I preach a holistic approach to financial management all the time, but what does a dietitian know about financial topics? Before you think I’ve gone over the edge, hear me out. I use the term “Dietitian” as a metaphor to illustrate a parable:
You walk into a butcher store looking for a nice piece of meat for dinner. Frank, the butcher, says, “We’ve got a great sale on ribeye’s”. You buy a couple of beauties thinking, “Man, that Frank sure knows his meat”. The problem is, Frank won’t say to you, “With your high cholesterol, I think you ought to go down the street to Sam, the fishmonger, and buy a nice piece of salmon instead”. Frank probably doesn’t know you well enough to understand the cholesterol problem, and even if he does, he doesn’t sell fish.
What you really need is a dietitian. Someone who is going to look at your overall health and recommend what is best for you. Not just a good deal, not necessarily what you asked for, but what will do you the most good. Too often, people ask an advisor how they should invest an inheritance, or maybe their 401(k) when they retire. The advisor’s answer can only be within the scope of what he is able to sell. It’s not necessarily the advisor’s fault; he or she just doesn’t have all the possible options to choose from. The recommendation may be suitable, but is it the best solution for your specific situation?
So how do you find this dietitian when looking for the best advice? The term “financial advisor” isn’t specific enough; look for “fiduciary” and “registered investment advisor”. There are good ones in Virginia. Read reviews and recommendations, including Better Business Bureau ratings. If you’re offered a product without spending the time to develop a comprehensive understanding of your whole financial situation, run. Never buy a financial product on the internet. Don’t assume that a product is right for you just because your friend likes their “guy” that sold them the annuity. Be humble enough to recognize that you may not know what is right for you.
Call us if you want honest, comprehensive advice about any aspect of your finances, not just investing. We may not tell you how to make dietary selections, but we’ll find the best alternatives for your continued financial health. Good eating!