RR S4 E28 IS YOUR FINANCIAL ADVISOR RIGHT FOR YOU? [00:00:01]
BRIAN: Welcome to safer retirement radio where you get the transparency you deserve. With over 35 years of experience in finance and investing we help you stay up-to-date on market news and retirement strategies. I’m Brian James Decker, owner and founder of Decker retirement planning and host of Safer Retirement Radio, with me as my co-host and one of the advisors here at Decker retirement planning, Clayton Bradshaw.
RR S4 E28 IS YOUR FINANCIAL ADVISOR RIGHT FOR YOU? [00:00:23]
CLAYTON: Welcome back. Brian, I’m excited to be here with you today. Actually, we’re doing a recording prior to Thanksgiving, so by the time this airs Thanksgiving will have happened so I hope all of you enjoy your Thanksgiving that are listening in that your able to spend time albeit be probably virtually with your family and friends and close relatives hope you took advantage of Zoom’s free unlimited day on Thanksgiving they had unlimited video meetings so hopefully you’re able to take advantage of that as well.
RR S4 E28 IS YOUR FINANCIAL ADVISOR RIGHT FOR YOU? [00:00:53]
CLAYTON: But with today’s show we are you talking about I think one of the things that we run into is some folks will go in and they’ll talk to their advisor and they think yeah this is the guy or the gal that’s right for me so what we want to talk about today on the show is helping you understand if your advisor is right for you and so we’re going to talk about the things that they should be bringing up in this conversation so is you’re looking for an advisor if you’re as your scouting and doing your research on what’s going to be right for you.
RR S4 E28 IS YOUR FINANCIAL ADVISOR RIGHT FOR YOU? [00:01:24]
CLAYTON: We hope that this can help you have an idea of what you should expect is kind of the normal process things to avoid as well and then also will wrap it up with the talking about three ways you can know if your advisor is acting as a fiduciary because for us that’s one of the most important things you should look for in a financial advisor is that they are a fiduciary and I know that some advisors say they’re a fiduciary but we’re going to give you at the end of three checks so that you can make sure your advisor is required to act as fiduciary required by the law.
RR S4 E28 IS YOUR FINANCIAL ADVISOR RIGHT FOR YOU? [00:01:57]
CLAYTON: So and so let’s jump into it today. Oh one other thing we are going to be giving away something later on in the show so I hope you stick around for that as well. But, what I want to start with today is Brian you’ve been doing this for a very long time, helping people manage their retirement working with people to get ready for and then enjoy retirement and you’ve been helping see them through that retirement process as well and you follow up annually with people. What are some of the things that you in the planning process people should expect from their financial advisor, whether it’s questions or whether it’s the process what are some of the bigger things that you hope that people watch for.
RR S4 E28 IS YOUR FINANCIAL ADVISOR RIGHT FOR YOU? [00:02:38]
BRIAN: Well I’m gonna answer that in the 35 years I’ve been doing this there’s three totally different experiences Clayton. One was when I was a stockbroker, gosh I just cringe saying this, and I know you know what I’m going to say, but my manager came by my office at 7 a.m. every morning in Seattle Washington knocked on my door, opened it and said the same thing, I’m not going to say his name I think he’s deceased, but he would say Brian we’re paid to keep our clients at risk and that made me bristle.
RR S4 E28 IS YOUR FINANCIAL ADVISOR RIGHT FOR YOU? [00:03:15]
BRIAN: It didn’t feel right, but what he meant by that is we’re not paid much of anything for CDs or bonds. We wanted our clients in mutual funds and stocks. There weren’t any ETF’s at that time so that was one experience that I had and it just didn’t feel right, Clayton. I didn’t feel like I was doing the right thing for clients trying to get as much of their money at risk for my benefit. It just didn’t feel right. Second thing is something that I haven’t experienced, but is pervasive and that is a quote on quote two meeting close. Are we going to talk about this?
