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March 28, 2008

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Anyone can call themselves anything...You MUST look into their credentials if you go to a dentist, a doctor or an ASE certified mechanic. The wild west applies to every facet of every market.

If you have completed college, passed a handful of the securities exams, receive your CFA/CFP or other top tier accreditation, than yes, he/she should be given the chance to EARN your trust.

The fact that a broker somehow gets lumped in with actual professionals is unfair. Brokers have no fiduciary duty to the customer and are totally different animals.

Your killing me with all these Kiyosaki posts! :) Personally, I'd rather take financial advice from a broker than a con man.

@ Zook - If someone HAS done all that then I agree. But anyone can call themselves a financial planner (not a CFP though) or financial advisor (not an RIA though) without any education, experience or licensure.

Not a huge fan of Kiyosaki, he's the personal finance world's version of a cult of personality. But he does have some good quotes every now and then. That Buffet quote is downright classic!

FMF, this is a bit tangential from your post about brokers (who, I agree, should be avoided), but I have been reading the book you recommended "Money, Possessions, and Eternity" by Randy Alcorn, and I was very surprised to find the following passage in his book:

A Christian should avoid investing in any business or enterprise that makes its profits based on people doing what they should not do. Mutual fund investments involve just this kind of risk. They distribute their investors' money in a wide range of companies, some of which will be doing things with the money Christian would not condone. Can we in good conscience invest money when even a small portion of it is going to underwrite the abortion business or support the tobacco and alcohol industries? To the Christian there are more basic questions than whether or not an investment makes a profit.

What do you think about this? Even as a Christian, I happen to disagree with him here. If you think about it, you really can't invest in ANYTHING if you want to make sure your money doesn't go to support things that people "should not do."

Dave --

There's a lot to address in that, but the bottomline is that I agree with you. Almost every company you can name does something not acceptable under the scenario you describe -- they sell something "bad", buy from a "bad" company, sell to a "bad" company, and so on and so forth. Furthermore, any investment you or I would make in a company has ZERO impact on the success of that company (it doesn't help them out one bit.)

The best part of the book are his thoughts on a balanced perspective of wealth (IMO.)

savvy-

I agree...But if you interview someone who calls him or herself a financial planner, the very next statement should be; what are your credentials? If they say I passed the series 63 and think that is all that counts, you should move on or take what they have to say with a fine grain of salt.

Dave-

Invest in socially responsible funds that have sub-par performance compared to your standard index fund. What if your company matches dollar for dollar up to 10% and you only have your standard mutual fund options, which will include "bad" companies. What would you do?

Zook, I would invest in the mutual funds that have the "bad" companies. I would also not invest in socially responsible funds with sub-par performance.

Rich dad said, "The reason they are called brokers is because they are broker than you." - RK

HA HA HA HA HA....

Thanks RK...so Rich Dad (aka RK) has the sense of humor of a 5th grader. What's next in this book, does RK break out the "Yo mama" jokes?

I'm with MoneyMonk, this guy is a con man and it's disappointing to see you (FMF) spending so much time and energy ruminating on another rehash of RDPD. Are you getting paid per-post or something?

Move on...there are better books (and writers) out there.

RK is the man. Almost as good as GK

Kiyosaki is a joke just like 99% of self-help gurus. Kiyosaki was a failed businessman who was able to spin a good yarn appealing to the uneducated masses and that's where he made his money. Go talk to real rich people and see how many of them read nonsense like Rich Dad/Poor Dad - virtually none. Someone up thread made a good post where they said anyone can call themselves anything. There is a lot of truth in that. Like people who call themselves "entrepreneurs" who simply don't have a job and no real business. Or real estate agents, all you need to do is take a test. There are no other barriers to entry, essentially anyone can become a real estate agent very quickly.

The same goes for stock brokers. For every good broker out there that works on Wall Street (and deals almsot exclusively with clients who have millions to invest) there are 1000 brokers outside of Wall Street who are simply cold-calling salesman. Again, all they need to do is take a test the Series 7 and usually the Series 63. Anyone can take these and pass them easily. Then there are a million brokerage houses outside of the "elite" Wall Street firms that you can go and pretty much just sign up for a job. You get paid next to nothing and its all commission based. Just like day-trading or real estate brokering, only a tiny percentage of these people actually make good money.

A big misconception amongst the uneducated masses on Main Street is that Wall Street is full of "brokers". The retail brokerage business on Wall Street is tiny and for the most part unglamourous. Wall Street is about investment banking, propriety trading, and institutional sales to big money players like hedge funds, mutual funds, and other institutional buyers.

JD hits the nail on the head. Wall Street, and its financial advisors, are not there to help folks with their goals. They move product for the investment banking arm, the proprietary, principal trades, and big boys.

Toby --

1. Thatks for giving us the broker's perspective on this post.

2. No, I don't do any pay-per-post postings, and I resent you saying so. If you wish to continue commenting here, I suggest you get your act together or simply move on.

3. THINK FOR YOURSELF. Forget who said the info above, does it have merit? In other words, are many brokers simply salesmen who put their own interests above others? Yes! So the point is still valid.

FMF--

1. I wasn't giving a broker's perspective, I was giving a grown adults perspective. I've read several books by RK and come to the conclusion that he is arrogant and childish and not worth the time. He has no credible claim beside being able to spin a good yarn (you know he's admitted that Rich Dad is a fictional character, right?) What kind of writer questions his readers' intelligence if they disagree with him? That's the height of arrogance.

2. Mighty thin-skin for a blogger, don't you think? I was simply referring to the number of posts on this book. Seemed excessive given that, as I stated above: "There are better books (and writers) out there."

3. "Think for yourself. Forget who said the info above" - I can't do both at the same time. The credibility of a work is based on the credentials of the author and/or the their research. I doubt RK sites any studies before he makes sweeping generalizations about brokers and given that I don't give him any credibility I don't see why I should take his statement at face value. Just because something sounds good to you does not make it true. Sweeping generalizations have a way of "sounding good" without being 100% accurate. If I am truly "thinking for myself" I would question that statement and want to find out more about the topic before passing judgment. But hey, if it sounds good...

Toby --

2. Pay per posts are a serious issue among bloggers and I responded in a serious manner. I suggest you remain a bit more careful in the future.

2A. "There are better books (and writers) out there."

There are ALWAYS better books/writers. Besides, who made you king of what's a good book and what isn't?

3. Really? There are plenty of people (think politicians) I disagree with on almost everything. But does that mean they don't have SOME good thoughts/ideas? Of course not. Saying that an idea isn't good simply because it comes from a particular individual seems to be limited thinking to me.

FMF:

"Besides, who made you king of what's a good book and what isn't?"

Nobody, but I'm entitled to my opinion just like you're entitled to yours.

"Saying that an idea isn't good simply because it comes from a particular individual seems to be limited thinking to me."

You're awfully good at beating straw men. I never said that and I resent you implying that I did. I'm pretty sure I said, "I would question that statement and want to find out more about the topic before passing judgment." In fact, I never said RK's idea was bad. I simply pointed out that one cannot ignore the source of a statement because that feeds into the credibility of that statement.

Toby --

Actually, you attacked RK from the get-go and as a result didn't even give the idea/concept any consideration.

Re-read your first comment for proof.

I agree with FMF. RK presents the information from his perspective. Whether you believe in it or not is your prerogative. We agree with a lot of his philosophies and have used some of his strategies, along with others, to create more wealth. So, his material can be used for good.

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