Hiring an Investment Advisor? The North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) has published a brochure titled “Cutting through the Confusion: Where to Turn for Help with Your Investments”, that I have found is extremely helpful for investors to reference when making this very important decision. The following excerpt has been taken from the brochure:
“There are many reasons you might want help with your investments. Perhaps you want to start a college fund for your child. Maybe you are concerned that you are not doing enough to save for retirement. Or maybe you simply feel the need to get your financial house in order.
While some people are comfortable handling their own investments, many are not. They find the idea of creating a plan for allocating their assets bewildering, choosing a mutual fund intimidating, and designing an investment portfolio to be one more thing for which they have neither the time nor the expertise.
This is nothing to be embarrassed about. Investing can be confusing. The good news is there are thousands of people in the financial services industry who can help with financial and investment decisions. Unfortunately, finding the right investment services provider may seem almost as confusing, intimidating, and time-consuming as choosing the right investments.
This brochure was developed by the Coalition for Investor Education to help you cut through the confusion. It covers those financial services providers – investment advisers, brokers, and financial planners – who provide assistance with securities investments (such as stocks, bonds, and mutual funds) as part of their services. Our goal is to provide some basic information you can use to find an investment services provider who is right for you – one who offers services you want on terms you understand and accept.”
While you may think you’re working with an “investment advisor” or “financial planner” that always has your best interest in-mind, you may actually be working with a broker. Examples of brokers are Edward Jones, Ameriprise, Northwestern Mutual, etc. These companies fall under the “broker-dealer” category, which means that they do not have a fiduciary duty to their customers.
The end of the brochure referenced above gives an ‘Investor Checklist’. Make sure to carefully go through the questions that you should be asking yourself, as well as the questions to ask your service provider, before making this very important decision. As always, we provide a FREE 2nd Opinion Portfolio Review and would be more than happy to discuss your financial planning goals with you – please give us a call at 913.402.6099 to schedule your meeting.
If you aren’t sure whether your portfolio is positioned properly for the current market environment based on the amount of risk that you’re comfortable with, please give us a call at 913.402.6099 to schedule your FREE “2nd Opinion Portfolio Review.”
John P. Chladek, MBA, CFP® is the President of Chladek Wealth Management, LLC, a fee-only financial planning and investment management firm specializing in helping families and couples who are not yet retired realize their financial goals. For more information, visit http://www.chladekwealth.com.