Since this series began in January 2018 there have been over 1000 Posts from Your Archives where bloggers have taken the opportunity to share posts to a new audience… mine. The topics have ranged from travel, childhood, recipes, history, family and the most recent series was #PotLuck where I shared a random selection of different topics.
In this series I will be sharing posts from the last six months of 2020
It is an opportunity to showcase your writing skill to my readers and also to share on my social media. Which combined is around the 46,000 mark. If you are an author your books will be mentioned too, along with their buy links and your other social media contacts. Head over to find out how to participate: Posts from Your Archives 2021
This is the second post from author and finance expert Sharon Marcisello with a post that is shares her concerns about turning over out assets to a financial planner.
Working with a Financial Planner by Sharon Marchisello
A friend of mine just took an early retirement package and immediately turned all his savings over to a financial planner. He’s ecstatic. I’m worried for him.
I’m not saying he shouldn’t work with a financial planner. Unlike me, he has no interest in managing his investments. He can rebuild a car’s engine; I don’t even change my own oil.
But whether you do the work yourself or hire someone to handle it, you still need to know what you’re getting, and how much you’re paying.
For Christmas, I gave him and his wife a copy of my personal finance book, Live Well, Grow Wealth. They have yet to read it. (The problem with writing about personal finance is, the people who could really use the advice aren’t interested, and the people who are interested already know about most of it.)
Before my friend visited the financial planner, I suggested he ask some questions. The most important one: how does the adviser get paid? I reminded him that in Chapter Six of my book, I cover working with a financial planner/adviser/broker/whatever and provide a list of questions/points to consider. If he and his wife didn’t want to read the whole book, they should at least skim those few relevant pages before their meeting.
Right. He barely wanted to talk about what questions to ask, much less read about them.
The adviser came highly recommended. His parents and all their friends have been using the guy for years. He’s a vice president at a major financial firm.
“Did you find out how he gets paid?” I asked, after my friends had signed over their nest egg.
“Oh, he doesn’t charge us. We didn’t pay him a cent.”
Really? Is he a relative, doing them a favor? How does he stay in business if he doesn’t charge his clients for his services? “Are you sure he doesn’t charge anything? Maybe his fee comes out of the investments?”
“Yeah, it just comes out of the investments. We don’t pay anything.”
“Do you know what percentage he takes for managing your investments? One percent? One and a half?”
“I have no idea. I don’t pay attention to any of that stuff. He’s a genius, so whatever he charges, it will be worth it.”
“Do you know what he’s having you invest in? Mutual funds? Individual stocks? Bonds?”
My friend shrugged. “He had us move everything out of Fidelity over to his firm. I guess it’s a mutual fund. My parents have been in it for years.” (I couldn’t help thinking about Bernie Madoff.)
“He sold everything?” I suspect the broker earned some hefty commissions from all those transactions.
“Yeah, he said it’s better to sell everything and start fresh.”
“Does he use publicly traded mutual funds? Or something proprietary to his firm?” (With publicly traded products, you can track performance independently. And if you ever decide to change brokerages, you can transfer the securities in kind, rather than having to sell everything at once, when it might be an inopportune time for some of them.)
Another shrug. “I don’t care about that. He said we’re on track to retire at 65 and we don’t have to worry. He said we’ve done pretty well with Fidelity, but it’s good we came to him when we did, because now we have the right mix going forward.”
My friend is happy, and I hope he’s right about being on track. He’ll never know whether he could have saved money… or how much.
What are your thoughts about working with a financial planner? I’d love to hear your comments.
©Sharon Marchisello 2020
About Sharon Marchisello
Sharon Marchisello is the author of two mysteries published by Sunbury Press, Going Home (2014) and Secrets of the Galapagos (2019). She is an active member of Sisters in Crime.
She contributed short stories to anthologies Shhhh…Murder! (Darkhouse Books, 2018) and Finally Home (Bienvenue Press, 2019). Her personal finance book Live Well, Grow Wealth was originally published as Live Cheaply, Be Happy, Grow Wealthy, an e-book on Smashwords. Sharon has published travel articles, book reviews, and corporate training manuals, and she writes a personal finance blog called Countdown to Financial Fitness.
She grew up in Tyler, Texas, and earned her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Houston in French and English. She studied for a year in Tours, France, on a Rotary scholarship and then moved to Los Angeles to pursue her Masters in Professional Writing at the University of Southern California.
Retired from a 27-year career with Delta Air Lines, she lives in Peachtree City, Georgia, doing volunteer work for the Fayette Humane Society and the Fayette County Master Gardeners UGA Extension.
Books by Sharon Marchisello
One of the reviews for Live Well, Grow Wealth.
Sometimes it can be hard for me to read books due too much going on with content, but Marchisello’s book was a really easy read for me. I can’t do complicated when it comes to books. She was really relate-able, because I didn’t grow up as a math centric person, and I also came from what would be considered a middle-class family. As a 27-year-old, her advice made me think about my life, and what I could be doing differently (therefore better!) with my money. She also changed the way I think about money. I don’t think a lot of people grow up to consider things like a big picture, or what’s going in and out. It kind of gave made better sense of what’s going on around me. A good perspective shift.
Thank you for joining us today and I know that Sharon would love your feedback… thanks Sally.