Are you dealing with a salesperson or a true financial advisor?

A salesperson will:

  • Usually represent just one company or just one company’s product
  • Place their needs or their company’s needs above yours
  • Present few options
  • Confuse you
  • Discuss a problem, excite you with a solution, and sell you something. This could be a mutual fund, an asset allocation model, an index annuity, the latest fad, or worse, an unregistered investment.
  • Many times they will come to your home to isolate your decision making process and to exert undue influence.
  • Gather information to use against you.
  • State everybody else is wrong.
  • Not reveal their true fees, costs, risks, or compensation.
  • Stress benefits without stating risks.
  • Never contact you again unless they have something else to sell.

A true financial advisor will:

  • Place your interests first
  • Define your objectives for:
    • Building an estate
    • Minimization of income taxes
    • College funding
    • Retirement planning
    • Purchase of a second home
    • Charitable giving
    • Estate tax planning
  • Determine asset allocation for:
    • Evaluating risk tolerance & explaining forms of risk
    • Discussing investment time horizon
    • Considering existing investments
    • Discussing risk & return
    • Using diversification
    • Explaining portfolio insurance
  • Adopt an investment policy statement to:
    • Outline your objectives
    • Define asset allocation targets
    • Provide an investment road map
    • Define your comfort level and design a portfolio to suit you
  • Implement an investment plan by:
    • Dollar cost average into positions
    • Selecting investments for each asset class, such as:
      • Fixed income

      • Taxable bonds
      • Municipal bond funds
      • Individual bonds
      • Bond strategies
      • Fixed annuities
      • CDs

        Equities

      • U.S. stock funds
      • International stock funds
      • Individual equities
      • Real estate investment trusts
      • Managed fund platforms
      • Variable annuities
      • Closed end funds
      • Exchange traded funds
  • Monitor the progress by:
    • Reviewing accounts quarterly
    • Rebalancing to target allocation
    • Adjusting target allocation for significant changes in circumstance
    • Explaining new products and strategies as they evolve
  • Communicate throughout the process by doing:
    • Comprehensive quarterly reports
    • Quarterly newsletters
    • Annual client meetings
    • One on one access to investment advisor via phone or in person