Who Can You Trust With Your Money?: Get the Help You Need Now and Avoid Dishonest Advisors

Overview

“ Bonnie Kirchner is perhaps the only person in America who is qualified enough to write this book. She has the experience, the firsthand knowledge, and the credibility to help you find a personal financial advisor you can trust. In ways no other author could, she helps you navigate the oftentimes treacherous world of personal financial advice and helps you learn how to find someone you can trust with your money, your financial plan, and your life’s goals.”

Robert Powell, ...

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Who Can You Trust With Your Money?: Get the Help You Need Now and Avoid Dishonest Advisors

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Overview

“ Bonnie Kirchner is perhaps the only person in America who is qualified enough to write this book. She has the experience, the firsthand knowledge, and the credibility to help you find a personal financial advisor you can trust. In ways no other author could, she helps you navigate the oftentimes treacherous world of personal financial advice and helps you learn how to find someone you can trust with your money, your financial plan, and your life’s goals.”

Robert Powell, Editor, Retirement Weekly; Retirement Columnist, MarketWatch.com/retirement

“ This book is a must read for those consumers thinking about hiring a financial advisor and for those who have one already. Bonnie shares her personal story so that you can be protected from the scammers and the thieves that seem to lurk in the shadows. 99% of financial advisors are the good guys that wear the white hats and really want to help their clients succeed. Bonnie can help you sift through the masses to weed out that bad seed.”

Dee Lee, CFP®, Harvard Financial Educators and Personal Finance Editor, WBZ radio–CBS affiliate, Boston

“ The two biggest risks to your financial well-being are not the markets and the economy; they are fraud and bad advice. The author shares her personal story of how this can happen even with those we trust the most. More importantly, she gives you the knowledge of what financial planning is all about and then how to steer clear of potential fraud or just plain bad advisors!”

Dave Caruso, CFP®, Chairman and CEO, Coastal Capital Group

Is Your Financial Advisor Stealing From You?

If it could happen to Bernie Madoff’s clients, it could happen to you. Make sure it doesn’t. Bonnie Kirchner reveals the hidden signs that could mean you’re getting ripped off–and what to do about it if you are. You’ll also learn how to identify a truly reputable advisor and build a relationship that gives you your money’s worth. Nobody’s more qualified than Kirchner to write this book. She’s a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional who was one of New England’s leading TV personal finance reporters. And, as the unwitting victim of her ex-husband, notorious Ponzi schemer Brad Bleidt, she found her own life ripped apart by one of the nation’s biggest financial scandals. Since divorcing Bleidt, she’s devoted herself to understanding exactly how financial scammers operate. This book shares everything she learned the hard way–so you won’t have to!

• Choose a capable advisor you can trust

• Ask the right questions; check the right details

• Build a successful relationship with your advisor

• Recognize minor discrepancies that may mean something is very wrong

• Protect yourself if you learn you are being ripped off

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780137033652
  • Publisher: FT Press
  • Publication date: 3/4/2010
  • Pages: 197
  • Sales rank: 1,431,453
  • Product dimensions: 5.52 (w) x 8.24 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Bonnie Kirchner, a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, holds a B.S. degree in Financial Counseling and Planning from Purdue University and a Master’s degree in Taxation from Bentley University. For several years, she was a fixture on the Boston radio and television scene, providing financial information to millions of people. She was also married to Brad Bleidt–a charming, clever financial advisor who ran one of the country’s largest Ponzi investment scams before Madoff–and gives her extraordinary personal insight into both scammers and their unwitting victims. For more information, go to $ea Change Financial Education, LLC at www.seachangefinancial.com.

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Table of Contents

Foreword . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xi

Acknowledgments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xiii

About the Author . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xv

Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xvii

Chapter 1 Recent Investment Scams . . . 1

Bradford C. Bleidt . . . 1

Bernard Madoff . . . 8

Chapter 2 What Is Financial Planning? . . . 15

Chapter 3 The Meaning Behind Advisor Designations and Licenses . . . 21

Chapter 4 Advisor Compensation . . . 31

Chapter 5 Deciphering Fee Structures . . . 35

Portfolio Development and Asset Management . . . 35

Financial Planning . . . 36

Stocks, Bonds, and Exchange Traded Funds . . . 36

Mutual Funds . . . 37

Variable Annuities . . . 39

Indexed Annuities . . . 41

Insurance . . . 41

Chapter 6 Finding Additional Fees . . . 43

Managed and/or Brokerage . . . 43

Variable Annuities . . . 44

Mutual Funds . . . 45

Exchange Traded Funds and Index Funds . . . 46

Chapter 7 Financial Products and Advisor Compensation . . . 47

Investment-Related . . . 48

Insurance Coverage . . . 49

Financial Planning . . . 50

Chapter 8 Statements, Communications, and the “Dreaded” Prospectus . . . 51

Statements . . . 51

Prospectuses—Mutual and Exchange Traded Funds . . . 53

Shareholder Updates and Annual Reports . . . 55

Prospectuses—Variable Annuities . . . 56

Standard Charges (on Most Contracts) . . . 56

Rider Electives . . . 57

Proxy Materials . . . 57

Chapter 9 The Roles of Various Financial Institutions . . . 59

Investments in Insurance Products . . . 61

Investment Management and Investment Product Sales . . . 63

The Broker/Dealer . . . 63

The Custodian . . . 64

The Federal Deposit Insurance Company . . . 65

The Securities Investment Protection Corporation (SIPC) . . . 66

Chapter 10 Understanding What You Need . . . 67

Chapter 11 Choosing Advisors to Consider . . . 77

Chapter 12 Choosing Candidates to Interview . . . 81

Chapter 13 Interviewing Candidates . . . 85

Preparing for the Meeting . . . 85

During the Meeting . . . 92

After the Meeting . . . 97

Chapter 14 Spotting Red Flags: Advisors to Avoid . . . 101

The Name and Information Gathering Phase . . . 101

During the Meeting . . . 104

After the Meeting . . . 106

Advisors to Avoid . . . 107

Chapter 15 The Rules of Engagement . . . 111

Chapter 16 Maintenance of the Advisor–Client Relationship . . . 127

Chapter 17 Activity . . . 131

Chapter 18 Accessibility . . . 135

Chapter 19 The Dysfunctional Relationship . . . 137

Chapter 20 Criminal Versus Non-Criminal Behavior . . . 143

Chapter 21 Filing a Complaint . . . 149

Appendix A Consumer Resources . . . 155

Credit Ratings Agencies . . . 163

Appendix B Glossary . . . 167

Index . . . 187

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