choosing a financial planner can be difficult. Not because there are so few choices, but because there are so many.
When it comes to choosing a financial planner, many people find themselves in a quandary. On one hand, you may not trust commissioned sales people to put the clients’ interests first. On the other hand, you don’t have the $500,000 to $1,000,000 in “investable assets” required by most “fee-only” wealth advisors. And you certainly will have to think twice before putting your financial future in the hands of a dot.com algorithm.
Is there an alternative? Definitely. Bob Goldman Financial Planning offers hourly planning only, with no sales, no commissions, no fees and no “investable minimums.”
It may feel uncomfortable at first, paying for advice you get for “free” from other investment advisors, but hourly costs are usually much lower than typical commissions or management fees. They are also completely visible to you — not hidden away in confusing financial statements, or never revealed at all.
Be honest. We’d all like to believe that some advisor, some computer, some giant financial company will be able to beat the markets and make us more money. They can’t. And they won’t. No matter how well-dressed the advisor, no matter how well decorated the office, no one can predict the future. It’s just impossible.
And why should you pay commissions and fees, year after year after year, to do something that is impossible?
THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING A FIDUCIARY
Consumers lose billions of dollars every year buying financial products that benefit the salesperson more than the investor.
It’s a situation so patently unfair that on April 6, 2016, the government proposed an important new regulation requiring stockbrokers, investment advisers, life-insurance agents, and annuity salespeople to be fiduciaries. To put it simply – as fiduciaries, they are required put their clients’ financial interests before their own.
You didn’t know that “customers first” is not the rule in the financial planning industry?
It isn’t, and even now, the new regulation will only apply to retirement accounts. For your other financial needs, you’re still on your own.
Of course, the investment and insurance interests have been fighting the newly proposed fiduciary rule with every dollar and every politician they can muster. They are likely to keep fighting, too.
What can you do about it?
Before you make an investment, buy a financial product, or hire a financial adviser, ask the question — is the person you are working with bound by the fiduciary standard?
If their answer is no, you are in the danger zone — take your money and run.
[Yes, Bob Goldman operates under the fiduciary rule. Always has. Always will.]