Tying the knot

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Navigating Market Madness

By Brandon Schleter

In the field of finances, money, financial markets and investing, to say things can get complicated is an understatement. Much like making March Madness bracket picks, people usually take one of three approaches to investments: they over-analyze everything trying to get the "perfect" investment portfolio (or bracket), they pick stocks (or teams) at random without really knowing what they're doing, or they ignore it altogether.

Growing up, I was always interested in the stock market. I'd ask questions - what's a stock, and what makes its value go up and down? How is all this processed around the world? I found the whole thing fascinating in its ever-changing and ever-complicated state.

I also learned the importance of saving, as I noticed that people who made the effort to save a little money were living considerably less stressful lives than those who weren't socking anything away. Now after a few years of working in the financial planning business, I hear many of my clients asking if they're going to be okay long-term, or how much they need to save to enjoy a secure retirement. Although there's not one simple answer to these questions, my job is to help people simplify the madness and teach them a little about saving and investing. It's why I love what I do.

Helping people is really at the heart of what we do as financial planners, and that's what led me to this industry. I believed comprehensive financial planning was an area where people were generally underserved, especially after we all saw during the last financial crisis. Some people have stock brokers, or a basic budget, but comprehensive, life-long, financial planning and accountability were lacking. I saw how much stress people were under, and I thought this was an area where I could make a difference.

And, as I've built and continue to build my client base, I find that, just like March Madness, picking stocks and performing analysis - with the goal of finding the best plan for each unique person, not some elusive "perfection," is actually a lot of fun.

While it's too late to do anything about your bracket (how did you fare yesterday?), we are always here to help you navigate, simplify and organize the money madness in your life. Call us today.

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