frequently asked questions
Clients often ask us whether or not they should own life insurance, and the answer is never simple. Each of us lives within a unique set of circumstances, and what works for our friends and neighbors might not work for us. Before you analyze your situation it’s key to remember this: Life insurance is not an investment. It is protection from a life event.
The answer to that question for many people is: I invest in order to make money. On the surface that might seem to be the most obvious and simple answer. But is it? The real answer is a little more complicated than that.
Making money is what we do in our chosen career. If you are a lawyer, doctor, mechanic, school teacher, or enjoy some other career path, that is how you make money. Additionally, some people try to make money by investing their life savings into real estate or possibly a start-up company. Statistics show that one in five new companies succeeds while all the others fail. Likewise, if someone invests in real estate at a bad time in the market cycle, they could wait decades to get their money back–if at all. Is that really what most of us have in mind when thinking about investing?
Mutual funds have been around for years and were created to allow small investors to have their money professionally managed in order to diversify and protect their savings. The funds allowed investors, who were just getting started, to put money away without taking on high risk.
Most company retirement plans utilize mutual funds as their primary investing tool. They are, once again, used as an easy alternative for investing money and having it managed in a diversified manner. Participants can choose from a menu of many funds. Over the years allocation funds, and then target date funds, were created to make investing even easier for people with little or no investing experience. So, mutual funds became a great way for the new investor to get started.
In the world of investing, people often want to know what the best investment is for them. The answer is not only what to invest in, but more importantly how to invest. There are many ways to invest money, but ultimately most investments in the financial world come down to stocks and bonds. People who own mutual funds or annuities may not realize it, but all they really own is a stock, a bond, or both with several intermediaries in between. The simplest and purest way to invest will always be to own individual stocks and bonds outright. Now which should you own?
Yes. We are registered investment advisors with a fiduciary responsibility to act in our clients’ best interest. We do not accept any fees or compensation based on product sales. As fee-only advisors, we have fewer inherent conflicts of interest, allowing us to provide more comprehensive advice.
Yes. It’s one of the things that makes us different. We have three Certified Financial Planners on staff to make sure all of your questions are answered, and you are making the best investments possible.