The case against DIY

A couple of years ago I wanted a new deck.  I checked around and found out what the professionals were charging, and I thought that it was too much.  How difficult is it to build a deck?  After a little research and buying a couple how to books, I decided that I would save some money and build my own deck.  It would be fun.

There were no major problems and I now have a deck that I built myself.  It was not, however, fun and it is no where near what I had envisioned.   A professional would certainly have done better.  In fact, after a couple of years, I am thinking about having it rebuilt by a professional to get the deck I really wanted.  I guess I could have saved myself time and money if I had hired a professional in the first place.

What does my DIY adventure have to do with personal finance, though, you may be asking at this point?  Well, the same DIY principles can apply to finance.  Go to any bookstore and there will be a large section devoted to personal finance.  Most of them claim that you can do it yourself.  And they are right – to a point.  Investing can be as simple as following an index, but, like my deck, it is also deceptively more complex.  Warren Buffet’s business partner, Charles Munger said, “Investing is simple, but not easy.”

Despite the DIY industry, the fact remains that a professional advisor can help add significant value to a financial plan by helping to create a plan, choosing the right investments, helping with taxes and regulations, and keeping you on track when everyone seems to be panicking.  This report by the Conference Board of Canada shows the benefit.

Saving for the Future: Impacts of Financial Advice on the Canadian Economy

This is why I always encourage people to seek out professional financial advice.  If you have a financial question, I hope you will reach out.  I will be happy to talk to you.