July 2019

Blisk Financial Group

Author: Linda S. Hopkins

How many tears have you cried over financial spilled milk? Maybe you hit the panic button during a market downturn only to watch your investments rebound in a short period of time. Perhaps you got out at a good time but waited too long to jump back in. Could the right financial advisor help you avoid repeating the same mistakes?

Managing emotions
Your behavior is the most important factor in your ultimate success or failure as an investor. “Financial decisions, for the majority of people, are emotional,” said Brenda Blisk, founder of Blisk Financial Group. If you follow the financial press, you are essentially on an emotional roller coaster ride. Thrilling highs followed by scary dips can lead even the smartest investors to make impulsive decisions that may not be best for their financial future. “This is why you have to create a plan with a foundation of logic. Where are you going, and how are you going to get there? The plan can be adjusted, but it’s not based on emotional reaction.”

According to Blisk, the counterpoint to “emotional” investing is having a long-term plan, and a strategy in place. “You cannot control the uncontrollable. You look out the window today and it’s sunny. But tomorrow it could be raining. The market changes the same way. So, you don’t manage by whether it’s going to be sunshiny or raining. You create a plan with a foundation of logic, and you stick with it. There will be ups and downs along the way, but your goals will always remain clear,” she said.

“Personal finance is really more personal than it is finance,” Blisk continued. “Managing people’s feelings is the most important thing—keeping their focus on the plan. The plan encourages them to feel safe and to strive towards their financial goals.”

Blisk also recommends regular reviews and checkups. Just like going to the doctor for your annual physical, you have your baselines, so you can measure your progress. Some years, you’ll have large returns. Other years, you may have a negative return. “We look at where we started and at how far we’ve come, but you need a window of time,” she advised. “Just like when you look at your 401(k). They take money out of your paycheck every two weeks or once a month. That doesn’t grow all at once; it’s over years. Your investment portfolio is the same way.”

A normal market cycle is seven years, Blisk said. “It’s not that you’re not going to pay attention, but if you have a pot of money you wish to grow, your mindset needs to be that this money is going to be left alone for seven years. ‘This is money that is earmarked for my future.’ And then let it have time to grow. If you think it’s going to grow in 12-18 months, you’re likely to be disappointed. That doesn’t mean the market won’t be good during that period, but that’s not what you should expect. It’s a matter of keeping the proper perspective.”

Rolling with the changes
Just as you prepare yourself for changes in the weather by carrying an umbrella, a jacket, or a tube of sunscreen, you have to prepare for and manage your reaction to market changes. But it’s not just the markets that change. Circumstances change. We get married or divorced. Babies are born. Those babies grow up and go to college. We quit jobs. We get new ones. We start businesses. Businesses fail or are sold. Loved ones die. We decide to retire. All of these life events have important financial implications.

“When people retire, they get involved in different activities. Some consult, some travel, some take care of their grandchildren,” Blisk said. “You may not be focused on watching your portfolio, and this is all the more reason why you need a reliable, trustworthy advisor you can count on to be looking over your shoulder.”

Blisk also works with attorneys and conducts insurance and estate plan reviews, helping make sure your loved ones are protected should you become incapacitated or die. And she helps widows and widowers navigate the financial transition when a life partner passes away.

“If the spouse hasn’t been involved very much in managing the family finances, it’s all overwhelming—especially when you’re grieving and have too much going on to make good financial decisions. A financial advisor can help you set up estate accounts and prioritize.”

Overall, your financial advisor is there to hold your hand through all of life’s changes and give you unbiased professional guidance. “Your financial advisor could say some changes need to be made, and here’s why. Or they might say you are spending a little too much, and you need to pull back and give the money more time to grow. Those hard decisions are why you have a financial advisor—because most likely, you’re not going to do it yourself,” Blisk said.

In addition, she emphasizes the importance of personalizing your plan. “There is no one-size-fits-all solution. Assets need to be customized to you and what your needs are,” she said.

Tying together all the variables of a good financial plan can be challenging. The right strategy can alter the amount of taxes you will pay, the wealth you accumulate in your lifetime, financial risks you’re exposed to, and income available in retirement.

Blisk Financial Group is ready to assist you in starting the process of financial planning or reviewing your current plan. (Why not get a second opinion?) “We’re truly independent, with no in-house product, but vast resources and many financial solutions to offer,” Blisk said. “As a Certified Financial Planner™ with a fiduciary responsibility, I take a holistic approach, looking at your whole picture—always with your goals and your best interests in mind.”

Ten percent of Americans say, their biggest regret is finance-related, according to a 2012 Northwestern University study. Don’t be one of the 10 percent. Call Brenda and start planning for the security of your financial future. You won’t regret it! 

For more information, visit www.bliskjinancialgroup.com, call (703) 748-5828 or contact Brenda for a complimentary consultation at Brenda. Blisk@spireip.com.

Spire Wealth Management, LLC is a federally registered investment advisory firm. Securities offered through an affiliated company, Spire Securities, LLC., a registered broker/dealer and member FINRA/SIPC.

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