California legislature recently passed a measure requiring all presidential candidates to release their tax returns to get on the primary ballot.  The Presidential Tax Transparency & Accountability Act, SB 27 would require that candidates release the previous five years of their returns.  If we use this same perspective for our own lives, shouldn’t you at least be curious of the financial success of the person that you will be entrusting your future with? Would you take nutritional advice from an obese person? Would you hire an obese personal trainer?

Thanasi here – I’ve been thinking a lot about the financial services industry and how people choose their professionals.  We are all too busy, and frankly, too lazy to interview multiple professionals to be sure we are hiring the right advisor to trust with our entire future.  Most people rely on referrals from friends or family, but I have started to question that process as the referral is only as good as the source that it comes from.  There is a high probability that the initial source got it all wrong and the whole chain of clients are being mistreated by the same sales professional.  So, I ask again, if you are trying to get in shape and lose weight, would you hire an obese personal trainer?

There is no shortage of information on the internet regarding what questions to ask your future advisor.  How do you get paid for your services? Are you a Fiduciary? What are your qualifications? What is your investment philosophy?  How will you help me achieve my life goals? How do you keep my money safe from fraud and cyber threats? The list goes on and on.

The question that is rarely asked of your potential advisor revolves around their personal success.  What part of their career are they in?  Have they personally grown their income and created a plan to save and deploy it responsibly to grow their own wealth? Do they earn a comparable wage to you or possess a net worth remotely close to yours?  I admit, it is taboo and progressive to ask this information of your advisor.  However, would you give all your money and trust your future success with someone who has not displayed success in their own life?

When I go through motivational spurts of getting in shape, I look to people who are in great physical shape.  I do not take advice from obese personal trainers.  When you make the analogy to getting your finances in order, would you hire a financial advisor without knowing they have been personally successful?

This won’t become a standard for many reasons, but I believe there should be an inherent trust and respect if you can look up to your advisor as an actual financial mentor who has proven the model firsthand.

If you show me yours, I will show you mine.  Let’s grow together.  Follow me @lifemanaged_

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