RR S4 E28 IS YOUR FINANCIAL ADVISOR RIGHT FOR YOU? [00:03:56]
CLAYTON: Yeah, let’s bring it up I think one of the things that I’ve talked to with some of my clients as they were shopping for an advisor one of the things they ran into is they’d walk into somebody’s office and that advisor would sit down and they’d give them the warm fuzzies and ask them a bunch of questions and spend an hour or so with them and then they say all right, we’re going to have our second meeting. And then somebody would walk into that second meeting and they would say all right here’s all your applications sign everything over to me. We’ve got this locked down.
RR S4 E28 IS YOUR FINANCIAL ADVISOR RIGHT FOR YOU? [00:04:30]
CLAYTON: I just think that it just makes me cringe a little bit, because I think for that to be an approach for every single person that walks through the door. These are personalized retirement plans, at least they should be. If an advisor is just saying here’s the products that you need to be in, whether it’s being all at risk whether it’s being an insurance product ’cause I know how that’s how a lot of these guys operate. It’s not right for everyone, it might be right for a few people out there. I’m not saying that it’s not, but it’s not right for everyone in my opinion.
RR S4 E28 IS YOUR FINANCIAL ADVISOR RIGHT FOR YOU? [00:05:00]
CLAYTON: So that being said I think as somebody walks into an office I think the conversation should be, okay let’s learn about each other. Because from both ends of the table whether you’re a prospective client looking for investment advice for your retirement or whether you’re the advisor, both parties should be interviewing each other and asking hey are we going to be a good fit ’cause this is going to be a long-term relationship. So I hope that’s one of the things that our listeners keep in mind is, that as you’re looking for a financial advisor and deciding who you’re going to pick, I hope you consider that you’ve got to get along with them and also understand that their investment strategy is going to be right for you.
RR S4 E28 IS YOUR FINANCIAL ADVISOR RIGHT FOR YOU? [00:05:40]
CLAYTON: And so consider that that you got a good report with them a good relationship and don’t feel like they are just there to interview you ’cause you both should be having that same conversation that is this going to be a fit for both of us long-term? Now that being said the other things I should be doing in this is more to the point with any kind of insurance proctor, any kind of investment, anything of that nature. There’s got to be questions that have asked to make sure that these products are going to be a fit for you and your purpose in your goals.
RR S4 E28 IS YOUR FINANCIAL ADVISOR RIGHT FOR YOU? [00:06:10]
CLAYTON: And so I hope, and this should be something that all advisors do, is that they are asking you hey, tell me what your goals are, tell me how do you feel about risk, tell me how you feel about these various aspects of your retirement? Now one of the things that we do in our processes is in our first meeting we help people understand a little bit about us we also spend a good amount of that time and making sure we understand who our prospective clients are. We ask them about themselves we learn about them.
RR S4 E28 IS YOUR FINANCIAL ADVISOR RIGHT FOR YOU? [00:06:40]
CLAYTON: In the second meeting that’s where we start to build that plan. In some people that’s all it takes they’re ready to go after that and in other people it takes a few meetings to go through the process. One of the things that we love doing and Brian I’ll have you talk a little bit about this is the stress test that goes along with people’s plans, because having a plan is great, but what happens if all of these life events happened. So can you talk about that a little bit?
RR S4 E28 IS YOUR FINANCIAL ADVISOR RIGHT FOR YOU? [00:07:04]
BRIAN: I’m going to jump in ’cause you’re hitting the third thing I want to talk about. So the first thing was a bad experience of my training as a stockbroker. I want to get to the third, which is where yours talking about what we do as fiduciaries in drawing out the information, so that we can put a holistic plan together where it covers the five key things: risk minimization, income optimization, portfolio optimization, liquidity, and tax minimization. Those are the five things that are critically important to put together in a plan. We’re going to get to this is and how we do it.
RR S4 E28 IS YOUR FINANCIAL ADVISOR RIGHT FOR YOU? [00:07:45]
CLAYTON: Can I add one to that as well?
CLAYTON: For six, number six is also making sure that it works at the estate planning side of the accounts are going to transfer.
