Thursday, July 24, 2014

Why I Don’t Trust Many Financial Advisors

I am often asked, “Why have I taken such a stance against commissions and those that sell financial products?”

Most Financial Advisors in my area (on some level) are financial product salesmen. They earn a significant portion of their income selling loaded Mutual Funds, life insurance, and/or annuities.

What’s wrong with commissions? What’s wrong with selling financial products? 

I have no problem with commissions. And I have no problem with those who are honest and admit they are Financial Sales people. 

My problem lies with those who try to pretend they are an Advisor or a Planner when in fact their hidden agenda is simply to sell you financial products.

If your Financial Advisor must get you to purchase a particular product to earn their living, how do you know if they are looking out for you or their wallet?

Mutual Funds Truths
Many No Load mutual funds are better than mutual funds with a commission. Has your salesperson ever told you this?

Many Broker sold mutual funds have very high annual expenses. Has your salesperson ever talked to about how much high mutual fund expenses will rob from your retirement?

Annuity Truths
Variable Annuities that pay a commission can cost you 3-4 times as much as a commission-free Variable Annuity. Has your salesperson ever told you this?

Index Annuities: in my opinion, there are way too many lies being told about Hybrid or Index Annuities to mention here. Just remember, you can’t have your cake and eat it too!!!

A Word of Caution
All Financial Advisors have a choice (yes, your Advisor has a choice). A choice to sell financial products on commissions or not. Stop and think… Why do most Advisors continue to operate their businesses by way of commissions when they have a choice?

All financial products have good and bad. ALLLLLL!!!! Depending on your situation, many products have more bad than good. Don’t you think you deserve to know the truth?

If you aren’t working with a Commission-Free / Fee-Only Certified Financial Planner chances are you will never hear about many of the negatives with most financial products. 

I see examples of the above almost every week.

And that’s why I don’t trust many financial advisors.

Friday, June 27, 2014

My Money Tips Of The Week (6/23-6/27)

1.) Many annuities contain surrender fees if you try to get out of the contract during the first few years. Make sure you know these fees!

2.) How your Financial Advisor is paid can have a big impact on the quality of the advice you receive.

3.) Allocating less tax efficient asset classes like REITs and taxable bonds to your IRA's can improve your after-tax returns.

4.) Each year that you postpone Social Security past your full retirement age, you get about an 8% increase until age 70.

5.) Using dividends and new money are a great ways to re-balance your portfolio!

For more money tips and to learn how Fee-Only Financial Planning can help you visit

Friday, June 20, 2014

My Money Tips Of The Week (6/16-6/20)

  1. Did you know that 50-85% of your social security benefits may be included in your taxable income? Plan ahead to lower your tax bill at retirement.
  2. Every financial product has give and take. If you are getting something like a guaranteed return, you are likely giving up something else. There is no free lunch with most financial products.
  3. Are you negotiating with your creditors to get them to settle? Forgiven debt could be taxable income.
  4. The cheapest company is not always the best company for Disability and Long Term Care Insurance.
  5. You need an expert preparing your taxes if you own a small business or rental property. Now's a great time to get a 2nd opinion on your 2013 taxes.
  6. Are you diligently tracking your monthly expenses? If not, stop scratching your head about why you aren't sticking to your budget!
  7. I prefer a Credit Freeze over Identity Insurance.
  8. The "record date" is the day you must own a stock or mutual fund to receive a dividend that quarter.
  9. Age 50+? You're allowed to put an extra $1,000 in your IRA each year!
  10. Never pay sales loads to buy mutual funds! Too many great No Load funds out there to choose from. This could save you tens of thousands!
  11. There is no cookie cutter amount for your emergency fund. Base it on your access to other liquid assets and job stability.
 For more visit

Monday, June 9, 2014

My Money Tips Of The Week (6/2-6/6)

1.) Inflation is your Retirement Plan's archenemy! Make sure your Retirement Plan addresses this risk effectively.

2.) If your 401k doesn't offer matching, an IRA may your better option. Many 401k's have high fees and low quality investment options.

3.) Pensions are mostly a thing of the past, and recent reports say Social Security could be dry by 2033.Your financial future is your responsibility.

4.) Many aren't aware of certain Tax Tricks of Charitable Giving. Tax Planning should be a part of your overall Financial Plan.

5.) The typical Advisor I find endorsing Index Annuities are those that earn commissions to sell them. Coincidence? I think not.

6.) Turnover ratio: % of a fund's holdings that change every year. Frequent trading can drastically lower your returns. Don't ignore this stat!

