Let’s back up. The question you should be asking yourself is “Why would I hire a financial advisor?” Nearly every prospective client that comes into our office hears the same thing – “You are capable of doing most of the things we are about to discuss. You should know that before you consider hiring us.” For that to be true, you only need to clear 3 hurdles.

First, you need to have a desire to do this type of work. Desire is also a function of spare time. You are very busy with a lot of things pulling for your attention and you need to have a desire to do this, otherwise procrastination will set in. This hurdle is fairly straightforward. You either have desire (time) or you do not.

Second, you need to have a bit of financial acumen. From that, you can draw on the endless resources available to us today on the internet to build your knowledge base. If you have a comprehension about basic financial matters, you are well on your way to clearing this second hurdle.

Third, most important, and the biggest hurdle to clear is to be unemotional. You need to be able to manage your emotions when making these decisions. When the markets go south and your account values plummet, how will you react? Do you have the ability to be calculated in your thinking, removing emotion from your decision making process? Or will this troubled environment, coupled with an endless 24/7 news cycle paralyze your ability to make a decision? Remember, some of the media fuels a fear machine to drive ratings. Can you block that out and stick to your plan? This hurdle is the biggest in part because it requires us to be extremely objective when evaluating ourselves.

Desire. Acumen. Unemotional. If you have these 3 traits, it is very likely you are capable of managing your own financial plan. If not, seeking the counsel of a professional advisor may be a good idea. Regardless of your conclusion, nothing is permanent and can always be revised. Good luck!