Picking an investment professional can be a daunting task. You're trusting someone to manage your money for your retirement. That’s a long term commitment to say the least! You want to have someone on your side who has your interest, not theirs, in mind. In an industry that is filled with bad advice and a lot of noise, I have a few things you should look for in an investment professional.
1. Heart of a teacher
You want your investment professional to have the heart of a teacher. Someone who understands your objectives and is willing to sit down and explain how they plan on growing your money. If they’re throwing around $5 words, they probably aren’t the right person for you. Your investment professional should be able to explain their process in a way that a 4th grader could understand. They should be available to have at least one meeting a year with you and be easy to connect with throughout the year to answer any questions you may have.
2. Not a Captive agent
A native agent is someone who only works for one company. They only have access to insurance policies and investments that are offered through their company. It's like walking into a grocery store and only being able to buy one brand. This means that policies can sometimes cost up to 15% more! Look for agents that are brokers. They can shop multiple companies (brands) and get you the best deals.
3. Doesn't Use DSCs.
DSC stands for deferred sales charge. It's one of a few ways an investment advisor gets paid and it costs you, the client, the most. The way a DSC works is, it discourages you from selling for a period of time, usually somewhere between 5-7 years. The longer you hold a fund with a DSC, the less you'll be charged when you sell it. The fee declines every year according to a fixed schedule. The problem with DSCs is they can discourage you from selling an under performing fund by charging you a high fee.
Investing shouldn’t be a complicated thing. Your investment professional should have a pretty simple laid out plan for you. If they use words like Penny Stocks, Day Trading, or even try and combine your investing with a “life insurance” product, it’s a sure sign they don’t have your best interest in mind. You need to RUN!
Picking your team
Having the right investment professional on your side can be the difference between an "okay" retirement and a ROCK STAR dream retirement. Don't wait, if you are unsure of how your money is performing or you need help with picking an investment professional we are here to help. Connect with a coach today.