Roadmap of "Opinion" Research
When it comes to insurance-based retirement solutions, opinions are polarized. Some swear by annuities, cash-value life insurance policies, long term care solutions, and the like, while others are vehemently against.
The overload of information makes it difficult to act decisively, even when doing so is in your best interest. It’s easy to understand because this is serious business. The results of your financial decisions can last the rest of your life. It’s the Race of Your Life – and you only get one chance.
The challenge is that there are many opinions and many agendas. Everybody has something to say; many have something to gain. In a lurch, when the obvious move seems out of reach, many will phone a friend or fire up their Internet browsers to find answers. Typically, opinions fall into a few general categories which we’ve outlined below to help you process what you see, hear and learn!
Sites like Money Magazine, Forbes, and independent blogs, etc. There are tons of them. They may derive advertising revenue from you consuming their content but, otherwise, they are not compensated by you acting on their suggestions. It’s a good start.
They may mean well, but this category will only be able to share some of their experiences or rehash what they’ve heard on TV. Unless you’d give your friends your complete financial picture, as you would a financial advisor, this is not a good option.
Friends and family
Surprisingly a good option because their content is easy to understand and, by law, they can’t give you erroneous information. On the flip side, they are selling something!
Websites and Materials
The "Ulterior Motive" Crowd
Asset managers like Fisher Investments and others brilliantly sow confusion in the market with the hope that you’ll invest in their mutual funds or financial services. They are overly emotional and what they say,
shouldn’t be relied upon.
They want your money!
Make sure he or she is licensed in the area you seek guidance on. For example, it makes little sense to ask an insurance agent what he thinks about tactical investment management. Likewise, asking your stock broker her opinions on cash value life insurance won’t help you just the same. It’s not that other individuals can’t be knowledgeable about other disciplines, it’s that things change so quickly. Even those who specialize in that specific area must work diligently to stay informed. The pace of innovation in financial services is staggering. It’s hard to keep up if you don’t do it every day.
Whatever you do...
Stay out of the Whackosphere!
These warriors don’t have to step out from behind their keyboards, put their pants on (the tights aren’t even business casual) and help people do what is emotionally and financially necessary to achieve peace-of-mind in retirement.
Many seem driven more by agenda & vendetta, then by fair and factual information.
AVOID AT ALL COSTS!
The “Whackosphere” and people who appoint themselves “financial social justice warriors” like the superhero below should be disregarded. They don’t need to be certified and have no fiduciary duty to anyone. They don’t pass exams, nor do they have access to updated solutions. Yearly training requirements? Not a chance.
Their guidance which is often full of hyperbole sits on the Internet forever. FOREVER!
Often leaving factually incorrect videos, posts, etc, for people to stumble upon however many years later.
Problem is that things change quickly and information becomes outdated very quickly.
Where does Retirement Info Chicago fit in?
Yes, I am compensated for the work I do. I tried working for free but my wife didn't approve. Neither did the boys. They like coffee. Starbucks coffee.
Seriously, though, my promise is transparency, candor and authenticity. I believe, desperately in peace-of-mind for you in retirement which often requires that you take action to increase your income stability. Unfortunately, unless you have a big, fat pension, you must get an insurance company involved. It’s just the way it works. I wish we all had pensions. We don’t.
My pledge to you: I take my fiduciary duty very seriously and will never, ever recommend anything for you without a thorough and comprehensive review of your financial situation, your risk profile and your goals and objectives.
Should you stay or should you go?
When the opinion you see, read and hear clashes, please consider
What is being said?
How is it being said?
Who is saying it?
If it sounds too good to be true, keep going
If it’s overly emotional, keep going
If it’s filled with superlatives, keep going
If the drawbacks aren’t apparent, keep going
If it’s from an asset manager, keep going
If it’s from the whackosphere, keep going
If the source can’t find one positive thing to say even begrudgingly, KEEP GOING, you're not getting both sides