A reader says she’s starting to have doubts about the financial adviser she has been with for many years. “Increasingly, I am concerned the adviser is acting in their best interest and not mine and that they are not as competent as I thought,” she said by e-mail. “I’m a loyal person and it’s taken me a while to get here.”
Her question: where do “financially average” people like her go for personalized financial advice and objective, strategic portfolio monitoring? Seeking answers, I put the word out on Twitter and got a surprisingly strong response.
Killer question from a reader: "Where do financially average people like me go for personalized financial advice and portfolio monitoring that is objective and strategic?"— Rob Carrick (@rcarrick) April 5, 2019
Some people suggested robo-advisers and balanced exchange-traded funds, which are a fully diversified portfolio contained in a single ETF. Both are very solid ways to invest for do-it-yourselfers, but what if you want personalized financial advice with a human touch? Much of the investment advice industry either overtly or quietly caters to high net worth individuals, which means you’ll need investable assets in the high six figure range or more.
The best part of the back-and-forth discussion on Twitter is that many financial planners and others indicated their willingness – or eagerness in some cases – to take on “average people” as clients. I’m normally uncomfortable with providing financial industry people with a forum to prospect for new clients. But there’s such a dearth of information on where to find financial advice for regular people that I think the greater good is served by having planners and advisers offer their services.
Pick a few people and research them to see if they might be able to help you. Google them and then check their websites to establish their credentials, services provided and fees. Next, contact them for an exploratory chat. Tell them what you want, ask what they charge and then be upfront about what you can afford. There may or may not be a fit with these planners and advisers, but it’s nevertheless clear that plenty of people are willing to help average people looking for financial advice.
This national directory can also help you find a financial planner. The people on this list charge fees for their services and are not compensated through the sale of investments.
Seeking your questions about retirement
We’re building a new online retirement forum for Globe subscribers where people planning for retirement and those who are already retired can exchange ideas. To get the conversation started, we’re inviting readers to send their retirement questions to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Find out how retirement works from people who are already doing it.
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Rob’s personal finance reading list…
She quit her job to look after her parents
A woman’s account of moving home to help her parents after they experienced serious health problems. A reminder that our lives don’t always follow the course we expect.
How to easily compare products
A great little idea here: just type the name of the product you want to compare into Google followed by “vs.” Example: “Samsung Galaxy S87 vs.” You’ll then find a list reviews comparing your product to various peers.
Watch out for pickpockets
Why you should be wary of pickpockets, even in this age of digital payments. Apparently, people still carry a fair amount of cash.
Ridiculous parenting products
The financial strain on new parents is bad enough without spending money on things like the iPotty.
Today’s financial tool
Buying a new vehicle? Check out the goodcarbadcar website to find out which models are selling well and which aren’t. Might help you drive a better deal.
Q: Canada Deposit Insurance Corp. insures cash deposits in financial institutions, but not common shares. If my online broker goes bankrupt, do I still own the shares?
A: Yes, if your broker is a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund. CIPF covers holdings in an eligible account to a maximum of $1-million if a firm becomes insolvent.
Do you have a question for me? Send it my way. Sorry I can’t answer every one personally. Questions and answers are edited for length and clarity.
In case you missed these Globe and Mail personal finance-related stories
- Will this couple outlive their money?
- Parents: Plan carefully if helping your children buy a house
- Why Canadian bank stocks aren’t the best investment (for Globe Unlimited subscribers)
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