The Value of Professional Help

Two weekends ago, the entire Meridian family headed out to Airlie in Warrenton, VA for our “second annual” picture session. The purpose was twofold; 1) to get updated pictures for our website and office, and 2) have some nice photos for our Christmas cards each year. As far as family pictures go, things surprisingly went pretty well. Especially when you consider you’re asking high-energy kids to sit still, smile, and look at a camera for a few hours.

If you aren’t already aware, trying to take pictures with (and of) kids is akin to herding cats. It’s almost impossible if you don’t have professional help. As parents of three kids, we have long ago realized this, and so we use our good friend and professional photographer Jen Dowell to help us out. She not only takes good pictures, but she is also able to expertly deal with children (which is a whole different animal!).

During the process, my wife asked our friend (who will remain nameless, but may or may not be related to one of the Meridian partners!) to take a picture of us with her phone. See if you can tell which picture was taken by the professional:

A picture of a happy family sitting on a stone wall and bench

Hint: It’s the one on the right!

A lot of times, when we first meet with a client, his or her investment portfolio can look a lot like the photo on the left. A few things are okay, but when you look at the whole picture, things are a bit of a mess. Getting different accounts to all be working together and for the same common goal (retirement, gifting, etc.) is an important part of the investment management and financial planning process.

Professional help with your financial planning and investments can go a long way toward helping you succeed in achieving your goals. We have not only seen clients with accounts all over the place, but we have also seen clients with the different accounts that hold the exact same investments and don’t even know it. That can be a bad recipe if that investment goes down.

An investment professional with the right knowledge, experience, and integrity can help get your money working the right way for you. And, he or she can help you avoid ruining your chances of success, or in the above picture, your chances of a decent Christmas card.

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