I'm sure that these questions and statements are familiar to you; otherwise, you should probably change physicians! You don't want your doctor to treat an ailment, prescribe medication, or order surgery before he knows what's going on, do you? The doctor needs to know the answer to "where does it hurt?" The same approach applies to financial services business.
Let's examine what goes on in that industry to make sure that the advisor you're working with is following his or her own "Hippocratic Oath."
When you meet with your financial advisors, do they ask for a complete picture of your financial health? Are they asking you where you "hurt financially?" Believe me, most Americans do have some financial "ouchies." Most of us aren't going to volunteer where it hurts unless someone specifically asks us.
Sometimes they have to ask us once, twice, or maybe more times before we “fess up.” Perhaps it’s just pride. Financial illness can make us feel as though we brought on ailment ourselves. We may even feel stupid when admitting to our economic pain. Consequently, a good, safe money advisor has to pry. It's not unlike what a doctor is doing when he brings in your chart (your personal medical file).
- Expenses too high, income too low.
- Excessive credit card debt.
- Significant losses in the equity market.
- The high cost of prescription drugs and medical care.
- Maybe a new or unexpected major expense. For example, a new roof, furnace, etc. (We've all had those things creep into our lives!).
These pains are relatively easy to diagnose, and the prescription for financial health is somewhat easier. You control your expenses, increase your income, develop a budget, and you create a plan of attack to eliminate your financial pain. Even though these things are rather obvious, there’s still a lot of tough medicine to take. But what about those harder-to-diagnose financial pains that keep us up at night?
One of the many annoying problems that comes with getting older is increased worry. It seems as though worry should lessen as we age, but it doesn't. Many of us continue to worry about our kids, even after they're out of school and married. Granted, the worries are usually different, but they give us some sleepless nights. I speak from personal experience here. If my wife and I are lucky enough to have grandchildren, I know we’re are going to worry about them too. We're going to hope that they're healthy, that they do well in school, go to college, graduate, get good jobs, find and marry wonderful partners, have kids, buy wonderful homes, and retire wealthy. Sounds kind of Disneyesque, doesn’t it – sort of a “Father Knows Best” image from the 1950s!
But today is not the 1950s! There’s been a dramatic change in life expectancy over the past fifty or sixty years. Today, it's common for both men and women to live well into their eighties and nineties. It's not very unusual to read or hear about many people living past age100! You talk about worry!
With these statistics in mind, many of us are asking some serious questions: “Can I really afford to live that long?” “If I could only be assured that I'll have enough money.” “How can I pass on a legacy to my kids and grandkids?” “I wish I didn’t have to worry about the stock market when I watch the evening news.” “If only I could relax knowing that I am safe financially so I can finally get a good night's sleep.” These are the "pains" of aging that most of us aren't comfortable discussing with strangers.
Now, you don't want your new financial advisor barging in prescribing a fix while they have their hand on their office door ready to leave! You wouldn't want your doctor doing that either! When choosing a new financial advisor, you should make sure that the person you're going to work with is someone you like. That's right, “like” – someone you feel comfortable with. Second, that new advisor must be someone you trust, a person who demonstrates both integrity and credibility. Third, he or she should be someone who will prescribe "safe" medicine and then explain all of the potential side effects that may occur, without your having to ask.
Fourth, your new financial advisor must be a professional who is looking out for your complete well-being and who will refer you to other financial professionals when the need arises (an attorney or accountant, for example). And finally, make sure your new advisor is someone who's going to check back with you and give you a financial review on a periodic and regular basis.
Well, the financial advisor you choose should be a part of the Safe Money Places Agent Network®. This professional Safe Money Places® member should be part of your financial “medical” team. The financial services business is in many ways like the medical profession. Financial advisors are dealing with financial “ailments,” and even though, in most cases, our decisions won't kill you, there may be situations that can do serious harm. For example, similar to the lack of good, regular medical attention, your financial health can suffer from an insignificant amount of monthly income. Unless your advisor knows all of the facts, he or she cannot help diagnose the problems and offer solutions. Financial professionals, again, must treat you as your medical professional does. Ask questions, make sure that he or she knows where it hurts, offer a prescription for a “cure,” and stay in touch with you to see how your financial “rehab” is working. Then and only then will your advisor be able to adjust your plan and help you back to financial health.
Here’s your next step. Visit our website (safemoneyplaces.com) and click on the Agent Locator button. Contact a Safe Money Places agent in your area and make an appointment – a no charge, no obligation complete diagnosis of your current financial health! Tell your Safe Money Places financial “doctor” where it hurts! Then, go through the checklist from above, making sure, first, that you like and trust the advisor, and that he or she demonstrates to your satisfaction that your financial health will be in good hands!
Visit www.safemoneyplaces.com right now! If you can’t find an agent listed in your area, we will have one contact you. And yes, we do make house calls!