OnPlane Financial Advisors
Do Well. Be Well. Financially.

Blog | Fee Only Certified Financial Planner Washington DC

I like to write about what happens in our lives and how it can relate to our financial lives. Not always but most of the time. So keep checking in. I'm glad to have you reading along.


Note: this post appeared on my previous blog and was published 02.21.2018

Last fall, my wife and I decided to have some trees trimmed and removed from our yard. We took a stroll through the yard and discussed which trees needed attention. Then we discussed and decided how much we were willing to spend on this particular project.

There was one tree in particular we discussed. It was a tree I "wanted" removed, but it didn't "need" to be removed. It wasn't dying, or a safety hazard to the house or our kids playing in the yard. It wasn't a high priority tree.

When our proposal from the tree company came back, we compared it with what we wanted to spend and made some decisions. The tree I wanted removed wasn't going to make the cut (see what I did there?).

My wife suggested I cut the tree down myself. Now I don't mind getting after it with a chainsaw, but this was a pretty big tree.


Could I do it myself? Yeah, I could. I could probably take the time to do some research on the interwebs, maybe watch some YouTube videos, and definitely get my Tim "The Tool Man" Taylor on!!

Then the guys came to remove the trees. They made quick work of the first tree. Like, VERY quick. Now, I'd already decided I was going to leave my tree to the pros but watching them only confirmed my decision.

You see, these guys are pros. They have years of experience and expertise. They have the right tools, and they know when and how to use them. They aren't likely to make the mistakes I was likely to make. Like having the tree fall in the wrong direction. Or watching the tree fall and crush a fence, the house, or maybe even me.

I realized trying to save a little money by doing it myself could have potentially cost me MORE time and MORE money. Mistakes I didn't want to make.

So what does this have to do with anything? Funny you should ask.

It's trendy now to manage our own finances and assets by ourselves. We can save a little money by not paying a financial advisor for his/her advice, or expertise managing our money. The idea being we can get on the internet, maybe hire a robot or download an app on our phone, figure out what we should be doing, and then get after it.

For some people, this can work. And I think most of us can actually do it. But I'm not so sure we can do it successfully. The first question is will we actually spend the time to learn about it?

And how do we know what Google is telling us is actually right for us? Can we avoid mistakes like bailing on the market at the wrong time, or not saving enough money? And what will the future impact of those mistakes be?

Will we have to work longer? Or retire on less? Will it cost us MORE time and/or MORE money?

Working with a financial advisor can save you time AND money. They can coach you around and through the financial decisions that impact your life. They can apply the right tools at the right times. And they can help make sure your tree doesn't fall in the wrong direction.

So I'm going to let the tree guys do what they do. And I'm also going to stick to doing what I do.