From The Outside In
Other than balancing a checkbook and paying bills I have had very little experience in finance. I know I have great credit, I understand about loan rates, I know what a 401K is and why I should have one (which I do) but the rest was unfamiliar. I think I did what most people do, I walked into an office, met with a Broker signed over my money and skipped off on my way. My thought was I am paying him to make me money. Boxed checked, NEXT.
He called me all the time, spoke fast and over my head. His favorite phrase was “that’s the way to go”. I approved his suggestions and let him “do his thing”. One day I was in the area so I called and asked if he had time for a quick meeting. He did so in I went. I asked to review my account and discovered that had I NOT made any money I had LOST money. He assured me not to worry it would be okay.
Fast forward 4 months. He called me a few more times to move my money…get out of this, get into this and I let him because “it was going to be okay”. Imagine how surprised I was to find out that not only had my broker left his job but the majority of my money had gotten eaten away by fees, trading costs and his fees. THAT IS WHEN I LEARNED THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A BROKER AND A FIDUCIARY.
There are two categories for financial advisors. The suitability standard and the fiduciary standard. The suitability standard which may comprise of broker dealers who may suggest investment products possibly being suitable for you. The Fiduciary must show you products that are not only suitable for you but IN YOUR BEST INTEREST not theirs. Equate to going to a doctor versus going to a specialist.
I wanted to learn more about how to make my money work so I read…tons. I had started to do my own investing.
I decided to do something very radical this July. I changed careers. I went from a 14 year career in the fitness industry to work for Paladin Retirement Advisors. The opportunity presented itself and I jumped. I figured the best way to learn about something is to submerge myself in it and now I was given that chance.
This has been an eye opening experience! I know the benefit of having a plan to go into retirement. I see the financial maps being put together for our existing and potential clients. I get to see and discuss the financial products, what they do, what the risk may be, why they would apply to some people and not others. I have learned about fees, taxes and social security. I understand that standards and values that are held by my boss for this business. I am learning this industry from the inside out and I will tell you it’s a lot different than the preconceived notions people, myself included have. However, I think the most important thing I have learned is why I’s critical to work with an Adviser and not just do it on your own.
At the encouragement on my boss, I am currently working on expanding my knowledge and experience in the financial industry. My idea is I helped people before on their fitness journey, soon I will be able to help them on their financial journey. To be honest, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
By Andrea Viola
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