisor at Rand Financial Planning, a comprehensive, fee-only, fiduciary financial planning firm based in Flemington, New Jersey. Marge specializes in helping her clients plan for a secure retirement and navigate life’s many transitions through customized, tax-efficient retirement planning. She is passionate about empowering her clients to make the best financial decisions for their life and being by their side no matter what life throws at them. Marjorie spent many years as a CPA, specializing in estates, before founding Rand Financial Planning so she could be a go-to source for all her clients’ financial needs and help them avoid costly mistakes. She has a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Rutgers University and a Master of Science in Taxation from Fairleigh Dickinson University, along with the Retirement Income Certified Professional® (RICP®) and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certifications. When she’s not working, Marge enjoys boating, horseback riding, traveling, and hiking with her husband and her dog, Rangeley. To learn more about Marjorie, connect with her on LinkedIn.
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