When you go to see a professional about getting some advice or getting a job done, do you expect them to kowtow to your demands, or do you expect them to tell you how it should be done?
I consider myself to be an intelligent person and a capable researcher. So usually, when I’m going to be seeing somebody for some advice (especially for the first time), I would have already done some research or fact finding on my own and I would have some idea of what outcome I want. Maybe not a specifically named outcome, but certainly a general idea. When I go to my accountant, I know I want to be able to know that I’m paying the correct amount of tax and that I’m not paying more than I should. When I see a dentist, I want to know the state of my teeth’s health and if I need to give them any additional attention.
When I was younger, I made the mistake of thinking I already knew what I wanted because of the research I’d done, and I just wanted this professional person to ‘take my order’ and get it done. Unfortunately, in the case of the accountant, I had a guy who actually listened to me and just did what I asked. What I didn’t know, was that I didn’t know a lot. I falsely thought I knew everything necessary. Well, you can guess what the eventual result was: penalties, interest, and a lot of stress over a number of YEARS! What could have been solved by dealing with a professional who was willing to stand by his professional standards and tell me honestly that what I wanted to do wasn’t really a good idea, turned into years of problems and thousands of dollars of penalties, interest, and thousands more dollars paying a real tax professional to sort out the mess I’d gotten myself into!
The lesson I came away with was the fact that I needed to respect the profession and their standards. They are trained and qualified professionals, otherwise I wouldn’t be seeing them in the first place. Listen to them and either take their advice and trust them, or walk away immediately and find someone else you can trust. There’s nothing wrong with doing your own research. Just remember that the professional has usually spent years or even a lifetime building their knowledge and experience in dealing with similar situations and they can see the same problems you see, but usually from many different angles, with many different solutions. Listen to the professionals in your life and take their advice. It’ll usually save you time, money, and stress.
And if you’d like my professional advice in any aspect of your financial planning and investment needs, even if it’s not what you want to hear, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org