Q&A: Hard to Get Started


I am looking for a financial planner to help me with getting on track for retirement. A friend recommended someone. He wants me to pay $1500 upfront to do some type of planning guide. I could contact USAA and talk to someone. I do not have a lot of money. I am having 10% of my gross income put in TRI3 retirement for educators. What are your thoughts?


Some financial planners charge a fee for a detailed financial plan. These may or may not be worthwhile. Ask to see an example of some previous plans he has created and see if it looks like it might be helpful for you situation. Also, pay close attention to the types of investments suggested. You do not want individual stocks, any type of complex, confusing product, insurance products, anything with commissions, or high fees.

would recommend against talking with USAA about investing. They have great insurance and offer excellent banking services, but their mutual funds leave a lot to be desired.

ot sure what a TRI3 is. I assume that it's some variation on a 403b plan. While it's great that you're putting 10% away for retirement, there is no way to judge the quality of the investments with the information provided.

You probably do need some investing help, but paying $1500 off the top, when you state that you "do not have a lot of money" is probably not the best idea. 

This is one of the biggest problems with the investment industry. Smaller investors generally get poor (and often costly) advice from commissioned salespeople. However, that is about to change with a new service Vestory will be rolling out in a couple of weeks. Stay tuned.


Don McDonaldComment