Free Money eBook for Financial Advisers and DIY Investors
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|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 learn how to make better-informed decisions about money. It's all about facts, logic, math, truth, with too much reality.
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, just like the pros. The goal is usually to realize better and more stable investment returns with less risk and volatility. If you still don't want to do that, then this money book teaches you how to shop more wisely for suitable financial advisors.
Financial advisors can learn much more about achieving better investing results for clients than from the usual sources. The CFP program, Finra exams, and the CFA program, teach a lot about the details of most all investment vehicles. But not one teaches you how to tie all of that data together, so you can do something useful with it in the Real World. This is the whole bottom line point of what you wanted to know, yet nobody delivers that. So traditional educational / testing programs will educate you on all of the details of each tree, but fail when it comes to teaching you how to deal with the forest (or even how to plant a simple garden).
So this investment book can help you choose an overall investment strategy from those available. Then it shows you how to do it yourself (AKA DIY), turn the crank, resulting in a viable investment portfolio at the end of the process.
You'll also learn many important things about the financial services industry, even if you're an old veteran. If you're a rookie or a wannabe financial adviser - then just these "secret gold nuggets" could literally save your life by preventing you from making huge mistakes.
What you don't want to do is spend your bottom dollar starting a practice in an industry without first understanding what's really going on. Then just not being able to defend yourself against the tricks, traps, and predators may ruin you. Then not being properly armed for the inevitable never-ending uphill battles in a war that can't really be won, may set you up for fails that can never be recovered from.
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.
This money guide will help you see past the hyped-up facade and become educated on what industry business models are really about, from an insider's point of view.
It takes someone with a "White Hat" working in a "Black Hat" industry for decades, and then "blowing the whistle" to learn how things are truly organized, why, where, when, and by whom. So with most all business models, you'll learn where the motivation comes from, where the money flows, how to avoid predators and parasites, common abuses, conflicts of interest; and then how to help navigate 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 (AKA the industry) holds by far the all-time record of tricking, trapping, and spinning about what things in the Real World really are; and then lying, obfuscating, misleading, and omitting about what things really are not. Then there's the blatant cheating, stealing, hiding fees / expenses / charges; and in general - getting rich from all of these "conflicts of interests" - all at your expense.
Some Wall Street players pay off the politicians so well that regulating their monstrous newfangled world-eating creations (AKA "financial innovations" like hedge funds, fake financial plan software, and credit default swaps) are not even considered. Some literally almost ended the world as we know it (e.g., Jan '09). Then guess what? Little to none of that has been "fixed," and never will be.
So just sitting back and thinking everything is fine, because the government is protecting you from generic Black Hat business models won't work. Some things in life just can't be fixed, and the financial services sector of the U.S. economy is one of them. So it's up to you to pay attention and take matters into your own hands, or you are by default a "sheeple" - being led to the fleecing and carving by Black Hat shepherd overlords that are motivated only by how much money they can make today with your fleece and mutton.
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).
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 really are, and are not, could literally save your life.
One of the overall themes is being thankful for all we have (e.g., hedge funds, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, American Funds, Morningstar, and AIG), and then whining profusely about the problems that go with it.
Just the Money eBook docx is 460+ pages in 12 point font. This is equivalent to an 700-page average-sized hard-copy book. Then there are hundreds more pages of articles pasted into other Word docx files.
This is an eBook, so you won't receive a hard-copy book in the postal mail, and you'll need the newer version of MS Word (2007) to open and read it.
Ancient Financial Myths Exposed and Explained:
• Why you should always take Social Security, annuities, and pensions the first day you can.
• Top-level tutorial primer about financial planning software. Anyone that has any interest whatsoever in financial planning software will get most all questions answered by reading this page first.
• 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 type of a portfolio optimizer. The differences between "pretend" portfolio optimization and "real" portfolio optimization are also explained in great detail.
• 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. This is critical reading for everyone that owns them and advisors that sell them.
• What the current fad is (there's always a current fad that will soon reverse, wiping out hundreds of billions of investors' life savings).
• About Dollar Cost Averaging strategies and why you should avoid it.
• About the CFA-semi-sponsored "investing service" known as "Seeking Alpha." Why that is mostly useless technobabble that should be ignored and avoided (especially by money managers).
• 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.
• How to gauge the current health of this wonderful industry by using a little-known and hard to find monthly-updated index. Use it to make more cost-effective marketing plans for the near future (and to see why what you did in the recent past didn't work).
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 for both consumers and investors buying and using financial planning software for themselves, and the real reasons why financial advisors buy and use mostly a certain type of financial software. Then how and why most financial planners want to use accurate financial planning and retirement software to project clients' futures, but are not allowed because their overlords make more money by forcing them to use "fake, but easy to use" software.
• Who the players are in financial services firms. What the custodian, Broker-Dealer, and their compliance department are all about. 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." Understand the financial adviser pyramid by understanding the motivations and incentives at each level.
• What the differences are 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 seasoned 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., whole life 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 after the Jan '13 revisions.
• 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 continually 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 types of basic questions that everyone just knows, and takes for granted, are answered here. Most all basic questions about the business are answered from day one to selling out.
• Tips for using Social Media for Cold Calling.
• 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 too.
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 like, "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 to make a minimal living in this business, what do I do, how, why, when, and with what money, etc. and so forth!?"
• Links to unique financial planning software reviews.
• 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 exams, how useful all of that information is in the Real World, and then about the job markets; what's it's good for and not (in other worlds, hopeful career fantasy vs. reality).
• 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.
• Many 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. Learn why most of them using the same business models say, write, and do the exact same things.
• 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 some large Broker Dealers with their websites and contact information.
• A few basic but important tips on Errors and Omission insurance (E&O).
• How Fee-Based advisers can earn fees from variable annuities.
• Why this is a "man's business." It's not what you think!
• 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 volatility and get higher and more stable 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 math, 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.
• About mutual funds. How to pick and screen mutual funds yourself.
• Dozens of pages about what Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) are, the 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 if you're not a market timing trader.
• 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.
• 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.
• 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 your 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 most 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 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.
• A minor amusing timesaver that gets people out of your hair without putting them off. It's a cool image you can use in e-mails. Just click Reply, attach it, click Send, and you won't have to type anything and the recipient will both giggle, and get that you concur with whatever they typed. Then they go away happy... it works great!
• The differences between actual real cash flow-based financial planning software, and goalware.
• About the U.S. Department of Labor's 2017 Fiduciary Rulings in a nutshell.
• And more! It's edited weekly and a new section or so is added quarterly or so.
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