A research study conducted recently by TIAA-CREF pointed out the difficulty individuals have in finding reliable financial advice. The most often cited reason for this difficulty was that investors found it “hard to know what sources or who can be trusted”. Stated differently, individuals want advice that serves their interests first, not the interests of the person delivering the advice.
The Hidden Scheme
Investors seek independent advice but instead often end up with a basket of expensive investment and insurance products that purport to solve their problems. In many cases, these decisions create even more problems. The investors become frustrated, fire the “advisor/broker” and move to another firm where the cycle is repeated.
Most individuals are not well prepared for their financial futures, so decisions that take them away from, instead of towards long term goals are costly. Brokers (and today this includes banks and insurance firms), have their own agendas that drive their “advice”. Just because they all use phrases like “wealth management” and “investment consultant” does not mean they are operating in your best interest.
A Largely Failed Approach
The broker’s secret agenda depends upon confusion and deception. It takes advantage of many investors’ preoccupation with chasing last year’s best investments, even when the evidence says this is largely a failed approach. Mostly, they are selling solutions to emotional needs, not solutions to long-term financial goals.