BRIAN: Good point.
CLAYTON: Transfer the most efficient way possible this ties into.
BRIAN: Tax minimization.
CLAYTON: Income optimization and tax minimization as well.
RR S4 E28 IS YOUR FINANCIAL ADVISOR RIGHT FOR YOU? [00:08:00]
BRIAN: Yep, so I just want to say a couple more things about a two meeting close. My wife and I made the mistake one time in our life, one time of seeing an ad that said cruise to Bermuda price of 2500 bucks for a week in Bermuda. That covered everything, but if you check this box we’ll do it for 700 dollars but you have to go to this meeting. [LAUGH] Have you done this?
RR S4 E28 IS YOUR FINANCIAL ADVISOR RIGHT FOR YOU? [00:08:31]
CLAYTON: I’ve done something similar before, yes.
BRIAN: Okay, I’ve never had a more pressure meeting than a timeshare. Where one guy comes in he’s your friend and then the closer comes in and he wants your wallet. And he’s going to beat you up if you try to escape out of that room without giving you his money. He thinks your money is his money.
RR S4 E28 IS YOUR FINANCIAL ADVISOR RIGHT FOR YOU? [00:08:55]
BRIAN: It’s just that was a horrible situation. I think we bought just to get out of there and then we never used it. But I’m just saying that’s what I think of when I think of the two meeting close. It’s high pressure and one size doesn’t fit all in retirement and we know that in fact, we have five planners at Decker Retirement Planning. Just recently in the last week, I talked to all of them about this topic for another reason.
RR S4 E28 IS YOUR FINANCIAL ADVISOR RIGHT FOR YOU? [00:09:28]
BRIAN: And they found it just inconceivable that we could be a fiduciary and that we could do a two meeting close and do what’s in the best interest from the client. All of them without hesitation says that’s impossible. Let’s keep going down the road you were going, let’s talk about the meetings and what we do, in taking the client through. So in the first meeting we kind of a get-to-know-you, we have an introductory questionnaire right I’m going to say this pretty quickly.
RR S4 E28 IS YOUR FINANCIAL ADVISOR RIGHT FOR YOU? [00:10:04]
BRIAN: But we get to know them we find out in the first 90-minute meeting what’s important to them. What their goals are, what they’re looking for. Now we know that the client doesn’t know what they don’t know, so we have a get-to-know-you. We give them a quick transparency on some of the major services that we offer. The second meeting is about social security optimization.
RR S4 E28 IS YOUR FINANCIAL ADVISOR RIGHT FOR YOU? [00:10:33]
BRIAN: It’s a math-based approach of how we give them what to expect if they take the worst possible road in social security and we describe what that is and the best outcome. And on the top of page four it says how they can specifically to the month optimize their social security. And Clayton, you’ve done this, the difference between the worst and the best social security is typically a couple hundred thousand dollars difference.
RR S4 E28 IS YOUR FINANCIAL ADVISOR RIGHT FOR YOU? [00:11:04]
BRIAN: And then we talk, we get them an outline of what we want to achieve in the next four visits, and we show them also all the fees involved in the process. Which typically even the person at Vanguard, if they’ve got an expense ratio in their portfolio of 70 basis points 0.7 the average American has a 90 basis point expense ratio typically.
RR S4 E28 IS YOUR FINANCIAL ADVISOR RIGHT FOR YOU? [00:11:38]
BRIAN: Vanguard usually lowers it to 0.7 or 0.6 we typically cut that in half. I’m proud to say so as fiduciaries we are typically cutting their plan expense ratio in half.
CLAYTON: Well and two I wanna add I think this is something why when you had first started as a stockbroker that it made you a little bit uncomfortable because you were trying to keep everybody’s money at risk in order to build them on everything and weren’t acting as a fiduciary to minimize those fees. And that’s why you switched, came over as a fiduciary and started helping retirees because of that ability to do so.
