Have you ever had a financial advisor who told you to NOT invest?
I did and I’m thankful for that guy who saw me as a person who needed wisdom and not as another monthly commission check.
I was in grad school full time, working part time, and seriously dating my future wife.
Back then I was just learning about money and listening to Dave Ramsey while exercising or commuting.
I must have missed the whole baby step thing, because I had it in my mind that I needed to start investing. You see I found my old retirement account from my day of being a teacher and thought I needed to do some investing with it.
One day I wandered into an Edward Jones office in one of the richest areas of San Francisco with the paperwork and intent of becoming a serious investor. The main advisor happened to be in and agreed to meet with me there on the spot. He proceeded to give me an hour long investing lesson using a white board, explaining load and no load funds, compound interest and more.
He talked to me like a person without condensation or judgement. This is an essential quality in choosing a financial advisor.
At the end of his lesson his advice was for me to NOT invest my retirement in other funds, but to use a small amount to pay off my grad school loan and be debt free with a new degree and a bit of retirement saved.
I was astonished. Did he actually turn down my business? Did he tell me to not invest and do what I came in here to do?
He showed me the door and I was left to my own thoughts.
Not Investing Was a Great Decision
In retrospect, not moving my retirement around was a great decision that day. I had no idea what I was doing. Nor did my life situation warrant beginning to invest at the time.
I did end up cashing it out later to pay off my small graduate school bill, help pay for our wedding, and started our new married life with a little emergency fund.
I am thankful for the honesty and integrity of that financial advisor who told me “No”.
He chose to forego a quick commission check (though I’m sure small to what he was used to) in exchange for helping a misguided graduate student stay out of the market right before the great recession and market crash.
Had I invested, the money would have been reduced to 1/2 its value at the time I needed it most.
Thank you to honest financial advisors who understand their fiduciary responsibility and have their client’s best interest at heart.
How has your experience been with financial advisors?