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July 02, 2009


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Good idea. As a planner myself, I find that most of those driving the Mercedes and wearing Italian suits are the worst advisors. They don't understand the basics of spending less than you make. I worked for a planner in a previous job who was a planner for 30 years and didn't even have an IRA. No retirement savings whatsoever. When clients asked how he was invested he answered "all cash" because he had about $2,500 in his checking account. And, he was making about $250,000 per year!

So avoid the mahogony desks and look for down to earth advisors. You will be better off for it.

Got it. Inspect the piano and vacation home of my financial advisor. Good to know.

I could not agree with you more. When I look for an advisor I want someone who understands me .. someone more inline with the millionaire next door who lives a frugal lifestyle to build wealth slowly over time. Great post. Fresh material.

As a fin planner for 16+ years (retired at age 47, I tried to aviod CLIENTS w/ lavish lifestyles, as it was obvious they couldn't wouldn't commit to a REAL long term plan that involved 15-30% of gross being put away avoiding consumer debt etc.,) ..I made $200-$500 for 14~ of 16 years, lived on about $50-$60 K, about ~35%+ in taxes and saved/invested the rest,... paid CASH for everything, lived upper middle class w/ frugality but, a "nice life", travel, dine out weekly, modest but, reliable cars, etc., (no cable tv for years when plenty of OTA TV was free for example, T stat on 65'F in winter, 80'F in summer, etc., etc.,) and tried to set an EXAMPLE, was the REAL millionaire (now multi) next door...So if YOU aren't committed, don't expect your ADVISOR to be!!...THOGUHT for the DayS

I'm of two minds with this. Ask yourself why banks are usually such nice and prominent buildings in any large city? I believe this is the case because they want to project an image of having sustainability and robustness. Bank lobbies are very lavish affairs and it is thought that this serves as a magnet for depositor confidence.

A rich appearance of an investor can also project confidence and competence. However I do think that the attitudes toward wealth are slightly changing today, to start to move away from conspicuous consumption.


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