“Where should I invest” is one of the most common questions people ask me.
It seems simple enough, but it’s really a loaded question. Honestly, I could lose my license by answering the question before gathering more information from a person. Ethically, and legally as I am a fiduciary, your best interest is my top priority. If I can’t find the right portfolio for you, then we won’t open an account.
I like to lighten the mood in client meetings because everyone is always so nervous. Talking about your goals and dreams should be fun and exciting! My go-to answer for “where should I invest” is “You should invest in the future.” I’ll even jokingly say “You should invest with me.” Most of the time these both generate a smile.
It takes a lot of courage to discuss financial matters with a stranger. Unfortunately, by the time someone comes to see me, they are already in a panic. Instead of watching them shed more tears, I think a little humor helps.
I can’t immediately answer the “Where should I invest” question, but I can tell you about how we invest your money.
Unfortunately, I’ve found that many people just want a quick fix. They want the mythical “hot stock tip” that will make them rich overnight. Investing rarely works that way. Sure, one stock in your portfolio may perform extremely well, but there are no guarantees.
First, Financial Services can be a pretty confusing industry. Similar to doctors and lawyers we all have our special areas in which we prefer to practice. I am a Certified Financial Planner™ Professional and trained in comprehensive planning.
That means I can help with pretty much all pieces of your financial plan. Personally, I enjoy focusing my practice on retirement planning. I love building a relationship with clients at the beginning of their financial journey.
Yes, that is the complete opposite philosophy from most financial advisors, but I consider that a good thing. Instead of waiting for you to have $500,000 before working with you, why shouldn’t I help you build that $500,000 nest egg? It won’t be easy, but the best things in life rarely are.
We should invest in each other, but that philosophy will not work without trust.
Other advisors require clients to have large accounts in order to get a higher fee at the beginning. Nothing is wrong with this approach as we all need to make a living. Honestly, it’s tough to make a living with only clients at the beginning of their financial journey, but I believe in them.
While clients are trusting me with their money, I am trusting them to follow their financial plan. I’m not just looking for clients, I’m looking for partnerships. We are on this journey together.
I believe my philosophy can work because I am an independent advisor. I don’t have a supervisor pressuring me to meet specific numbers every month. Physically, I can’t work 60-80 hours a week bullying prospects into working with me. I wouldn’t want to anyway because I love doing this work and I never want to experience burnout.
Where should you invest? I believe the right advisor is just as important as choosing the right company.
Fortunately, I was introduced to Brookstone Capital Management. Yes, there are tons of different financial services companies, so trying to pick the right one for you can be overwhelming.
Let’s say, for example, you visit your bank and you ask them if they offer financial planning, specifically investing in retirement accounts. They’ll usually say yes and book your appointment. The only problem is that you can feel trapped as if your bank is your only option.
Some may even be misleading saying that an organization like theirs has so much more access than an independent advisor like me. That’s simply not true. Although I am independent, I am also a Brookstone Advisor.
There are over 1,000 advisors like me in the Brookstone family. They offer full support, which gives us all of the behind the scenes employees and resources those other organizations thought I lacked. Not to mention, being independent can provide me with more freedom to meet your needs.
Brookstone’s overall philosophy is this:
We believe that it is critical to defend against the devastating impact downturns can have on the long term growth of an investment portfolio. We therefore develop and implement investment strategies specifically geared toward our clients’ unique investment goals as well as their tolerance for risk. We believe diversification across multiple risk controlled strategies helps manage growth for both performance and protection.
The philosophy fits with me because I also believe protection of your money has to be a priority. In our excitement we can say we want to take big risks, so we can have high returns. You have to spend money to make money, right?
Remember loss aversion when we invest as we may not be comfortable accepting much risk.
Loss aversion is where we feel half as much pleasure from gain compared to pain felt from loss. Yes, a high risk investment can have high returns, but it can also experience big losses.
Baseball is a good example to further explain the concept of loss aversion. A hitter can fail 7 out of 10 times and make the Hall of Fame with a .300 batting average. As fans, we praise the successful hits over the failures.
We appreciate the effort and HOPE our team wins the game. If they lose, we’re sad for a time, but the world doesn’t end. We may be mad at the bums for losing after we took the time to watch them, but the result of the game doesn’t really impact our life.
Investing, on the other hand, is a completely different feeling. Regardless of the amount of money in your account, it may have taken a lifetime for you to earn it. Yes, you would love to put it to work and grow into more money, but losing it could break your heart.
It takes a lot of guts to stay in a losing investment, so most of us would cut our losses and move on. However, if we keep selling when we lose, we have less opportunities for gain. My job as your advisor is to help you ride the ups and downs of the market.
Brookstone has a variety of investment portfolios available for clients at all levels of risk tolerance.
Those portfolios could meet the needs of most clients, but it never hurts to go the extra mile. Brookstone also allows advisors to use outside companies when building portfolios.
As with everything else in the world there are rules to follow when building portfolios, but the point is that we have access to these resources. Jonathan Greeson Financial Planning is not just me throwing darts and picking random investments for your money. I have the support and resources of great organizations.
For example, perhaps you have heard of BlackRock. As of 2022, they had over $8 trillion in Assets Under Management. Many people trust Blackrock with their money and I can put you in one of those same portfolios.
Vanguard is also a popular firm. Jack Bogle (1929-2019) founded Vanguard with the smaller, individual investor in mind. I never met him, but I think we would have gotten along well. By the way, I have access to Vanguard funds as well for your portfolio.
One final thing I love about Brookstone is that we use outside custodians to hold the accounts.
I think this is a major concern for clients when we first meet. If something were to happen to me, what would happen with their money?
Some are afraid to ask, but it’s a fair question. Even if I didn’t have a disability, I would encourage you to ask that to anyone who manages your money. The Brookstone traders invest the money, but the account itself is at a custodian.
Currently, we use Fidelity, TD Ameritrade, and Charles Schwab as custodians. After Labor Day, the integration of TD Ameritrade and Charles Schwab will be complete. Then new accounts will be opened at Fidelity or Charles Schwab.
Clients have complete access to their account through the custodian’s website. Therefore, if something were to happen to me, the client has everything they need for their account. Brookstone could continue managing it or the client can take it to a different advisor.
Remember, regardless of where you choose to place your money, it is still YOUR money. Hopefully, you’ll let me work with you for many years, but you can end the client advisor relationship at any time. If you have retirement accounts from previous employers, normally, you can move them as well.
Where should you invest your money? The bottom line is that you should invest it where you are the most comfortable. I would love the opportunity to earn your trust. Email me.