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Liz Miller

Book Interview: Clutter-Free Wealth

Clutter Free Wealth

Getting To Know The Author: Liz Miller

Isaac

Today i’d like to thank Liz Miller for taking the time out to do this interview about her book Clutter-Free Wealth. Liz how are you doing today?

Liz Miller

Great, thank you.

Isaac

Good to hear, what inspired you to write this book? Do you feel that the average person is somewhat lost when it comes to managing their wealth?

Liz Miller

I believe many people start out managing their own wealth, but over time it becomes overwhelming. I have been a portfolio manager for over 20 years, and a number of years ago I started seeing clients coming to me with questions other than investment related. They would ask how they could help their children buy their first house or whether they should consider a family foundation. These are not specific to investment choices and I started realizing that managing wealth has gotten very complex. Successful individuals start out with a complete sense of control, but along the way there are too many choices and too many considerations to go it alone. I wanted to share my approach for simplifying the complexity.

Isaac

The amount of choice definitely can make decision making harder, do you think it’s also a case of information overload?

Liz Miller

It is definitely a case of information overload and choice overload. I have many clients come to me with spreadsheets they have had to prepare themselves to keep track of a mix of mutual funds, brokerage accounts and retirement funds. Sometimes there is an insurance policy or two as well. They accumulate each of these because they hear that they are all the right building blocks to wealth. It soon gets out of control, though, and these people share with me that they spend most of their time filling out the spreadsheet instead of being able to consider if all these accounts are helping them reach their financial goals.

Isaac

I’ve seen that you have plenty of Wall Street experience, holding the prestigious CFA designation – how did your work in investment banking and later, your boutique investment firm shape your understanding of wealth management, were there any particularly vital lessons your career taught you that you have passed down onto your readers/clients?

Liz Miller

I started my career as a mergers & acquisitions analyst in the mid-80s. So I was privileged to have been a part of a unique time in Wall Street’s history. I learned how to do complex company analysis with some amazing people. Later I had the opportunity to work on one of the first proprietary trading desks and then manage mutual funds. So I have uniquely been a part of a number of different investment vehicles. Because I understand and have managed some of the most complex opportunities out there, I think I have even more credibility when I share that long-term success can come from keeping it simple.

Getting To Know More About The Book

Isaac

No doubt, the 80s was a crazy time for the M&A industry. It’s interesting that all that experience has lead to the conclusion that simpler is better when you have so many providers advertising additional services. As the title states, you believe too many people have too much clutter in their wealth management strategy, what would you say is the single biggest mistake you see most often? Do you think the wealth advisory industry can be blamed for some of this over-clutter?

Liz Miller

Most often I see investors who have almost given up knowing if their wealth is working for them. They started out with a deep sense of comfort and control. Now they don’t even know where to begin to get back that sense of control. Sometimes, they did decide that finding a financial advisor is the answer, but they may have trouble finding the right one. I think a financial advisor is often essential to long-term success, but we have to help investors ask their own questions to find the right advisor. the number one mistake I see is investors start focusing on a single investment that they believe may be under-performing, but they haven’t identified their overall personal financial goals. With clear goals, it doesn’t matter what one investment is doing at any given time what matters is that the entire portfolio is on track for the goal.

Isaac

Exactly, that is one of the benefits of having a well-diversified portfolio – you don’t have to rely on one investment. What would you say is the first thing everyone should do when it comes to decluttering their wealth?

Liz Miller

The first step I suggest is a bit like cleaning out your closet. You have to take stock of everything you own. In the book, I have a template to help someone list everything they own and everything they owe. Just like cleaning out that closet, we so easily procrastinate this step. But once it is done, you immediately feel more in control. In fact, most everyone I have helped through this process also comes out feeling a lot more confident just from this first step.

Isaac

Well as the saying goes, the first step is always the hardest. Winding down the interview, if you had to give an interested reader only one reason to pick up your book, what would it be?

Liz Miller

I think this book will help anyone approach their portfolio in a very personal way and realize that it doesn’t matter what is happening in the stock market each day or each week; it matters that you know your own portfolio is on track for the retirement, lifestyle or legacy that is most important to you.

Isaac

Liz Miller, thanks so much for having this interview with us, I’m sure our readers will love to read more about how they can declutter their wealth with Clutter-Free Wealth. I hope you have a great week ahead!

Liz Miller

Thank you so much and the same to you!

Connect with the Author

Liz Miller’s Website

Clutter Free Wealth Website

Buy Clutter-Free Wealth

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