The markets reacted strongly to indications that the Federal Reserve will be raising interest rates by half a percent at its May meeting. It’s the first time since 2006 that rates have been increased at back-to-back meetings, and investors are concerned continued high inflation will spark further increases. On the flip side, almost 80% of companies reporting earnings have beaten expectations.
What do you do with this conflicting news? Pay down variable loans, especially credit cards. Keep contributing to your retirement accounts, and build your emergency savings. All prudent steps regardless of what’s going on in the market.
We have big news at CovingtonAlsina as well. This week we have resigned our brokerage licenses and are now offering investment advice strictly as fiduciaries. We did a segment once on dually-registered advisors, which is what most of us are. This means we wear two hats.
One, as Registered Representatives, allows us to sell investments for a commission. That doesn’t mean someone isn’t doing a good job for you, or they are taking advantage of you. It does mean that the legal standard they have to meet is suitability – the investment recommended has to match your stated goal. For example, if you say the investment is to provide income, as long as the product does that, the standard is met.
The second hat is the Investment Advisor Representative hat. This allows us to offer advice and investments for a fee. The difference here is that the fee is transparent, and we are help to a fiduciary standard. We have to work in the client’s best interest at all times, and clients have legal recourse if we don’t.
The problem for clients comes when you’re not sure which hat someone is wearing. We can wear both for different things with the same client. We’ve officially retired the Registered Representative hat.
At the same time, we won’t be a fee-only firm. There are two products that are only available as commissioned products: term life insurance and long-term care insurance. Since those two products can be an important part of someone’s financial plan, we will continue to offer those.
The best use of this information, and your action item for the week, is to run a broker check on your advisor. You can do that at Finra.org. And ask your advisor how they are getting paid, and what that means for you.
You can always find more information on our Facebook page, or our website at covingtonalsina.com.
Investment advice offered through Great Valley Advisor Group, a Registered Investment Advisor.
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.