Free Money eBook for Financial Advisers and DIY Investors
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Confused? It Makes More Sense if You Start at the Home Page
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Just Edited for 2013, Get the Updated Version for Free!
Managing the Financial Services Industry... Instead of Letting it Manage You
Plus much more.
This is a no-nonsense "uncensored" money ebook for consumers, investors, and financial advisors to help make better-informed decisions. It's the only thing you can read, free or not, that tells it like it really is. So if you don't like facts, logic, math, truth, and reality, then this ebook is not for you.
For investors, the main focus is shedding light on industry-wide problems that have no feasible solutions, which makes it worthwhile to take control and manage your own money. Then it teaches you how to invest yourself, more efficiently than the pros, so you can realize better returns with less risk. If you still don't want to do that, then it teaches you how to shop wisely for financial advisors.
Financial advisors will learn more about achieving better investing results for clients than in any other book, website, seminar, class, or training program (other than the CFA, of course). There's dozens of times more investment management red meat than in the whole CFP program combined.
You'll also learn important things about the biz, even if you're an old veteran. If you're a rookie or a wannabe financial adviser - then just this could literally save your life. Any one of the gold nuggets of "secret" information could prevent you from making a huge life-ruining mistake. What you don't want to do is start a practice in an industry without knowing what's really going on first, not being able to defend yourself against the predators, and then not being properly armed for the inevitable never ending parade of uphill battles in a war that can't be won.
It will also enlighten both investors and financial advisors on the mysteries of the financial services, financial planning, estate planning, insurance, banking, brokerage, and investment industries.
See past the hyped-up facade and become educated on what the business is really about, from an insider's point of view. This is the best way to learn how the industry is organized, how to avoid predators, common abuses, conflicts of interest; and then how to navigate it all to make it work in your favor.
It's critical in life to see through the hype and (corporate) spin, so you can tell what things really are, and what things really are not. The financial sector of the U.S. economy holds the all-time record of obfuscating, misleading, omitting, and spinning about what things in the Real World are; and then lying about what things are not. Then there's the blatant cheating, stealing, hiding fees expenses and other charges; and getting rich from all of the "conflicts of interest."
Rich enough that they can then pay off the politicians so well that when their monstrous newfangled creations (AKA "Wall Street financial innovations") designed to make only themselves rich at the expense of the masses, literally tries to end the world (e.g., Jan '09). We predicted long ago that the chickens from these world-eating monsters would come back one day to try to end life as we know it, and that's exactly what almost happened (and still is). Then guess what? None of this has been fixed at all yet. It wasn't even barely attempted.
This Money eBook is the best single thing you can read anywhere, that will shine the light of truth onto ALL of this. The whole financial system in the U.S. is a primitive broken fragmented self-serving disaster; it always has been, it still is, and it always will be. Things are so bad that just knowing what basic things are, and are not, could literally save your life.
One of the overall themes is being thankful for all we have (hedge funds, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, American Funds, and AIG), and then turning around and whining profusely about the problems that go with it all.
This is delivered via zipped e-mail attachment. Everything together is more than 350-pages of Word documents (in 12 point font). This is equivalent to a ~1,000 page average-sized hard-copy book. Then there's over 200 pages of the only detailed financial planning software reviews ever done on most all vendors. This is an eBook, so you won't receive a hard-copy book in the postal mail.
Ancient Financial Myths Exposed and Explained:
• Why you should always take Social Security and pensions the first day you can.
• Why all forms of 20th century "tax wrappers" have lost their effectiveness in the 21st century. Examples of government sponsored tax wrappers are: All qualified retirement plans like IRAs, 401(k)s, Roths, 529 college plans, then all forms of life insurance company products (annuities and whole life insurance).
• Why you should avoid investing in non-qualified mode because of high dividend and capital gains taxes is a myth.
• Why ETFs are not as cool as advertised.
• How and why active investment management can beat passive management, if it's done right.
• Industry professional designations and what they mean. Do the letters after someone's name actually mean anything, or not? Most are just a myth.
• What portfolio optimization is, the dangers, and what it's used for. Why you shouldn't even consider experimenting with any kind of a portfolio optimizer. The differences between "pretend portfolio optimization" and real portfolio optimization are explained.
• All about using Monte Carlo simulations in financial planning software.
• What the real story is regarding "private money managers."
• Learn about what hedge funds are really all about, and how to spot and avoid the "fake ones," that don't actually hedge anything.
• How American Funds got to be a household name - it wasn't because of their long-term investment performance records. Critical reading for everyone that owns them and advisors that sell them (and why you should avoid them).
• What the current fad is (there's always a current fad that will soon reverse, wiping out hundreds of billions of investor's life savings).
• About Dollar Cost Averaging strategies and why you should avoid it.
• Why you should run for the hills when a financial advisor recommends refinancing your mortgage to put the freed-up money into the stock market.
• About using portfolio benchmarking to properly compare investment performance.
