Dealing with Financial Advisors

Advisors: Plans, Not Fads

Will you ever stop underperforming your own investments? The rollercoaster market naturally spurs you to chase trends and lose sight of what you really ought to do: Stick to a well-advised plan of long-term payoffs and goals.

Avoiding Crisis After a Death

Most women understand too well the odds that later life might find them alone financially. Among baby boomers, for example, an estimated seven out of 10 wives will outlive their husbands. If you’re one of these women, how do you prepare?

Advisors: What Women Need

Anyone familiar with John Gray’s Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus knows the premise that men and women communicate very differently. Perhaps this explains why most female investors prefer to work with a female advisor and most married women leave a male advisor after the husband dies. Starting with the first conversation, women want, need and deserve distinct treatment from financial advisors.

The Magic of Advisor Collaboration

The strength of the best advisor-client relationships is a collaborative spirit.

Clients bare their financial and personal lives to an advisor: That dumb investment you made in your friend’s ice cream parlor, the huge mortgage you took out to buy a McMansion, your plans to have a child in a year or so. Based on that candor, the advisor’s task is to give you clear-eyed counsel, using solid know-how and experience.

Women’s Financial Planning

In his best-seller Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus, John Gray talks about men “going to their caves.” Yet in financial planning, both genders often retreat from difficult situations and decisions. This harms financial futures – especially women’s.

Gurus’ Advice: Be Skeptical

Many financial celebrities, like Dave Ramsey, hand out advice for an audience of millions that rarely applies to a real person. Instead of following their one-size-fits-all rules, you should make decisions based on your unique situation.

I’m not saying you should disregard what Dave or any of the other financial gurus out there has to say. What I am saying is that we need to take their advice with a grain of salt.

Advisors and Better Returns?

Can you quantify a smarter way to own mutual funds? Vanguard Group thinks so. It believes you – and specifically your advisor – could add more than three percentage points to your returns by adopting seven principles.

Vanguard, which specializes in low-costs index funds, recently published a report that lists the seven value-added types of advice that advisors can use to potentially fatten your performance. To make their idea a reality, of course, you need to choose the right fund manager.

Using Advisors: Start Early

Congratulations, recent 2014 graduates. You now embark on an exciting new chapter of your life. You are eager to start a career and work toward achieving all your goals. But where do you begin? How do you make the best out of your first paycheck, and others to come, to finance for your ambitions and dreams in life? Answer: Get a good financial advisor.

4 Uses of an Advisor

What is the value of a financial advisor? The personal touch. Here are four stories of how flesh-and-blood advisors you meet in person (that’s opposed to a robo-advisor, where your contact is digital or over a phone line) benefited their clients.

These good advisors helped clients to overcome emotionally based decisions, stop them from making mistakes, figure out whether to make a big purchase and decipher arcane retirement plans. We’ll have separate articles throughout the summer describing in greater detail how they helped their clients.

Advisors: Trust but Verify

You can never be too careful with the major matters of life – especially your financial future. Take a lesson in caution from a former U.S. president and the heavily armed guards at the gates of a military facility. Trust but verify your financial advisor’s bona fides.

I have the honor to provide financial counseling to service members, going to military installations to talk to soldiers and their families regarding financial issues such as buying a home, saving for retirement, reducing debt or creating a budget.

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