RR S4 E28 IS YOUR FINANCIAL ADVISOR RIGHT FOR YOU? [00:12:15]
BRIAN: Correct, I need to go quickly now. The third meeting with clients is where we go through a 25 Point checklist of all the different ways that you can destroy your retirement. We want to find out early on if their retirement income plan has any weaknesses that we can address right away. Meeting number four, talks about all the different principle guaranteed accounts. We have a [wink?] database that we go through.
RR S4 E28 IS YOUR FINANCIAL ADVISOR RIGHT FOR YOU? [00:12:48]
BRIAN: We know mathematically what the highest earning cash account one to three, three to five, five to seven, and seven to 10-year principal guaranteed investments are. We know what their highest paying principal guaranteed investments are for all those different buckets. And, we work with our clients on them and educate them to see which ones are the right fit for them. And conversely we also have a detailed discussion of all the risk options that are available.
RR S4 E28 IS YOUR FINANCIAL ADVISOR RIGHT FOR YOU? [00:13:19]
BRIAN: By the way, with principal guaranteed accounts we also discuss CDs, treasuries, corporate, agencies, municipal bonds, we cover thoroughly all the options for the clients. So they know why this one is a fit and this one isn’t.
BRIAN: And then meeting five is where we tie it all in together. We move the chess pieces to make sure it’s all a fit. So our income plan, by the way this is worth going to our website to see what a sample John and Jane income plan is, it’s a spreadsheet that shows mathematically what all of your cash flows are Social Security, pension, income from your portfolio.
RR S4 E28 IS YOUR FINANCIAL ADVISOR RIGHT FOR YOU? [00:13:59]
BRIAN: We have you live to age 100 and we see net of tax how much money you can draw annually and monthly with a cola cost of living adjustment to age 100. It is a beautiful thing. And most people their response when they see it is I wish I met you five years earlier or that’s what they typically say. In those five or six meetings with clients we really can do the job of the fiduciary of addressing all of their concern.
RR S4 E28 IS YOUR FINANCIAL ADVISOR RIGHT FOR YOU? [00:14:31]
BRIAN: Because we’d met with them five, six times of 90 minutes each, to thoroughly go through all of their concerns, focus on their goals, and they’re in the direction that they want to go in retirement. I’m really proud of that.
CLAYTON: Yeah, and I think in talking about this I know that for everybody it’s an individualized plan. And typically it takes us about five or six meetings to go through everything that we need to because, it’s taking somebody’s accounts it’s fitting them into a distribution plan. It’s a bit of a puzzle and we want to make sure that it’s done right. As we fit all those pieces in, exactly in the in right places that they need to go to help you folks have your retirement income set up the right way.
RR S4 E28 IS YOUR FINANCIAL ADVISOR RIGHT FOR YOU? [00:15:18]
CLAYTON: Another way I like to view meetings is just steps of these are each steps that we have to take during the process. Because, and Brian you’ve seen this too, there are people that it only takes them a few meetings to go through and others it takes them a little bit longer. That’s okay, because we want to make sure that it’s done as correctly as we can do it and so we are comfortable. And we’re happy to take the time making sure that these are set up the right way. That they are done well, in from the perspective of a fiduciary and so we take that obligation very seriously to make sure that we are doing it, and using products, and investments that are the best interest of our clients. Anything else that you want to add to that process?
RR S4 E28 IS YOUR FINANCIAL ADVISOR RIGHT FOR YOU? [00:16:01]
BRIAN: No I’m going to follow your lead. I just am really excited about the contrast to a two meeting close and the way we do it.
CLAYTON: Right, so that’s the process that somebody goes through to become a client of ours. After somebody becomes a client we don’t just provide them with annual statements. Which is what a lot of advisors do they’ll tell you oh yeah we’ll hold your hand for years to come. When all it is they spend 20 minutes, they print off a couple of statements, the email them over, and say all right are you good? Okay, we’ll see you next year and then maybe send a Christmas card that’s the extent of it.
