We believe that deep down an individual's overhanging goal in life is to find happiness, however happiness may be defined by that individual. In searching for happiness, life has to be balanced between using time to make money and using money to enjoy time. Most of us start our life with very little money, and a sense of infinite time. A lifetime of ninety years seems like an eternity when we're young. We go through the early part of life acquiring the knowledge we need to earn enough to live and support our goals. As we accumulate wealth and get into the routine of daily life, time seems to start moving faster and faster. We realize there is a need to work hard to build enough wealth so that we can eventually stop working hard and enjoy what we have. Just as we begin to have enough hard-earned wealth, we realize we're almost out of the time we need to enjoy it. PWA believes that far too many people experience this scenario and we have set out to help our clients avoid it.
In building our nest egg, we can lose focus of our happiness, our family, and the things we enjoy. The key to keeping everything in perspective is having a plan, and offloading the things you don't enjoy, yet that must be done, to someone else. PWA helps you build that plan and we allow you to offload much of its execution to us. Can you do it without us? Of course. Do you want to? That's a harder question. If you don't have the time, knowledge, and inclination to build and execute the financial plan that will get you to where you want to be, then we believe you should let us do it for you.
Most people have a doctor they can turn to when they or their family get sick. That's because they don't have the medical knowledge (and they don't have the desire to spend the time to get it) to handle the practice of medicine themselves. They're willing to pay someone else to perform these tasks, to improve their quality of life, even if it means sacrificing some cash to do so. The case for financial advising is much the same for someone without the time and knowledge required to run the details of their finances. The difference between paying for financial advise and paying for medical advice is that in hiring a financial advisor, you're generally spending on a service that is likely to pay you back over time. That seems like a no-brainer, yet many people continue to struggle with their own finances, despite the fact that they have no interest in managing them and/or lack the knowledge to manage them properly. An advisor can help free that time spent on financial management and ensure that the time you do spend is toward those activities that will help achieve your goals. Doing things right isn't enough. You have to make sure you're doing the right things, and that's where an advisor can really help.
We believe that most people need a general financial practitioner in their life just like they need a general medical practitioner. They don't need an IRA distribution specialist, a variable universal life insurance salesman, or a 401k plan administrator on a continuing basis, though they may very well need those people in certain circumstances. Similarly, people don't need a heart surgeon, a podiatrist, or an oncologist on a continuing basis. In medicine, you don't want to pay a heart surgeon when you get the flu, and you don't want to maintain ten different specialist relationships, none of whom know you as a whole. Instead, you establish a relationship with a general practitioner who gets to know you, your history, your situation, and your needs. You develop a trust in the doctor's knowledge, his understanding of your health, and his desire to see you fit and healthy. You know that when he tells you you need a particular kind of specialist, you really do. PWA is the financial equivalent of the general practitioner. We get to know you holistically, we handle your everyday needs, we learn about your goals, and we help you achieve them at a reasonable cost. If/when a specialist is needed, we'll tell you where to go, prepare you for the discussion, and even take part in it if appropriate, and you'll know that we're not doing it for a referral fee, but because it's in your best interest.
Since we believe each person is ultimately trying to find happiness, our goal is to maximize your long-term happiness. It is not necessarily to get you the biggest return on your portfolio. It is not to beat an arbitrary index. It is not to make sure you die as the wealthiest person you can. It is to help you achieve your financial goals, and while doing so, enjoy your life based on what you value.
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