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Organize Your Priorities

By Portage County Business Council

By LouAnn Schulfer, AWMA®, AIF®
Accredited Wealth Management AdvisorSM
Accredited Investment Fiduciary®

When we meet with new prospective clients, one of the first questions we ask is “What is the most important thing we can help you with?”  We proceed with a comprehensive discussion surrounding their financial state-of-affairs, goals, concerns and expectations.

Sometimes, an individual or couple may have a hard time making a decision as to how to move forward.  My best advice:  organize your priorities.  Doing so will guide you in the right direction.

Goals are different than priorities in this sense.  Common goals we hear include things like:  I want to make sure I am on track for retirement, or I want to be sure my family/spouse is financially taken care of should something happen to me, or I want to maximize my investing opportunities.

Priorities apply to the means by which you will reach your goals.  The list may include things like having a go-to-person, a relationship with a professional who specializes in wealth management or financial planning and also knows you and your family well to guide you throughout the years as important decision-making issues arise.  Conversely, you may prefer to tackle those issues yourself, not wanting additional insight or advice.  Fees are important to everyone.  Is paying less in total fees more important than the services you receive for what you pay? In other words, what is the value?  You may wish to have guidance on the layers of rules that apply to investing or you may be confident in your own abilities to research the rules that pertain to contributions, distributions, transfers, inheritances, titling of accounts, taxes, and other rules surrounding retirement and non-retirement accounts.  Tax management is important to many people, particularly those in higher tax brackets.  Professional management of assets often ranks high on the priority list of our clients:  is that something that is important to you, or are you a do-it-yourselfer?  Depending upon the firm that you choose, as well as the licensing and expertise of the advisor that you work with, you may have access to investments that you could not otherwise access on your own.

If you find yourself stuck in a decision-making process, identify your goals, list what is important, then organize your priorities.

LouAnn Schulfer is co-owner of Schulfer & Associates, LLC Wealth Management and can be reached at (715) 343-9600 or
Securities and advisory services offered through LPL Financial, a Registered Investment Advisor.  Member FINRA/SIPC.

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for an individual.