If your retirement account is based on a 401(k) plan, an IRA or a mutual fund portfolio, there’s a good chance whoever is managing your assets is in some way involved in a conflict of interest. The White House Council of Economic Advisors has reported that over a trillion dollars of IRA investment money is connected with conflicts of interest. Here are six questions to ask your money manager to help you decide if cash advances online are worth using to start an investment.
What is your interpretation of the fiduciary standard?
The Investment Advisors Act of 1940 requires investment advisors (fiduciaries) to put client interests above their own. President Obama is working on applying this standard to a greater number of advisors since 90 percent of them are allowed to sell products that can boost their own fees, regardless of whether or not the investments are in your best interests. Fiduciaries are required to disclose to clients trades that may be considered a conflict of interest. Any advisor who cannot clearly articulate what the fiduciary standard means is someone to avoid.
- How did you decide on these investments?
Employer 401(k) plans commonly offer a menu of up to a dozen investment options, which tend to be mutual funds. Many mutual fund managers simply pay 401(k) administrators to include their funds in these menus. While the financial industry cleverly calls this scheme “revenue sharing,” it’s really the same kind of bribery that exists when record labels pay radio stations to play certain songs. So before committing to any investment, protect your cash advances online by doing some research.
Have you personally invested in the products you’re selling me?
Find out how much the money manager believes in what he or she is selling you and why he or she is committed to those products. If it’s an investment the money manager would never make his or herself, why should you trust that it will work for you? While mutual fund managers may be reluctant to share such information with non-millionaires, managers who disclose they have significant investments in the same products they’re selling you are more desirable.
What are Your Financial Planning and Investment Approach?
Every financial advisor has their own way of approaching financial planning and investments. Some financial advisors concentrate only on investments. Others are comprehensive planners that manage the entire planning process. Some advisors cater to DIY clients who prefer to implement advice on their own.
Make sure you understand your potential advisor’s financial planning approach so you can choose the one that is the right fit for you.
It’s important to ask your financial planner a follow-up question to this one: does the advisor have any restrictions on what products and services they can offer? You don’t want an advisor who is only qualified to sell insurance products to be giving you investment advice.
Source: WovenCapital(Aaron Hatch)
What are your services and investment strategy?
Before starting a conversation with a financial planner, figure out what you are looking for. Then find out whether the advisor’s services match up with your wants and needs.
Are you looking for a full package of services, including investing, tax, estate and other advising services? Or do you need someone to set your investments on track and monitor them a couple of times per year? Maybe you just want a one-time meeting with an advisor for a quick check.
If the advisor has a complex strategy or investing approach, ask for empirical support and documentation that shows the approach has merit. There are reams of research supporting the success of a simple, market-matching, passive, index fund strategy over time. Make certain that any sophisticated and complicated approaches are valid.
Finally, similar to choosing any professional, do your homework first. Choose an advisor who is forthcoming and disclosing. Make sure his or her approach matches yours.
Source: Money.usnews.com(Barbara Friedberg)
Access to Information. Call your advisor out and ask them to explain the top holdings of the strategies you’re investing in and earnings reports. Your advisor should know or have direct access to this information.
Your advisor should not only answer your question when you call, he or she should also proactively educate you on each strategy’s objective and holdings prior to investing your assets. Through the educational process, you should know and understand why your assets are invested in a strategy, how it ties to your family index number and both the time horizon and volatility expected from the strategy.
Source: Cnbc.com(Ron Carson)
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