• About popular "personal finance gurus" and why you should take what they say and write with a huge grain of salt.
• Why you should look at the "great deals" from AARP with another grain of salt.
• There's 15 "universal constants," not just two (death and taxes). Life makes much more sense when you can get a grip on the other thirteen.
• About Windows 8 and Apple computers with unique PC tips.
Some Real World Mysteries this Money eBook Reveals:
• Why the financial services businesses are in the state they're in, why it's all a huge mystery, and why there's few straight answers. Learn many well-kept secrets that Wall Street, the financial product makers and packagers, and financial advisors very much don't want you to know anything about.
• What the deals are when it comes to both consumers and investors buying and using financial planning software for themselves, and the real reasons why financial advisors buy and use only certain types of financial software.
• Who the players are in financial services firms. What the custodian, Broker-Dealer, and their compliance department are all about. All about the cops (BD compliance, the SEC, state regulators, and FINRA) and why they're not very effective at stopping every day abuse.
• What the various types of financial advisors really are, how they actually work, get paid, and why they do what they do and say what they say. Understand the "financial advisor food chain" by understanding the "financial adviser pyramid."
• The differences between a financial planner, money manager, broker, stockbroker, insurance agent, (FINRA) registered representative, registered investment advisor, and more.
• The differences between fee-based and fee-only financial planners and investment managers.
• Questions to ask financial advisors to help you understand what type they really are.
• How to choose a financial planner and/or investment adviser.
• Which type of financial planner is best for you?
• How to tell if a financial planner wanting to manage your money is a dabbler, wannabe, rookie, or a true professional.
• How to eliminate common conflicts of interest when working with each type of financial adviser, what they really want from you, and how to avoid being taken in by slick salespeople.
• How to screen professional money managers to find a true pro for a reasonable price.
• Why stock pickers give away their recommendations on TV for free, when their clients are paying high fees for it.
• Why investment advisors have so many different opinions on how money should be managed.
• The real reason why some financial advisors always say life insurance company products (e.g., insurance and annuities) are the answer to everything.
• Why your financial planner always wants to talk about trusts and estate planning.
• What estate planning is, and what the deals are now that the Jan '13 revisions pretty much wiped out the whole industry forever.
• Which financial products pay financial advisors the most (which tells why they keep talking about them instead of products that will benefit you the most).
• The true differences between the products financial advisors want to sell you. How financial product structures and packaging got to be the way they are.
• The real reasons why your financial advisor recommends different products over time, and in different economic environments.
• Why your broker is really so hard to contact. It's not because they're "too busy."
• How and why financial advisors are very susceptible to the psychological disease called "affluenza," and why this is bad for you.
• About how broken the biz really is. It's so broken by basic human frailties that even the top players that are already so unbelievable rich and famous that they have more money than God, still have to play the usual shenanigans to get even richer at your expense.
• Much more than you ever wanted to know about the life insurance industry.
• About always remembering the financial meltdown of '07 to '09.
For Financial Professionals
• For people that don't know - "Being a financial advisor for dummies." Over the years, it's been amazing how basic the questions are from people just starting out as a financial planner, or are thinking about becoming one.
For example, why would you want to be one? How do I get paid? You mean I can't just put an ad in the paper and clients will flock to me for free? What's prospecting? Why do I need to hook up with a custodian? Why do I need a license? What do they mean, choose between the Broker Dealer or RIA model?
So most all of these kinds of basic questions that everyone just knows and takes for granted are answered here. Most all basic questions about the biz are answered from day one to selling out.
• For anyone working in the financial planning industry in any capacity: What to do if and when you "fail" (or are slowly but surely failing). So if you are, or were working in this biz (sales or non-sales), and for whatever reason you got "fired," are just "not making it," are unhappy, or can "see the writing on the wall" so you know where this is going, then there's a section of vital reading here for you.
You need to wake up and get a grip on reality ASAP and make huge changes if you want to survive. There's a section that explains how things were (back in the good 'old days), what happened to change that, how and why things are the way they are now, and what the short-, medium- and long-term forecasts are for the financial planning and/or investment management side of the financial services industry (especially if you're "in sales").
So if you're in this biz and are not happy for any reason, then reading this section could literally save your life too. This section will answer most questions about, "I don't get it, nothing is working, why is this so hard, what am I doing wrong, why is financial planning software so hard to use and why does it take hours of grueling torture just to make a plan, this makes no sense, what's going on and how do I fix it, when is this going to end, do I really have to become a complete workaholic and totally give up my personal life just for this, what do I do, how, why, when, and with what money, etc. and so forth!?"
• All of the long-winded unique financial planning software reviews, including comments from users. Here's how many pages there are for each software vendor so far (in MS Word '07 at 100% view magnification):
- MoneyTree Easy Money: 32 pages
• Critical tips on passing the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) exams the first time. If you're sitting for any of these exams (or the Bar, CPA, comprehensive CFP, etc.), then this one section alone will be worth it.
