People sometimes think I’m a stock broker. Many know I also deal in bonds, bank CDs, mutual funds, and ETFs. However, I’m not a broker, but rather an investment advisor. I advise our clients on anything money-related: assets, debt, income, expenses, cash flow, taxes, commodities, interest rates and even currency (think gold…or Bitcoin!).
However, typically investment advisors (not the product pushers that call themselves “financial advisors”) earn fees as a percentage of assets that they manage. Because most investment advisors are not also realtors or property managers, this often leads to implicitly discouraging clients from investing in real estate.
Not me. I encourage real estate investment (e.g. our 4/1/2013 and 7/1/2007 newsletters) – if done the right way, at the right time, with the right ‘envelope’ of money. I’d like to consider myself not just an investment advisor, but a financial planner – and I want my clients to think of me the same way.
We have an order of priority for most folks for how to save and invest. The following items have eligibility requirements, so are not “one-size fits all”:
- Workplace retirement plan ‘to the match’ (grab the free money!)
- Pay off any debts with interest rates higher than 6%
- H.S.A. ‘to the max’
- Roth IRAs ‘to the max’
- The fifth priority is where it gets interesting – and it usually pays at this point to complete a comprehensive financial plan, as it could be any or all of the following:
- Workplace retirement plan ‘to the max’
- 529 plan(s)
- Real Estate (investment property!)
- Taxable investment account
- Donor-Advised Fund
Notice variable annuities don’t make the list? Another missing item is what investments to hold. Once you know where and how to save, the next step is determining what investments to purchase. Stay tuned...