Personal Investment Advice

I wanted to share some personal insight with you all that I have learned over the last 17 years I have been a tax and accounting professional.  I am writing this from the heart, so I do hope you read this.

When I first started, I was simply a tax preparer.  All I did was prepare taxes and tried to minimize the tax burden of my clients.  I was a young, fresh graduate helping my father during very busy tax season.  As I grew and matured, I started to discuss more with my clients, to not only minimize their tax liability, but also help in their planning for the future year.  I took, and still take great pride in knowing that with each client, they are walking away with extra knowledge than had the used someone else to file their taxes.  However, one thing I never gave my clients after saving them their hard-earned money, was investment advice. Many of them would take those tax savings, and probably spent it, vs truly saving it.

I would give the advice on opening an IRA or funding the 401K to save taxes, but I failed to explain what contributing to these types of plans really meant. I, like many tax advisers focused only on the tax and accounting angle of being an advisor.  So, in a way, I was not a real full advisor.  After all, putting away $5,000 or $6,000 into an IRA or other retirement plan to save maybe $900 in taxes, did not always seem to make sense to many, and honestly, how much could $5,000 or $6,000 make in the market over time anyway?  These were the things that many failed to understand, and I perhaps failed to explain.

In 2014, we became financially licensed, and launched our financial planning wing, Sentigent Financial Solutions.  We did this, to be able to not only explain the value of investing from a tax angle, but also from a financial perspective.  We could come full circle, and really be true holistic advisors to our clients.  Not only can we now stress the importance of saving and investing; we could also advise on how to invest.  We had seen too many of our older clients not save enough for retirement. Clients from our father’s generation when he was running the practice.  These are people who we have known for years, but they only did their taxes with us, and did not get any other advice.  They perhaps only contribute the minimum into their 401k plans, and avoided all other retirement and investment vehicles.  They probably thought they were doing enough to meet retirement. Simple concepts such as future value, compounding, and reinvestment were completely alluded.  They were not explained how putting away a flat amount each year could grow to the nest egg they need come retirement.

We believe in this simple expression, that “Doing something, is better than doing nothing,” when it comes to financial stability.  For those clients who wanted to do more, we had the skill set to show them how much they need to put away, to meet their retirement goals.

We have helped countless many over the last 6 years with their retirement goals and needs.  Many have become financially awoke. They are aware of their financial situation instead of blindly spending their savings not knowing they if they are putting their future retirement at risk.

The reason I write this personal message to you all, is if you are not doing anything for your financial sovereignty, is please do something.  If you are doing only the bare minimum, then please do more. If you are not sure how much you should be saving and where it should be invested, then please call us, or any financial advisor you are comfortable with, but please, do not fail to take action.

Retirement goals take time to meet.  One cannot meet their retirement goals in the short term.  Wealth accumulates, it does not materialize.  This is a better way of saying that investments need time in the market, not the timing of the market.  For example, $5000 invested at 7% every year for 10 years, would accumulate to $73918.00.  This is the power of compounding and time in the market.

Before I end this, I leave you these words, as they can be used to relate to your family, friends, and also finance.:

Time is something we cannot get back. Lost opportunities do not come back.  While new opportunities will come, they are never the same as the ones lost.

Thank you for reading,

Vimal Madhani

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