I just learned about a “Christian Ponzi Scheme” based in the mid-western United States. There’s never been a better time or better reason to consider managing your own money. After all, it’s your money. Many folks don’t believe they can manage their own money – they’ll only lose money in the financial markets. Hey, I know hedge fund managers who only lose money. If not for the enormous amount of cash that many hedge fund managers have under management, plus the large fees they charge, many could never afford their lifestyles.
Manage your own money. Start by learning the basics, then expand your knowledge base. If you’re too busy, you might become the victim of your circumstances, rather than the master of your fate. Take control of your money and you will always control your destiny.
Use free resources: the internet has an abundance of information available to help both novice and experienced investors. Despite today’s passage of the financial reform bill, the level of sophisticated technology available to scam artist makes it difficult if not impossible for regulators to protect everyone. Therefore, one must always be careful, but especially careful if entrusting their nest egg to someone else.
Personally, I have several brokerage accounts, checking accounts, money market accounts, savings accounts and tax-deferred retirement accounts at multiple financial institutions. I never keep all of my money in one place! My reason: I don’t trust anyone with my money – no one, nada. This includes banks and brokerage firms. I worked too long on Wall Street to trust anyone with my cash.
If you need help managing your finances, I suggest finding a “fee only” financial adviser who charges by the hour, and using that adviser for “advice only.” Don’t let anyone transact on your behalf or have access to your money (this might even include your spouse). A competent financial adviser can help you design an optimal portfolio, suitable for your risk tolerance level. Your adviser can also advise on the timing of your transactions, and periodic portfolio re-balancing. This may be a win-win situation for those who seek professional help, but want the safety that goes along with restricting access to your money.
– don’t be a victim, be a victor.