Personal finance and Thanksgiving: –

2 minute read

Steven Park
 |  Special to the USA TODAY Network

We all recognize the wisdom of avoiding any discussion about politics and religion at a family dinner table. Some of us prefer to keep certain things private, while others may be more open to sharing without the required urging. Yet, whenever people come together, there is always that person who starts giving out unsolicited financial advice and even an investment tip, delivered in a soft hushed voice and insists on referring you to their advisor.

It’s almost impossible to refrain from indulging in financial discussion when we are bombarded with varying and often conflicting prognostications about the prospects of our economy and the volatile stock market. The worries are not too far from reason when we feel the burden of making sound financial decisions to protect and optimize our wealth potential. So, in the end, a referral to a financial advisor, solicited or otherwise, may not be that unreasonable, especially if it’s coming from someone close to you.

In fact, that is how most people start their advisor search, a referral from a favorite aunt, uncle, or their accountant. However, should you trust your life savings to another person based merely on a suggestion?

We are inclined to trust those around the proverbial dinner table. Still, even if the experience with their financial advisor has been successful, what assurance do you have that the same advisor will deliver similar results for you or that your uncle even completed any meaningful due diligence on his advisor?

According to a National Financial Educators Council survey last year, mismanagement of personal finances costs approximately 254 million adults in the U.S., a total of more than $352 billion annually. The importance of obtaining requisite financial intelligence to build wealth has never been more critical if we are to reduce our growing dependency on the country’s social and welfare programs, which is already at a breaking point. The gravity and benefits of selecting the right financial advisor for guidance cannot be understated. Perhaps choosing a financial advisor based on “gut calls” built around a familiar recommendation and anecdotal credibility check shouldn’t replace the need for data-driven, evidence-based due diligence.

Choosing a financial advisor can be quite tricky, considering that the U.S. Bureau of …….


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