Your Investments: Financial procrastination

We are all busy; most of us struggle trying to balance career and family.

money (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Know the true value of time; snatch, seize and enjoy every moment of it. No idleness, no laziness, no procrastination: never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.
– Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield
We are all guilty of procrastinating. Throughout all my years as a student, I can’t remember one instance where I had a paper ready ahead of the due date, or was well prepared for a test more than 12 hours before it took place. I was speaking to friend about doing something and he said that it will have to wait because he is preparing for Purim and immediately after he needs to start getting ready for Passover. I then added, “And Rosh Hashana is right around the corner!”
I understand that many are under pressure with last-minute mishloah manot preparations, getting kids another wand for the costume to replace the one that broke as they were fighting with a sibling. I am not speaking from experience! And I don’t dispute that right after Purim it’s time to kick it into Passover gear.
We are all busy; most of us struggle trying to balance career and family. Work/life balance issues and how to juggle the two have become a very popular topic over the last decade. It’s just that as all the focus goes to balance work and life, too often I see that what gets left out is attention to finances.
Give me a minute
We never seem to have enough time to deal with issues of importance. How often do we push off important household chores because we just don’t have time? Believe it or not, even I am guilty on this one! Eventually the dishes get washed and the garbage gets taken out – just not necessarily within the same hour or two that I was politely asked to do it.
The same is true when it comes to discussing one’s financial situation. How many of us put off reviewing our investment portfolios or fail to ever get started because we can’t find an hour or two to get organized and understand what our goals and needs are – and then how to implement a strategy to achieve those goals. When I call to check in with a client, I can’t tell you the amount of times I have heard, “I’m so happy that you called. I have been meaning to call you for some time; I just haven’t had the time to do it.”
Delay is not cheap
The more time you waste not getting your finances in order, the more expensive it will be down the road. The more time you delay in getting down to business, the harder it will be to marry off your kids without taking loans. Do you want to have to move in with your children when retired because you don’t have enough money? We promise that we will “get to it soon,” but never do.
We all find the hour or two to go to the doctor if we are not feeling well; meeting with your financial adviser takes about as long, and will help ensure that your financial health is in order. And just like the doctor, continued cooperation with your financial adviser will ensure that your investments remain consistent with your goals. An annual financial checkup should be scheduled to review your portfolio and make sure that it is still consistent with your needs. On the same note, make sure that your investment strategy remains current. If there is a change in your financial situation, consider whether your strategy needs to be reevaluated.
This whole process takes about two hours: an hour or so for the meeting and I strongly recommend spending an hour or so in preparation. I find that when a client comes prepared to a meeting, a tremendous amount is accomplished. In preparation, map out your financial goals. Using an expert will help you decide how to invest your savings, but you should first have a firm handle of your short and long-term goals and needs.
How much income will you need to supplement your existing pension? Do you have children or grandchildren to marry off? Are your elderly parents in need of care? Use your adviser as a sounding board. The adviser can tell you if your goals are realistic, and if not, you can work together to come up with goals that can be achieved.
Find the time to get your finances in order. The sooner you do so, the sooner you will enjoy a future doing the things that truly bring you pleasure.
The information contained in this article reflects the opinion of the author and not necessarily the opinion of Portfolio Resources Group, Inc. or its affiliates.
The writer is author of the book Retirement GPS: How to Navigate Your Way to A Secure Financial Future with Global Investing (McGraw-Hill); is a licensed financial professional both in the United States and Israel; and helps people who open investment accounts in the United States. Securities are offered through Portfolio Resources Group, Inc. ( Member FINRA, SIPC, MSRB, FSI. For more information, call (02) 624-0995 visit or email