There’s a quote I love from finance guru Warren Buffett: “Only when the tide goes out do you discover who’s been swimming naked.” As far as the market performance lately, the tide has definitely gone out, and many are seeing that their “advisors” have been swimming naked this whole time.

Is your advisor really a product-pusher?

The sad truth is that many of those who call themselves advisors are little more than product-pushing salespeople. Maybe you didn’t notice so much when the market was up and your portfolio was strong. However, when the downturn came, you might have started to get messages from your advisor like this:

“I suggest you invest in gold to balance out your stock losses.”

“XYZ product is what many of my clients are turning to now and it’s really producing results.”

“Fixed annuities are the answer to this type of market. Let’s move forward on acquiring some of those.”

Do you see a theme here? Advisors who aren’t really advisors are going to tell you that purchasing products or different types of investments is the way to get ahead of what the market is doing and ensure your finances as secure. You know why? Because every time you buy something, they get paid. Plain and simple.

What advice should you listen to?

The “answer” to a down market is not to buy products. However, it’s also not to stick your head in the sand and hope everything will just blow over. What is the “answer”? Well, that’s the tricky part. There is no right answer. And that’s why you need a strong financial advocate who is going to give you solid advice during this time based on your own unique situation.

A great advisor is going to look at the big picture. Not only is he or she going to realize that the latest developments are just the apocalypse du jour and will eventually give way to another development, but your advisor will also think about the following:

–How long you have until retirement.

–What you currently own as far as stocks, bonds, mutual funds, etc.

–Your financial goals.

–Your current lifestyle.

–Your desired lifestyle now and after retirement.

In addition to all these factors, a great advisor will also keep an eye on the news and the markets (so you don’t have to) and keep you calm so you don’t make any rash decisions. Sometimes, the answer may be to shuffle things around or to buy/sell some of what you currently own. Other times, the answer may be to hold on to what you’ve got until the chaos passes.

Here’s the bottom line: anyone who tells you they have the “answer” to the down market is trying to sell you something. They do NOT have your best interests in mind.

An advisor to get you through the apocalypse…and all those to come

When chaos happens in the world and the market, your advisor will likely show his or her true colors. If your advisor is telling you to keep calm and make smart decisions for the long-term, you’ve likely landed a fiduciary who will help guide you through this crisis and all those crises that will continue to happen. If your “advisor” is trying to sell you things, though, it’s a red flag and you should consider making a change.

Want to talk more? Please reach out. I’d love to help.