Hidden Truths Exposed
What you don't know can and will hurt you. This applies in many arenas, but when planning for a financial future and retirement this is key. Don't ignore what your gut is telling you when receiving financial planning advice.
Take a long hard look at who is giving you the data. If a particular planner has such sage wisdom, why is it that he/she is working long hours, hustling for clients and constantly promoting investments? If they truly had it all mapped out, would't they be enjoying life more and stop pushing financial products on the helpless masses?
I recently had the opportunity to tag along with a financial planner and close friend of mine and attend a retreat sponsored by his parent organization. I'll keep the specifics and names out of this, but what I heard there was just plain sad.
Sure, we had a great time during the two days at a fabulous resort - great food, fun activities, beautiful location, free drinks and gifts, etc. The bottom line was this: Every financial product vendor I met or listened to had an angle to promote their financial product. Most of these incentives benefit only the representative selling it to you the consumer. Rewards and incentives varied but included: cash payments, iPads, free trips, a percentage back on all products and services sold paid out as a cash incentive, etc.
What a conflict of interest. I heard several financial planners talking about how they only promote this or that fund because their commission is much higher, but the actual performance of that particular fund or product was lower that many others. This is what we are all being sold. Unless you have some unique background, experience or an amazing abililty to see through the smoke and mirrors, you will be taken advantage of at some point.
Help For You
The best advice I have ever heard in dealing with financial industry people is to search out a Fee Based financial planner. This group charges a flat fee for their services. Look for independent representatives who charge flat fees only, don't take kick backs or commissions from vendors and can keep your best interests in mind without the conflict of interest that goes along with receiving commissions, gifts, cash, etc from the financial product and investment companies.
The bottom line is that when you seek advice from a financial planner you are seeking just that advice. You didn't sign up for a sales pitch. Many financial planners are pushing an active type of investment strategy, constantly selling and buying new products or services, selling stocks, bonds, etc. This may sound great to some and is often promoted as a way to "beat the market". The reality is far from this. The end result is that your nest egg and retirement savings are chipped away by the hidden fees often wrapped up inside of these financial products. Unless you want to read through the 100 plus page prospectus of all the funds you are in, you will NEVER find this data.