Thursday, May 10, 2007

Fee only financial advisors

As soon as you get out of residency - or even before that - you will meet another predator that has his or her eyes trained on the new doctor with sudden increase in income. This predator is ready to take advantage of you.

They commmonly present as insurance salesperson and "financial advisor" wrapped in one. He or she offers insurance, many insurancesIt is completely up to you how much insurance you need, but, for example, you definitely do not need life insurance if you are single. You may need disability though.

Always comparison shop and never sign the first time you meet someone. Don't fall for the trick that life insurance, especially "whole life" is "a great investment". It is, but only for the insurance company and for the salesperson, not for you.

It is a great idea to get a financial consultant, but don’t fall prey to all the insurance scamsters and salespeople that pretend to be "financial counselors". Everybody seems to be a financial advisor, counselor or consultant these days.

I recommend to look for "fee only" financial advisers. They have their own professional organization. Fee-only consultants charge by the hour only. Therefore they are the only advisers that do not have a conflict of interest. Everybody else will tend to sell you something in order to benefit, silently or openly. Insurance people will sell you insurance, brokers will recommend to trade, trade, trade (and make commissions), investment advisers from big firms will recommend the stocks and investment vehicles of their own firms and so on.

Fee based advisers get paid the same no matter what you do, and that is a fee per hour. (At least in theory, who knows if they get kickbacks or not, I assume they do occasionally) But in theory they do not care what you do or do not do. Therefore their advise is more objective and less tainted by personal interest. And therefore more reliable.

I would not work with anybody else.

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