Investors Face an Information Overload

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Physician's Money Digest, May 15 2003, Volume 10, Issue 9

Originally, the overflow of informationavailable to physician-investors madethem feel better off. Now many have somuch information that they don't knowwhat to do with it. The following aresome ideas to help physician-investors getsmart and avoid falling victim to thesnares of investing information overload.

THE RIGHT GUIDANCE

Imagine if a patient came to youroffice and you said, "I've evaluated yourmedical condition. It's very serious. I'veidentified 3 options, but research stillneeds to be done. Here's all the literature.Do your homework, and let me knowwhat you want to do." Who wants to visita physician like this? We all want physicianswho disclose the 3 options and thenmake their recommendations accordingly.

Likewise, the same type of relationshipshould exist with financial professionals.Financial markets change constantly.The experts know what informationis relevant to clients and what isn't.More importantly, they know why. Theyare trained to know that financial planningis not limited to picking stocks.Instead, it's a huge undertaking thatinvolves research, planning, creating,monitoring, and implementing a strategicplan for every investor.

This level of expertise generally resideswith investment professionals, and rarelywith amateurs who think they can achievethe same results by part-time dabbling.Why not let the financial planners addressall areas relating to financial health?Otherwise, you could be risking yourfinancial security and financial future.

WORRY-FREE PLANNING

To avoid information overload, createa comprehensive written plan with afinancial professional and manage yourfinances based on the plan. Stay on trackreaching these financial goals by stickingto this plan regardless of market conditionsor economic ups and downs.

Once a plan is in place, manage theplan in the following 3 ways:

  • Meet regularly with an advisor;
  • Measure performance against theplan frequently; and
  • Confirm that your goals haven'tchanged since the plan was created.

The remedy:

If changes occur that are personal,physical, or professional, then your nextstep is simple: update the financial plan.The mistake investors often make is tochange the plan for impulsive reasons.The most senseless changes, however, aremade when investors suffer from informationoverload. Hire a financialplanner to do it all, including the worrying.There are too many areas of responsibilityin your life that you can't delegate.Financial planning is not one of them.

Joel G. Block, knownas the Growth Architect, ispresident of Growth-Logic,Inc, in Agoura Hills, Calif.Growth-Logic provides financialplanning, insurance, andinvestment services. For more information,call 818-597-2990 or visit www.growthlogic.com. Mitchell I. Silberman is anindependent, fee-based financial planner inAgoura Hills, Calif, who specializes inhelping professionals make intelligentchoices about their money. He welcomesquestions or comments at 818-991-2282 orwww.mitchsilberman.com.