Here at Annuity123, we have the utmost respect for financial advisors. In fact, we place them up high on a pedestal just as we do doctors or any other practitioner that increases consumer’s wealth or health. However, we also realize doctors, lawyers, pro athletes and financial advisors are people just like you and me, who have specialized in a certain field. Just as there exists corrupt doctors and lawyers, the same can exist for financial planners. But you probably didn’t need me to tell you that after we all witnessed both Bernie Madoff and Mr Stanford rob consumers out of billions of dollars in the last few years. In most cases, a couple of bad apples give the entire group a negative and tainted image.
The only good news to come out of these detrimental and unforgivable financial scams is that it has created more over sight of financial advisors, and more awareness for consumers on what to look out for. Although many smart and well-educated consumers are duped by scams everyday, we need to be smarter consumers and always ask ourselves, “Is this really too good to be true?”. If someone is guaranteeing (or even promising) you 25% returns each year, then you should probably run the other way. As a fellow consumer, we need to take some responsibility ourselves and make smart and sound financial decisions. We can’t keep blaming our loses on the snake oil salesman or stock jockey that lured us into the pit.
Which all leads me to the main point of this blog. Become the boss of your financial advisor. So many times I have heard friends and co-workers complain they lost money in the stock market or a certain investment. And the complaint is always followed up with “I was just taking my advisors advice”. They admit they were too naive to question his/her advice and just assumed they were leading them down the right path. Now I have close personal relationships with both financial planners and doctors, but I don’t always take their advice. I always listen to it, but acting on everything they say would be crazy.
It is time you change the way you think about professionals. From doctors, lawyers, and your financial advisor. As I mentioned above, they are usually smart people who are very specialized, but that doesn’t make them perfect. And please don’t think the goal of this blog is to belittle or tear down these professionals. Personally, my life would be worse off without them, and I would be most people in the country could say the same thing. What I am trying to convey is if you aren’t 100% comfortable with any recommendation you get, then question it. Always remember that financial advisors work for YOU. Not the other way around. They are simply tradesmen who have acquired specialized skills to sell in the financial sector. If at any time you feel that you aren’t in charge, that you can’t speak up, or feel like things are moving too fast, speak up. Not only will it help you personally, but it will make it that much harder for the small percentage of bad professionals to hurt other people.