On this week’s Mullooly Asset Management podcast, Tom and Brendan discuss an article they recently read. Interestingly enough, the article came from Costco Connection magazine. Not the typical reading material of the Mullooly Asset Management team, but it was a good read none the less. Costco featured an “Ask Suze Orman” column where readers sent in their financial questions, one of which we thought was loaded with valid concerns many investors should be considering. Suze did a particularly good job answering.
The question posed to Suze Orman was as follows:
“I am 58 and have inherited money from my parents and from my brother. I need to find a financial planner. Bankers from two different banks seem to be dying to get my business and be my financial planner or adviser. Or is it really a better idea to find someone not associated with a particular bank? Are they all associated with someplace that is trying to get you to invest in their products?
I also inherited an account with Charles Schwab. Is there a difference between a financial planner and a financial adviser? How do you choose one?”
That was kind of like question inception…a question inside of a question, inside of a question. All of the questions asked were intelligent ones that we hope more investors will seek answers to in the future. We thought Suze did a great job answering. To paraphrase, she said to look for RIA’s (Registered Investment Advisors). She especially recommended registered investments advisors who work for a percentage of the assets you have them manage because that aligns your interests. Her response then turned to fees when she said that the percentage charged to manage money should not exceed 1%, and that the advisor should tell you up front what the cost of their work is. If you have to ask, something is wrong.
We’ve touched on each of these topics before right here on the Mullooly Asset site! First off, we are a fee-only registered investment advisory firm. We work for a percentage of the assets we manage for our clients because we believe that aligns our interests with our clients’. We will never make a commission on any investment advice given to clients at Mullooly Asset Management. Our recommendations are solely based on what we believe is in our clients’ best interests. Our fee schedule begins at 1% of assets under management and decreases from there, and we always provide a copy to any prospective client before we begin working with them. Everything mentioned by Suze Orman applies to the standard we hold ourselves to here at Mullooly Asset Management.
Tom and Brendan discussed the phrasing used by the person asking this question though. The question stated that they, “Need to find a financial planner”. That’s a common misconception. Depending on their needs, they might need a financial planner…or not. Financial planners are very good at planning estates and mapping out future financial goals, however some of them have little to no experience or education on managing money. If an investor is looking for somebody to manage their investments, they don’t necessarily need a financial planner to do that. People tend to believe that financial planners, investment advisors, financial advisors, wealth managers, and stock brokers all do the same thing for their clients. These terms are not synonymous and we’ve discussed this before on the site. In fact, we give a clear explanation here on our FAQ page because we get this question so often: https://mullooly.net/faqs-frequently-asked-questions/#Different_types_of_Advisers
We were pleased to see that the person asking the question understands that some financial professionals are “just trying to get you to invest in their products” though. As we stated previously, we will never make a commission on any type of advice given to clients of Mullooly Asset. Other fee-only investment advisory firms are the same way. In fact, many advisors have been leaving big firms to begin working strictly for their clients like we’ve been at Mullooly Asset Management since 2002. We work for you with your interests and goals at heart!
Make sure to listen to this week’s podcast to hear more on this topic from Tom and Brendan!