“Fly by night.”
I’m sure you’ve heard that saying. You use to hear that mentioned when someone opened a sketchy business that appeared to be a legitimate operation you did business with, but then after they got your money, you got nothing but a busy signal as you tried to call and contact them for service.
Well, in the financial world, there’s a new disturbing trend I’m noticing that I like to call “fly-over advisors.”
These well-intentioned advisors are not advisors at all. Most of them are advertising heavily on TV, radio and/or the internet, and appear to have all the answers when it comes to you and your retirement. They’re well-polished, and have some great information, which they off up for free. The problem is, when you respond to their ads, you don’t meet with them, but rather, you meet with someone else, who may or may not be any more informed or qualified to handle retirement issues. What’s even worse, the person “bird-dogging” for them may not have your best interest at heart.
So, here are a few things to look for the next time you hear an ad from a fly-over advisor:
- Assuming you respond to their ad, will you meet with them in person or will they simply pass you off to one of their bird-dogs?
- Assuming one of their bird-dogs contacts you, is this bird-dog a fiduciary, do they work for the advisor, and how does he/she get paid?
- Assuming you invest money with them, do you get a product and a process to go with it, or just a product?
- Assuming they are a fiduciary, are they licensed to sell you both securities and insurance products, or are you just stuck with one over the other?
- And finally, do they have local offices with staff that can assist you in the future with your retirement needs, or is this just a recipe for a “one-and-done” financial transaction?