RR S4 E28 IS YOUR FINANCIAL ADVISOR RIGHT FOR YOU? [00:16:37]
CLAYTON: What we do, we actually have a team dedicated for this, it’s our servicing team and they help manage the portfolios on an ongoing basis. So that annually when these annual reviews come up, it is a thorough review of the accounts and making sure that everything is still lined up. Now for somebody who is still a year or two or three or four out for retirement, that they haven’t started taking income retirement yet, that’s what I mean by being away from retirement still.
RR S4 E28 IS YOUR FINANCIAL ADVISOR RIGHT FOR YOU? [00:17:07]
CLAYTON: Because we do have a lot of folks they’ll come into us at their late 50s or early 60s but they’re not retiring until their mid or late 60s and so there’s some time to still accumulate, which these plans work great for that as well. But our servicing team helps make sure that these accounts, everyone’s of that you’re aware of where your accounts are, that what the growth has been for the last year, but really where that kicks into high gear is once you retire. It’s then helping you manage your distributions and your income.
RR S4 E28 IS YOUR FINANCIAL ADVISOR RIGHT FOR YOU? [00:17:37]
CLAYTON: And we handle all of that on our end. We set up the accounts so they’re sending you that monthly paycheck. If RMDs kick in, when you’re in your early 70s, we also watch for that as well. So there’s a lot more than just a simple, hey we’ll send you your statement every year. It’s a lot more thorough than that. You get time with the planner on an ongoing basis, so there’s a lot more that goes into it than I think a lot of people realize. Because, I think that their advisor tells them a lot of times, hey yeah we’ll do annual reviews when really printing off a statement. And for most people that don’t know, you can go and access your statements on your online account whenever you want.
RR S4 E28 IS YOUR FINANCIAL ADVISOR RIGHT FOR YOU? [00:18:15]
BRIAN: I got to chime in here and say I printed up an annual review from a competitor and handed it to the head of our servicing team. It was 43 pages of what he called just useless information.
CLAYTON: It’s just fluff.
BRIAN: Yeah it was all fluff. And compared to with what we send we make adjustments to their income, we maximize their income, we’re watching their tax brackets, we are adjusting the different buckets, and watching their risk principal guaranteed ratio. It’s thorough. I’m just am really proud of what our guys do.
RR S4 E28 IS YOUR FINANCIAL ADVISOR RIGHT FOR YOU? [00:18:55]
CLAYTON: Right and so I hope these are things that as you’re considering who your advisors is going to be and as your meeting with advisors to plan out your retirement. That these are some things you take into consideration. When you are when you’re planning for retirement this is the next 20 to 30 years of your life ideally and because of that, it should be done right. Because I don’t think the worry should be all right well I got to make sure everything set every month or every year after this. That’s why we partner with you as a retirement planner, is to help you get through that stage with the least amount of stress possible ’cause you already have 30 years of stress while you were working, so why add 30 more trying to deal with it in retirement. There’s a lot that goes into it.
RR S4 E28 IS YOUR FINANCIAL ADVISOR RIGHT FOR YOU? [00:19:38]
BRIAN: You know with the time left a lot of advisers say that their fiduciaries. How can you tell listeners how they know for sure if they are or not?
CLAYTON: So there’s three checks that you can ask your advisor and I hope they’re answering yes to all three of these ’cause if they’re not then they’re not a fiduciary. They’re not required to act as a fiduciary.
BRIAN: And they’re not telling the truth.
CLAYTON: And they’re not telling the truth, yeah. So the first one is, are they series 65 licensed? So the series 65, that’s their financial license, that allows them to give investment advice and there are advisors they’re going to be Series 7 licensed or have another number there.
RR S4 E28 IS YOUR FINANCIAL ADVISOR RIGHT FOR YOU? [00:20:19]
CLAYTON: When you are series 65 licensed to requires you to act in the best interest of your client. When you are series 7 licensed you don’t have to and a lot of advisers are going to be pitching all kinds of products that aren’t in their client’s best interest. Some of which are C share mutual funds, non-traded REITs, and variable annuities. Which none of those are something that we would recommend for a variety of reasons. And if you want more information on that you can go to our website you can give us a call we can help fill you in on what that looks like.