• A summary of our experience, from beginning to end, of taking the CFA program (Chartered Financial Analyst). About the tests, then about the job markets; what's it's good for and not.
• All about being a CFP in the Real World. This will help you decide whether or not to enroll in the CFP (Certified Financial Planner) program.
• For fee-based and fee-only advisors, how to tap the 529 college savings plan market you thought was untappable.
• Several pages listing all of the reasons why you should consider firing your Broker Dealer and FINRA. Then how to become your own independent Registered Investment Advisor (RIA).
• The differences between the Mom and Pop financial consulting office and larger firms with armies of salespeople. Why Mom and Pop boutiques are growing and the big players are shrinking.
• Why there are rarely good jobs in the financial services industry, regardless of your education, skills, talent, experience, licenses, or background.
• For newbies, what it's like working for financial planners. What they say, what they do, what they really want, what motivates them, and how, when, and why they lie to clients and prospects. Read Real World examples of what most of them think, say, want, do, and how they run their practices. You won't believe it!
• A brief tutorial on marketing your financial planning and investment management practice.
• About the "summer slowdown." This industry has its seasons, and it's important to know them well (so you'll know when to not take vacations, etc.).
• About getting financial plan software approved for use by BD compliance and FINRA. After that is a list of most large Broker Dealers with their websites and contact information.
• A few basic but important tips on Errors and Omission insurance (E&O).
• Several valuable pages with vital bottom lines on how to be a strong and healthy working warrior. We see this whole thing as a war against ignorance, so you'll need to be strong to survive it all long-term.
• Why this is a "man's business."
• About Morningstar.
• About "cloud computing," and why you should avoid it all.
Critical (DIY) Financial Planning and Investing Information for Consumers and Investors
• Determine if you should manage your own investments, and if so, how?
• The pros and cons of managing your money yourself vs. hiring a money manager.
• How to better manage risk and get higher returns in your investment portfolio.
• Why just a little higher rate of return can make a huge difference in your standard of living at retirement (with proof and charts).
• What the deals are when it comes to buying and using financial planning and/or investment software, so you can do it yourself (DIY) with better results.
• All about mutual funds. How to pick and screen mutual funds yourself.
• Several pages about what Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) are, differences between ETFs and closed-end mutual funds, why they're one of the current fads; advantages, disadvantages, and why you should avoid holding them.
• What mutual fund share class letters really mean (A, B, C, and other types shares), and why financial advisors really tout one kind over another.
• The three ways to manage money. This is critical reading for everyone to help understand money management. Learn details on which one of the three general methodologies of investment management works the best and why.
• All about investing in IRS section 529 college savings plans, and why you should consider avoiding all of that.
• About the five most-commonly-used investment risk tolerance categories.
• All about what investment portfolio benchmarking is for and how to do it.
• Why you shouldn't dabble in currency trading (FOREX trading).
• How to self-manage your 401(k), 403(b), or 457 retirement plans.
• How investment choices / options are made for 401(k), 529, plans and variable life insurance company product subaccounts.
• Variable annuity and variable life insurance tutorial. The advantages and disadvantages of variable annuities are discussed in detail. Then learn about the one and only way to salvage this sorry situation if you are currently a VA policyholder. Also discussed are the only two methods of escape from being locked into poorly-performing life insurance company products (variable annuities and variable life insurance).
• Much more than you ever wanted to know about life insurance companies and their business models. If you're wondering why we pick on them, why you own an annuity or whole life insurance, why it's "not doing well," and what life is like as an agent (or Rep for a BD controlled by a life insurance company), then this section will answer all of those questions. This Money eBook explains the most-common pitfalls when dealing with the life insurance company business model.
• About why you should also rarely invest in a fixed annuity.
• About the pitfalls of "being stuck frozen like a deer in headlights" whenever "something happens." Over the decades, this story has repeated itself perfectly over and over and over again. Something happens, you're scared, and instead of getting on with your life, you just sit and watch / read the news and fail to make any decision about anything - for months.
Why you should stop doing this and then how to stop this extremely bad short-term reflex behavior that could, and will probably will, end up ruining your (retirement) life. Whole MBA courses and books are written about these basic life concepts.
• About opening a discount brokerage account to manage your own money, especially old 401(k)s, 529 plans, and IRA rollovers.
• Why you should never invest in "crap bonds," or mutual funds or ETFs comprised of a high percentage of them. These are all asset-backed securities, like GNMA, FNMA, FHLMC, SLMA, etc.
• How to complain, and maybe get money back, from bad financial advisors.
• Why you should never invest in "target funds" (asset allocation mutual funds with a year in their objective name). AKA target-risk funds, life cycle funds, target year funds, and life style funds. If you bought one of these things (more than likely in your 401k plan), then just reading this section will pay for itself.
• And more! A new section or so is added monthly or so.
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