7.) Research has shown Asset Allocation can be far more important for your performance than mutual fund selection. What's your investment strategy?

For questions or to learn more about how my commission free Financial Planning process can help you, go to

Friday, May 30, 2014

My Money Tips Of The Week (5/26-5/30)

1.) Saving for college? The 529 plan is usually the best way to go!

2.) How much Long-Term Disability insurance should you have? THE MAX YOU CAN GET! Protect your income. It's your largest asset.

3.) Some of your largest assets may not be directed by your Will at your death. Is your Will a worthless document? Estate Planning: a vital part of your Financial Plan.

4.) Expense Ratio: The Mutual Fund stat you can't afford to ignore. Do you know how much your funds are costing you?

5.) “Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results." There is a great reason to this heed warning: Chasing mutual fund performance rarely pays off.

6.) You should never own real estate in a Corporation. It may go in tax free, but it always comes out taxable.

For questions or to learn more about how my commission free Financial Planning process can help you, go to

Monday, May 19, 2014

Money Lie Tellers

Apathy: indifference, lack of interest or concern 

Complacent:  satisfied with how things are and not wanting to change them

Bias: a prejudice for or against something (or someone) 

Backfire Effect: a mental “bias” when your deepest convictions are challenged by contradictory evidence, you reject the evidence, and your beliefs get stronger

Are you to apathetic about your personal finances? Do you have a real lack of interest in your financial success?

Are you complacent about your personal finances? Are you satisfied with financial mediocrity?

Do you have any mental biases about money or personal finance? Are you favoring one financial investment over another based on inaccurate information? Are you favoring one financial person over another based on inaccurate information? When someone challenges your financial convictions is it easier for you to just ignore the facts, and just keep on believing what you have always believed?

These mental hiccups in personal finance may be costing you thousands of dollars.

There are many money truths. And there are many money lies.

I give it my all to only tell money truths, and expose the money lies.

If I were to expose to you a money lie… Would it easier for you to just ignore the facts, and just keep on believing what you have always believed?

There is a TON of inaccurate financial advice in the world today. A few of us are aware of this, but MOST are not. Some of the money lies that are told come from crooks. Financial crooks who knowingly want to rip you off. But most of the money lies are perpetrated by people that you like, know, and/or trust. Many of these unaware “money lie tellers” (whether they are Financial Advisors, or radio show hosts, or book authors, or financial journalists) are not even aware they are telling you money lies. 

To say it another way, many “money lie tellers” don’t really intend to do you financial harm. They are just ignorant about many of the “money truths” thus they are unaware they could be doing you real financial harm.

Let me ask you this. If you are on the “rear end” of a money lie and it costs you hundreds or even thousands of dollars, or if a money lie negatively affects a you or a family member… Do you really care whether or not that the person intentionally wanted to harm you or if they just did out of money ignorance? NO!

Ignorance about money truths is NOT an excuse when it comes to dishing out financial advice that could harm someone. Don’t let yourself be misled or lied to any longer by someone acting out ignorance or by someone who intends to scam you.

I could give you a long, long list of the money lies right now that are told every week on 2 of the most popular financial radio shows in the country.

I could give you a long, long list of the money lies that are told in the majority of the “free dinner” financial workshops/seminars hosted by so-called Financial Advisors.

I could give you a long, long list of the money lies that are told every day by the financial media.

Did you know that many Financial Advisors don’t have any educational background in finance? Nor do they hold any of the top financial credentials. Did you know that many of the top financial journalists or top financial radio show hosts have never held any top financial credentials, and many are considered ignorant kooks by most of the top financial minds?

Just because someone has a title like Financial Advisor, hosts a radio show, writes an article, or publishes a book does NOT mean they cannot be ignorant about many areas of personal finance! Too many money lies are told every day, and too many of you believe them.

I have a BBA in finance, a MBA in accounting, an international accounting certification, insurance and estate planning designation, and also the top credential of Certified Financial Planner. I have been a student of my profession almost every day since 2001. Not because I always enjoy it or because I am math or money nerd BUT because that is what it takes to learn the money trusts and avoid ever telling a money lie.

You want to know how to avoid falling for money lies? Get your financial information from real financial experts.

A financial expert is more than just a title, an author of a book, or host of a radio or TV show.

If you keep looking towards those who are not truly financial experts you will likely come up short in your financial life. You may not realize it until it’s too late, but you will come up short.

Those of you who can locate the real financial experts… Those without hidden agendas, without conflicts of interest, who understand the money truths will likely come out ahead in the long run.