Self-Directed vs. Advised

Self-Directed vs. Advised — Go your own way or go with a pro?


Self-Directed vs. Advised — Go your own way or go with a pro?

If your kitchen needs painting, you’ve got two choices: get out the brushes and rollers and do it yourself, or call in a professional painter. You may like the satisfaction of accomplishing the job on your own. But if you don’t know how to paint, you might end up with a real mess. Even if you’re a wonderful painter, you may not have the time it takes to do a great job, so it could be worth bringing in a pro.

When it comes to investing, the choices are similar. The question is, do you feel as capable picking investments as you do picking paint swatches? And do you have the time? If so, great. If not, you can turn to a financial professional for help.

If picking and managing your own investments sounds intimidating, you may want to work with a financial professional.

The DIY approach

If you understand investment basics like risk vs. return, stocks vs. bonds, mutual funds, and how diversification helps to minimize risk, then you might consider the do it yourself (DIY) approach.

First, how much money it will take to fund your retirement lifestyle? Secondly, how much do you need to save to reach that goal? In addition, what investment return is required to reach the goal? ING has tools that can help you do this.

Armed with all this information, you can build a diversified portfolio from the many mutual funds available to match your investment objectives and risk tolerance. ING offers many account options that can help you go your own way.

Let a pro do the heavy lifting

If the idea of picking and managing your own investments sounds a little intimidating, you may want to work with a financial professional. A financial professional can help you develop long-term financial goals and build and manage a personalized investment portfolio. Most financial professionals charge a fee, so be sure you understand any associated expenses prior to investing. 

ING Retirement Research Institute recently conducted a study with more than 14,000 individuals. Results showed that investors who work with a financial professional:

  • Save more for retirement — On average, they save two to three times more than the do-it-yourselfers.
  • Have more spending money — Even after saving more, they have more excess cash to spend on discretionary items.
  • Feel more financially confident — The more time they spend with their financial professional, the more their confidence increases because they learn how to balance short-term needs with long-term goals.

The choice is yours

Hands on or hands off? Fortunately, ING has choices either way. You can always try a combination of the two approaches, by getting some professional guidance on managing your own investments. We can help develop a solution that offers the flexibility to get you where you need to go.