One of the most frequent concerns I hear from savers is the reality that not all financial advisors are apparently working in the best interest of their clients. I hear this so frequently from clients and prospective clients, that I’ve compiled a list of the most frequent blunders Financial Advisors are making, enjoy and beware:
- One-size-fits-all. If a financial advisor is only talking about one product, they’re always talking about other products that won’t work. The reason we use certain products is we’re working with savers. There’s a lot of products out there we don’t sell or offer because they’re more for investors. We just don’t deal with them. It doesn’t mean that they’re bad products, it just means that we don’t usually use them for our saver clienteles.
- Dinner Seminars. Folks, those $50 steak dinners cost advisors nothing compared to the amount of money financial advisors, even myself, make on your money. So be wise about these things. It’s fun to go and enjoy a nice meal but realize there is a lot of psychology involved. Just because somebody is nice and buys you a steak dinner, doesn’t mean that you must turn over all your money without understanding what’s going to happen next.
- Out-of-state advisors. Clients bring this topic up to me a-lot. “What about this guy in Chicago?” I say to them, “Are you going to go out, and work with this fellow that’s five states away? Does he meet with you personally, or does she meet with you personally?” And they say well, no. Well, that’s the difference. We do. I meet with all of our clients personally at some point in the process. What most of these situations are, they’re lead generators, and they’re going to send somebody out that may or may not know much about money to give you advice on your retirement. Pretty scary. I call these folks gophers. They go for the money. You have to check out, and make sure that the people actually coming to call on you, who’ve propositioned you on these TV shows, really know what the heck they’re doing.
- Lone-wolf Advisors. Not to say that someone working out there with no staff can’t provide good information. They certainly can… Some of them are very sharp advisors. The problem is retirement is a process. It’s not a product. When you purchase products from somebody, they’re making a commission or fees, one or the other. With Tony Walker Financial, we work on both. The difference is we have a full-time staff that provides a lot of support, answers and help you with other matters that come up throughout retirement. You’re going to need assistance as you get older because financial situations will change. I’ve been doing this 34 years. I can speak from experience. The only thing that’s certain is things will change. Here’s one of my favorites. A lot of people will say financial advisor’s fees are better than paying commissions. I’m abbreviating here in the essence of time.
- Fees Are Better Than Commissions. Advisors will tell you that fees– in other words, paying them in fees – will save you a lot of money. Don’t pay those commissions. Nothing could be further from the truth. You can work on fees and commissions. Sometimes fees are better for the client, sometimes commissions. It all just depends. So again, don’t be afraid to work with people that charge commissions, just make sure you understand how much they’re making, and how those commissions are being paid. Are they paid by the institutions, or are they paid out of pocket by you?
- Financial Control Freaks. What I’ve discovered with anybody that’s a control freak is many of these people are kind of insecure. They’re afraid that somebody might have more information than they do. Now, I’ve done this 34 years. I’ve successfully matriculated through the CLU and CFP program, but you know what I’ve found? I don’t know everything there is to know about finances, folks. It’s a big old world out there. What I’ve tried to do is get a niche – I work with Savers. I mainly specialize in people retired or nearing retirement. I’m really, really good at fixed annuities, and then I use the Charles Schwab platform, low fees, low cost, good service for some of their money. We have a very good planning process, but we don’t assume we’re going to work with everybody. We don’t want to be control freaks here. We have to assume that sometimes you have better options outside Tony Walker Financial. That’s OK. If somebody acts like they’re the only game in town, then we’ve all got a problem.
- “In Writing.” Folks, this is getting rampant. I’m seeing more and more advisors do this. I don’t know what advisors are doing unless you tell me. But basically, I’m seeing people who are going to advisors, they’re putting all the details on a white board, or they’re talking a great game, and going on, and on about how much money they’ll save you. However, they are not willing to put any of their recommendations in writing. This is a very scary thing because they’re wanting you to move the money over. If you find out later they’re not able to do what they had promised, now the money’s been moved over. There’s no telling how much it will cost to get it out. You may have even paid money to move it over. So again, seventh one, and finally, probably the biggest, don’t get anything moved over. Don’t let go of any money until you see something in writing, which incidentally, at Tony Walker Financial, we will promise to always give you something in writing before ever asking you to make a financial decision to invest in our process. So
Why don’t you consider meeting with us to avoid these blunders when planning for your retirement? Go to our Let’s Get Started page, and fill out your information. Let’s have a conversation about your retirement, and how we can build trust into that retirement so you can worry less about it!