Not all financial advisors are created equal. Many say they specialize in retirement planning, but only a select few have the tools or training required to make them a true retirement “Income Specialist.” How can you tell whether your advisor falls into this elite category? Here are 10 signs to help you identify a true Income Specialist:
1: He listens to your concerns
If you’ve asked your financial advisor to move your assets into more conservative investment vehicles, such as bonds and bond-like instruments, and he didn’t fight you about it, then you might be working with a true retirement Income Specialist. Income Specialists know that as you approach retirement, there is a very important “shift” you need to make in your finances, which involves shifting your strategic focus from investing for growth, or capital appreciation, to investing for income. Failure to make this shift is often the reason people fall short of reaching their long-term financial goals.
Unfortunately, since many of the advisors working today first got into the industry during the 1980s and 90s, in what was the fastest-growing stock market in U.S. history, many became stock market specialists focused on chasing growth. Since their clients were participating in the market through mutual funds, many of these advisors also became overly dependent on mutual funds. Few know how to invest for income the right way through interest and dividends.
Many advisors today would prefer to keep your money invested in a mutual fund, where they can sit back and let the fund manager do all the research and heavy lifting, while the advisor collects a fee or commission for simply placing your money into the fund. In other words, the advisor might be more concerned about setting up streams of income for himself rather than you. That brings us to item #2 on our list.
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