Category Archives: Financial Planning

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Financial Advice and Critical Thinking

The requirements for a fiduciary focus on putting your clients interests first. The investment industry fights legislation to make this a law applicable to everyone.

Even a novice critical thinker would conclude that they fight this potential law because it will reduce their profits – which it would.

So it’s no surprise to read in today’s Politico’s Money Money by Ben White the following: Continue reading Financial Advice and Critical Thinking

Finally, a voice of reason

The FPA lawsuit against the SEC has finally won out. This is huge as it overturns the exeption to the broker-dealer exception to the 1940 Investment Advisor Act.

The impact of this is that consumers will have an opportunity to tell the difference between an adviser that has their best interest in mind and an adviser that is a salesmen in sheeps clothing.

This is GOOD news for everyone except brokers.

Stock market drop

The stock market has only droped like this a couple of times, and it’s the biggest drop in almost 5 years. I think this is like the four or fifth largest point decline in the dow history. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s headline news in tomorrows papers as it’s the lead story in the NY Times and Washington Post online right now. Indifference here is a risky strategy for advisers, unless you can afford to lose a few clients. Today is the test of client relationships.

Educating workers on the concept of a 401K

There is a great need for educating workers on the concept of a 401K. But the problem is that it’s really difficult to get paid for that education. Adults are situational learners and they care less about preventative measures that current problem solving. The 401K company often does some things, but usually not enough because the money is in setting up more companies, not in educating the ones they already have.

Picking stocks, funds, and advisers

If we can’t pick a stock, do we turn to mutual funds? A mutual fund is basically investing in a person(s) that pick stocks for us. So if we can’t pick a stock, what makes us think we can pick a person that can pick a stock? Picking mutual funds isn’t easier, is it?  

If an adviser picks mutual funds, especially loaded funds, there is almost no hope of coming out ahead compared to the index as the fees and taxes give the results quite a haircut. Study after study points to index funds for the average investor as the best way to go because even with no-load funds in a tax free account the vast majority don’t beat their benchmark. With actively managed mutual funds, the odds are against us before we start.


If you can’t pick stocks, what makes you think you can pick a person that picks stocks (mutual fund manager)?

And if you can’t pick a person a person that picks stocks, what makes you think you can pick a person (financial adviser) that picks a person (mutual fund manager) that picks stocks?

In other words, if you don’t know what you are doing, how do you know if what you are doing is right?