Last week, the market hit another all time high before declining slightly on Friday. Both Amazon and Apple reported earnings that were lower than expected, driving both the NASDAQ and S&P 500 lower. You may be wondering why, if both companies are still reporting profits, their stock price declined. Remember that stock prices are forward looking, meaning they reflect what the market expects them to do in the future. When a company doesn’t meet those expectations, the stock price usually declines.
I’ve had a lot of questions lately about why someone should use a financial planner, and why they should pay for a financial plan. There are many roles people can fill in the financial services industry. You can be a registered representative, which means you are licensed to buy and sell securities for your clients for a commission. You can be an insurance agent, licensed to sell insurance and annuities. And you can be an investment advisor representative, who provides financial advice which can include managing investments for a fee. Many of us wear all three hats.
Exactly which hat someone is wearing has significant implications on financial planning. Registered representatives, accountants, and insurance agents can provide financial planning that is incidental to their work in their licensed roles. So an insurance agent can provide a simple plan that usually projects how much, if any, insurance you may need to provide for yourself and your family if you become disabled or pass away.
The difference in hiring an investment advisor representative is two-fold. First, by working for a fee they are fiduciaries, legally obligated to act in your best interest, and not acting as commissioned salespeople. Second, a comprehensive financial plan will review things beyond investments and life or disability insurance. It should cover home and auto insurance, liquidity, cash flow, your estate plan, taxes, health insurance, mortgages, employee benefits, and each of your goals for you and your family. It may also include elder care planning, debt reduction, and career planning.
If you are considering working with a financial professional, interview several of us. Things to consider include how long they have been working in the industry, any additional certifications they have, like the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification, and how they get paid. I’d also say you should find someone you like. Financial planners develop deep and lasting relationships with our clients, and it is not uncommon to sit with clients in the hospital, and join the family in happier times like weddings and graduations. Be sure to run a broker check on anyone you are considering working with at finra.org. Suspensions, fines, and terminations are serious red flags.
Your action to take this week is to do exactly that. If you have an advisor, pull up their broker check record. There’s a link on our website at covingtonalsina.com. Be sure to check out our Facebook page for more information.
Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through Great Valley Advisor Group, a Registered Investment Advisor. CovingtonAlsina and Great Valley Advisor Group are separate entities from LPL Financial.
All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. All indices are unmanaged and may not be invested into directly.
The opinions voiced in this show are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. To determine which strategies or investment(s) may be appropriate for you, contact the appropriate qualified professional prior to making a decision.