Monday, June 11, 2012

Does Your Financial Advisor REALLY Give a Damn About You?

Couple weeks ago, Yahoo News ran this press release we put out about my SET FOR LIFE report aimed at teaching investors how they can easily guarantee a lasting retirement income, irrespective of how long they end up living and regardless of stock market gyrations in their 401(k)s, Roth IRAs, or even nonqualified money.

One gentleman who came across the information quickly downloaded the report from After reading it, he did what most of us would do; he contacted his financial advisor to inquire about the information he'd just read. He said that, quite frankly, it sounded too good to be true, especially given that he'd recently had conversations about this very issue of running out of income mid-stream with his advisor (who works for a big, reputable firm), but nothing remotely close to this option was presented to him. "Is this report one of those scams?" he asked his advisor.

His advisor's response was something to the effect of, "You know, we're one of the largest firms in the entire world. If there's something worthwhile for you, I'll let you know. Don't worry. We've got you covered. I wouldn't take seriously some report you downloaded from the Internet."

What Would You Have Done if It Were You?

Let me tell you what this man did and why I'm sharing his story with you today. I think this guy is definitely smart - extremely smart! He figured that between his advisor and me, someone wasn't telling the truth (and, like most, was inclined to believe his big-company advisor). BUT, what if the report were correct? He'd have walked away from a situation he knew he wanted more than anything else.

So he contacted me, gave me the rundown of events, and literally requested that I prove the legitimacy of the
information in my report, to which I gladly agreed. I LOVED it, actually. Basically, I proposed a specific contract from a very reputable carrier that is approved in his state of residence and gave him all the necessary due diligence details customary in such cases. I asked him to let his advisor review it and tell him whether it was legit or not.

To tell you the truth, I knew that the company his advisor worked for wasn't approved to offer these kinds of contracts, but I wanted to see how far the advisor would go.

Long story short, the advisor essentially responded by going around in circles, playing the "You've been with us for years ... we're one of the largest firms around ... you can trust us" card, but never directly answered two very simple questions: (1) is this legitimate or a scam? And (2) can you offer something comparable? Of course, it is legitimate and of course, he could not offer the same option.

I think that most Americans need to be reminded that majority of financial advisors fail to put all the options on the table because rarely (as in just about never) will you find an advisor who can offer ALL options. I know I can't, and I'll admit that all day long. I would not try in a thousand years to discredit something my client believed might benefit him or her for ANY reason. Not only is that professionally dishonest, but it's also morally deplorable.

The question is, how many Americans are falling prey every day to situations such as this? If you were in this man's position would you have automatically taken your long-term advisor's word and dismissed an opportunity that sounded interesting, or would you have done what this brilliant man did and get to the bottom of it? Sure, we're living in an age of scams galore, but it's not rocket science, either, is it?


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