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Has Your Advisor “Flown The Coop”

Excerpt from The WorryFree Retirement® Episode 203

Here’s a question, have you recently been blindsided by a letter or a random phone call that your financial advisor or stockbroker has flown the coop, as we like to say?

Well if so, the brokerage company that still has your money is probably working desperately to try to hold onto it. And worse yet, you’re probably getting letters and maybe even phone calls from your current advisor who has flown the coop, and that advisor is trying to get you to move the money from your current custodian, I know this gets confusing folks, current custodian, because they want to make money on the money.

So here we have this scenario that I’m seeing playing out more and more. People are coming to me and they’re confused by this whole thing. They’re saying, Tony, maybe I started working with, we’ll use the name Jim, Jim was a friend at church, great guy, financial advisor, wanted to move money from a 401(k) or something over. I gladly did that, I liked Jim. Jim was doing a good job, and all of a sudden, I found out Jim is no longer with the firm.

Jim’s calling me, the firms calling me, random people bothering me from the firm.  Then I find out that maybe I don’t even have enough money anymore for either one of them, and they’re charging me all these fees. So there you sit, confused and irritated. If this hasn’t happened, hang on, because it’s probably going to in the near future. More and more of these large brokerage firms are going through a lot of changes.

If you’re a saver personality, you need to seriously consider working with someone like us, an independent fiduciary, so you don’t get caught in the middle of all these games that go on when a lot of times these brokers jump ship and move on.

Again, there’s nothing illegal about it. It’s not that there’s something wrong with your advisor. The point is, you’re caught in the middle. And in many cases, what I’m hearing from people is they’re totally confused and they don’t know what to do. It’s really a terrible predicament in my view for the financial world to put somebody in this particular dilemma. I call it, the flying the coop syndrome. And again, nobody wants to get stuck in the middle of all this stuff that’s going on.

I’m sure you’ve heard that saying “fly-over advisors” or some variation of it. 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 when it comes to these “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:

  1. 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?
  2. 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?
  3. Assuming you invest money with them, do you get a product and a process to go with it, or just a product?
  4. 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?
  5. 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?

If you feel like everybody is making more money on your money than you are, schedule an appointment with me today. Go to our Let’s Get Started page, fill out the form, and one of our full-time employees will be in contact with you shortly to set up a time that is best for you.