Some invest their money simply because they enjoy following a particular fund or stock by watching its ups and downs, attempting to time the market. Most of us, however, invest our money to accumulate wealth for life style, education, retirement, or some other major goal. We are often led to believe that in order to reach our objective, we must expose our future to additional risk.

To increase one’s wealth, the focus is usually on finding better investments that pay a higher rate of return, often requiring increasing levels of risk in the process. There are many ways to increase your wealth, but the most important way is to be more efficient with the money you already have.

While it is certainly true that higher returns and better investments can often increase one’s wealth, the focus on Rate of Return may not always produce the desired results. We’re not saying you should not seek investments that pay higher returns, but making this your sole focus can turn out to be detrimental and unnecessarily risky.

We’ve all heard that over the long haul, the stock market is likely to return favorable investment results. We agree with that in theory, but few advisors will talk with you about the transferred wealth issues that can exist in these investments. Could this money be lost in a legal judgment? Will the market be up or down on the day you need your money? Will you have to pay taxes when you access your funds? Will your projected returns be achieved? These are questions you should be asking before you consider any financial product.

What is the difference in what you believe to be true and what is true regarding your investments? First, you may not have to take on unnecessary risk to achieve your goals if you can follow a process that will make your money more efficient. In relation to your investment accounts, it is likely that you will transfer significant dollars to our government in the form of taxes. Consider that as your taxable account increases over time, the amount of taxes you pay on that account increases as well. If your account incurs fees or charges of any kind, these costs are also likely to increase as your account increases. What will you transfer, over time, unnecessarily in fees, charges, and taxes related to your investments?

There may be opportunities to increase your wealth through investing. Product alone may not yield the results you expect. Efficient planning involves a process to help you reduce risk, taxes, fees and charges along the way. Recapturing money you are currently losing unknowingly and unnecessarily is a good place to start before taking on more risk.