By way of introduction, my name is Charlie McCullough. I am a regularly featured part of the Financial Fiduciaries blogging and newsletter marketing program. The team at Financial Fiduciaries asks me to share my life experiences when it comes to financial planning for a growing family.
When I heard they were starting a newsletter for medical professionals, I thought that I might not have much to add. You see, by profession, I am a manager of a mutual insurance company. However, the other night, I was talking to my wife Lisa (that’s her in the photo with me), who is a family practice physician, about some issues she faces in her role as a doctor. It made me realize that I far more to offer than I first thought.
The wheels started spinning the other evening when Lisa shared her frustrations regarding pharmaceutical advertising. She noted that patients regularly came into her office requesting a certain drug they saw in a television commercial believing that it could be the “cure” to their health care problems. In essence, the advertisements took away the credibility Lisa had as a physician, because the patient was making assumptions based on just a small amount of knowledge with no understanding of side effects, drug interactions or other serious conditions that could occur. While the requested medication might be beneficial for the patient, the advertising from the drug company took the advising role of the doctor out of the equation.
It made me think about the role of my financial advisors. How often do individuals choose investment products based on the small amount of information they might know about the product? It seems as though many investors choose products because they are promised a huge payout, but they fail to understand the big picture on any potential penalties or other pitfalls.
It is important to point out that this misinformation is not always a case of a “hobby investor.” Many consumers have also been burned when receiving misleading advice from a financial planner in whom they placed their trust, and many times a lot of money. In the end, the client end up being sold the products that make the financial planner the most money, but are not necessarily the best investment tools for their portfolio mix.
I have found that the only way to get the best advice whether medical, or financial, is to trust an expert who has my best interests in mind. When it comes to my health, I go to my doctor and they prescribe the best treatment for whatever ailment I might be facing, instead of trusting the advice of a pharmaceutical company who might only be looking to sell me a product that will make them money. And, when it comes to finances, I only trust advice from a fee-only advisor, because I know that they have my best interests in mind as well.