RR S4 E28 IS YOUR FINANCIAL ADVISOR RIGHT FOR YOU? [00:20:46]
BRIAN: Wait I wanna just take a minute on that C share mutual funds, I believe is a fraud. I can’t emphasize that enough that C share mutual funds, no disclosure, they double your fees, and you were never told, you didn’t sign anything. And non-traded REITs is where the broker makes 10 to 12 percent commissions and that’s not disclosed. And then variable annuities have three layers of fees that usually add up to five to seven percent before you make a dime and most people had no idea that they signed up for that.
RR S4 E28 IS YOUR FINANCIAL ADVISOR RIGHT FOR YOU? [00:21:19]
BRIAN: Because of the disclosure rules that are so different in the series 7 license, which we hope that you don’t do business with someone with a series 7 license because they’re not operating as fiduciary. If someone has a series 65 license only then you can trust them to be and act as a fiduciary. But there’s more.
CLAYTON: Right. So if that’s the first check are they series 65 licensed. The next one you should ask your advisors if they’re independent. And what I mean by this is if you walk into Wells Fargo Bank, or JPMorgan, Chase, any of the major firms and I’m not saying that they’re bad or good. I’m not trying to throw anybody under the bus here.
RR S4 E28 IS YOUR FINANCIAL ADVISOR RIGHT FOR YOU? [00:22:02]
CLAYTON: I’m just saying if you walk into major institutions they’re going to push their own products on you. That’s just the way they go, that’s just how they get paid, and how they operate. A lot of times those people are going to be Series 7 licensed as well if they are giving you financial advice. So, ask your advisor if they’re independent because if they’re independent they’re not beholden to that greater power at their business of being told what they have to sell. And that’s like the story you told at the beginning of the show where your manager walked around and said keep everybody in risk. And I’m sure there was probably a follow up with here’s the products that need to be pitched today. And you had to follow through with that you didn’t have a choice.
RR S4 E28 IS YOUR FINANCIAL ADVISOR RIGHT FOR YOU? [00:22:43]
CLAYTON: So we suggest avoid working with anyone that isn’t an independent advisor. So the last one then is are they a registered investment advisory. So is their firm structured as a registered investment advisory verse a broker-dealer. When you’re working with an RIA, a registered investment advisory, you can help ensure that you’re not going to be pushed any products that aren’t in your best interest. Do you have anything else to add to any of that, Brian?
BRIAN: No those are the three. Hope you write it down. Independent so that they can work with any investments that are in the best interest of the client, series 65 meaning they have to be fee-based they cannot work with you with non disclosed commissions, and number three an RIA structured to their firm.
RR S4 E28 IS YOUR FINANCIAL ADVISOR RIGHT FOR YOU? [00:23:33]
BRIAN: Those are the three.
CLAYTON: Now for anyone that wants to talk to us more about any of these topics or they want to get an appointment set up. So we do 15-minute consultations. They’re free. We can ask you a little bit about yourself, you can ask whatever you want about your retirement. The numbers 833-707-3030 again that number 833-707-3030 and one last thing I mentioned a give-away. So we also have an eBook it’s called the Retirement Playbook. It’s got nine strategies for retirees we hope you check that out it’s on our website as well at Deckerretirementplanning dot com.
RR S4 E28 IS YOUR FINANCIAL ADVISOR RIGHT FOR YOU? [00:24:08]
CLAYTON: If you haven’t signed up for the email list, hope you do that and there’s a lot of good information articles that we send out with that every week. So we loved having you join us on the show. We appreciate you being here this week we look forward to next week’s show. Again with Thanksgiving this week, we’re grateful that you were able to join us. Anything else to add Brian?
BRIAN: I was just going to say hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving.
CLAYTON: Okay, thanks and we’ll see you next week.
RR S4 E28 IS YOUR FINANCIAL ADVISOR RIGHT FOR YOU? [00:24:30]
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