If I had a dime for every time over the course of my 27-year career I’ve heard the phrase “they don’t teach finance in school“ I’d be wealthier than I want to make my clients.
This form of lament is especially common among high income earning professionals who quite commonly face unique sets of financial pressures. High-income professionals generally start earning money much later than their high school or college counterparts since their academic track lasts much longer. It is not uncommon for such professionals to have entered their 30s before they start earning an income of any consequence.
Further, they often finish school with enormous student debt and are taxed at a higher rate because of a higher income. There are often societal expectations as they may face pressures to live a particular lifestyle in keeping with their profession. Finally, many of these professions are among the more rigorous and intellectually taxing fields with long hours and unpredictability.
Is it any wonder that these professionals are often considered targets by unscrupulous financial services representatives who can often be found peddling products that they themselves often don’t completely understand? These are usually products that carry high restrictions but pay high commissions usually from insurance companies that train their representatives to present these as solutions those you can’t live without. As the saying goes “when all you have is a hammer everything looks like a nail“.
So if you count yourself among those who worked hard and sacrificed to attain a level of professional success, what can you do to avoid being such a casualty?
There are several things:
If you find yourself being pitched such a product ask questions. A lot of questions and do not move forward until you are satisfied with the answers. Ask why this solution is considered the best fit for your situation. Ask if the representative has considered alternatives. Ask them to describe the precise nature of any product restrictions. Ask them if they have considered your entire financial picture and if so ask them to describe how this product integrates within it. And finally, ask them to disclose (in a precise dollar amount) how much commission they will earn if you buy the product. Hint: if beads of sweat begin to form on their forehead it’s probably not the best idea.
We at Eagle West Group are in the due diligence business. As such, if you encounter someone telling you that what they have is “the greatest thing ever” do yourself a favor and call us. Chances are we are familiar with the product and can help you deconstruct it so that you understand it and potentially help you avoid what may be a costly and regrettable decision.
As always we value your trust and are working as hard as we can help you achieve the success you desire.
For your consideration:
Advisory services offered through EWG Elevate, Inc. dba Eagle West Group.
This represents a partial list of clients. They have not been compensated and were not selected based on duration, performance, account size.