We all have regrets -- missed opportunities, personal failures -- but what's interesting about the typical American's financial regrets is how they revolve around the smallest transactions, and not the big-picture planning goals.
TD Ameritrade is really pushing the new year resolution surveys this week. Having determined that January is the best month for advisors to talk to their clients about the important issues, they've narrowed in on what exactly clients and prospects want to talk about.
It turns out that 56% of the American public regrets various ways they handled their finances during the recent recession, but it's not so much about getting in or out of an asset class too late or too early -- for 71% of the population, the big regret is simply that we spent too much on things we didn't really want or need.
This is a real conversation starter for advisors who thought they'd covered their clients' basic cash flow planning years ago. Are your clients tired of spending so much? Would they rather scale back, not because they have to or because more active goals have become more important, but simply because they're ready to consumer less?
Or on the flip side, have they been voluntarily going without new cars or vacations over the last few years and now need to be told it's okay to live a little?
Either way, this seems like a quicker way to get most people's attention than talking about their new portfolio allocations.