Recently, a “financial expert” posted a question in a public online forum:
“Anyone here good at breaking down how to channel money an invest for quicker return…”
“I help families with long term planning an being set decent later down the road but haven’t figured out a way to get a fast return on investments… Thanks .”
That statement doesn’t jive with the previous one, does it?
You wouldn’t expect this sort of thing to be the norm in the industry, but it is.
Look, I realize everyone has money problems of one kind or another.
Even rich people.
Just look at what happened to Elton John and his famous flower debacle.
But… people who advise others on how to manage money are supposed to have their shit together.
Or so you’d think.
Reality is, many of them don’t. And some of the people you think have it together have problems of nightmarish proportions.
My only suggestion is find someone who practices the principles they preach.
Even if your advisor falls on hard financial times, if they are acting on sound financial principles, they will recover and that’s really what you want to know — how they do in both good times and bad.
I realize tho that finding a person like that is as rare as hen’s teeth.
I can recommend working with me (because, yes, my wife and I both practice every single principle I preach), but I’m one guy and realistically I can’t advise everyone.
Besides, I’m biased in recommending myself, right? 😉
So in lieu of hiring an expert, you can try to become your own. I’ve actually recommended some folks on my email list do this because they didn’t trust working with me for some reason.
So, here’s what I told them:
— Take an introductory formal financial course of some kind. It will teach you about the basics of finance. If it’s a decent course, it will also teach you basic financial concepts and calculations like present value, future value, time value of money, opportunity cost, calculating annuity (loan) payments, and other basic finance concepts. Us advisors all had to learn this stuff and so should you if you’re going it alone.
— Learn the specifics of how to apply these financial concepts.
— Learn some basic principles of investing. Common Stocks, Uncommon Profits is probably the best book on investing. It teaches principles over gimmicky tactics. Even if you never invest in stocks, and in all likelihood you will never ever buy a single share of common stock, the principles in that book can be applied to *any* form of investing.
— Practice what you learn. So many financial plans never get off the ground due to a lack of action.
— Buy at least one small custom whole life insurance policy. If you’re not in your 60s, you eventually will be. Talk to a 60 year old who currently owns whole life insurance. I guarantee you every single one of them wishes they’d bought it at your age and they will openly tell you this. Every single one.
— Teach. One of the best ways to solidify the knowledge you have is to teach what you learn. That’s what I did many moons ago. I was a guest instructor for a teaching company, hosting a paid workshop on budgeting and other basic financial planning concepts. The local businesses would send their employees to a workshop (and the general public could also pay for admission) and I would teach a class on personal finance. That sort of thing really helps solidify the knowledge in your mind.
On the flip side, if becoming your own expert seems like it takes a long time and maybe even tedious, it’s because it does and it is. You gots to pay the cost to be the boss, as they say.
If you do not want to go it alone, and if you want to see how custom whole life encourages good financial decisions, go read my case study on the topic… (available when you join my email list).