Thursday, November 24, 2011

Declaring Financial Independence for Yourself and Your Family

I'm sure you have noticed the plethora of advertisements on the TV and in radio and print media hawking various companies and their ability to facilitate you taking control of your own finances.
What is the offer here? You send your assets to them and they will welcome you as a customer. After that, it is all up to you. I'll be one of the first to admit taking and having control over any piece of your life is an attractive and desirable pitch. I will tell you it is not universally advantageous for everyone or for every reason.

If it were, I should buy a lot of ads enticing you to take control of your own car repairs. You send me the title to your car and in return I give you access to some tools for a quarterly fee and you decide yourself how to use them. I would give you, yes you, a power you never had before; to diagnose, chose repair parts, and install them (in your spare time?).

Would this be the way you would like to keep your vehicle, maintain it, and ensure it's safe operation? This is a twisted marketing tactic and you should take it for what it is worth - nothing. Now, if you are involved in a dedicated hobby of economic, stock, bond, derivative, benchmark, allocation, fundamental, and technical analysis over hundreds of companies and an increasing number of countries then maybe you will choose that hobby over enjoying the outdoors, your children and grandchildren, gardening, bird watching, boating, or maybe even reading for enjoyment.

The investment world is a dynamic and complicated place. You can still make all the decisions. (Never allow a broker or firm to have discretion over your nest egg.) Your broker should spend time to educate you and explain where you are, ask you where you would like to be, and your desire to leave a legacy (or not).

After they know this and more, their advice to you will be right for you and your family. The cost for this type of service is far less than the percentage tip you pay at you favorite restaurant or barber/hair salon. What is even better, your returns over going it alone will likely sail past your independent choices. This will more than compensate you for choosing to hire someone who gets up everyday and goes to work (just like you), and who's job is tapping into the best advice and hiring the top money managers in the country - for your benefit.

So the next time you see an offer to declare your financial independence, or never pay anything for a fee on a mutual fund, ask yourself how long you wish to spend each day on your back under your car, with your rented tools, working with parts you won't be certain were installed correctly or were the right choice for your vehicle.

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