Trust Your Gut

Joseph D. Altic, CFP®, MBA | Monday, August 6, 2018


In the first post of this series I talked about Marty Byrde and how to know if the advisor you’re with or interviewing is reputable. These days on a somewhat regular basis we watch the evening news or read an article about hard working people that have lost their life savings. How did it happen? Could this happen to me? What can I do to safeguard myself?

Referrals are a good place to start, but that alone without some investigating is not the end of the story. Let’s start with a well-known pastor here in the St Louis area. He garnered most of his clients through church and referrals. There are a few questions you can ask yourself… Flashy vs. Classy? Where do the advisor’s interests and conversations lie? Are they a name dropper? Are they talking about themselves and the latest trip or vacation they have been on? Do they mention their new car, airplane, custom suit or fancy watch or is the conversation about your dreams, concerns and plans for working towards your future. A good advisor should be concentrating on your goals and keeping things relatively simple and easy to understand. If you feel the answers are too complex or they make you feel like you just wouldn’t understand the details of your own investments, that is a red flag.

Most victims relayed one reoccurring theme…they didn’t trust their gut. Sometime during the process or relationship they felt something was amiss. Things just didn’t “feel right”. If anything doesn’t fit or you’re not getting satisfactory answers to your questions, it’s time to dig deeper. Most victims wish they had done so much sooner but felt unsure where to turn or what to do. Some of the pastor’s victims even felt trapped and guilty for not trusting someone with a prominent title. Ask yourself, if you are feeling this way, how many others are in the same boat? This is your life’s savings, trust your instincts.

So, when things don’t add up, what’s next? Where do you turn? In the next post we will go over a list of tangible resources available to everyone and explain how to use them and who to contact.