I spoke with a financial advisor last week.
I really don’t trust other people with the future of my money. I especially don’t trust most people’s advice when they offer it broadly.
Most big-name finance people seem to either hand out advice that’s uselessly bland for someone geeking on the topic (that’s me!), or so tailored to a particular world-view, product, or life situation that there’s barely even a gem worth digging out of the morass. Plenty of simple things don’t get accounted for in books and writings on the topic:
- What if I don’t have employer matching in my 401(k) and have lousy investing choices there?
- What if I’m a job-hopping young professional?
- What if my income is going to drop within the next year (and that’s okay)?
- What are non-traditional pre-tax investment vehicles (other than 401(k), govment crap, and TIRAs)?
I find the best information on personal finance blogs, truly. Other people have had these questions. Other other people have suggestions, references, experiences. *Yoink*.
As I chip away at lover boy‘s financial ignorance, I have to keep pushing my own knowledge deeper. I may be explaining the basics of (micro) investment asset allocation in getting a basic Roth IRA in place, but what’s the point of index funds and portfolios without some idea of what the end game is, that I’m doing the right thing for me/him right now even if I have to switch things up later?
So I caved, and decided to talk with someone who works with folks individually. Unfortunately, I didn’t find that having base knowledge increased the level of the conversation. I’m used to (and tired of) getting the “Oh, you’re so advanced/knowledgeable/etc. for someone your age” line.
I disagree. I’ve got friends much better off than me. Being a smidge ahead of the general population is nice and all, but won’t put food on the table when I’m 105 and only working for pay 15 hours a week (doing whatever it is I love by then).
I plan to live forever (PDF), by the way.
We spent about an hour chatting pre- and post-tax allocations, as well as the standard vertical allocations (aggressive, moderate, safe). He had run my numbers ahead of time, but his prep wasn’t complete and he made some poor assumptions.
I’m also worried he’s trying to sell me something. Session one was a wash. I don’t know what I expected to get (which is probably part of the issue), but I didn’t get it.
He did some interesting initial assessments that offered up a different perspective on my financial picture, though. *Yoink*. I’ll keep that, thanks.
One more session, I think, before I give up on that.