The SEC has charged its first brokerage firm with violating the terms of Regulation BI (Best Interest). The SEC's Regulation Best Interest (Reg BI) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 establishes a "best interest" standard of conduct for broker-dealers and associated persons when they make a recommendation to a retail customer of any securities transaction or investment strategy involving securities, including recommendations of types of accounts. (FINRA.org, 2022) They are charged with selling $13 million dollars of unrated bonds (junk bonds) to retirees, despite them being unsuitable for the investors.
With high-profile cases such as Madoff, as investors, you are asking yourself, how do I protect myself? Well, don't worry because I'm here to help you with some tips you can use to help you choose a financial advisor. 1. Review your account statements- I am not asking you to become a forensic accountant and count every penny but be sure to develop your own auditing system. This way if there is too much trading, when you see large sums of money going in and out of your portfolio, or when your allocation is really out of whack, you can have a conversation with your financial advisor. We are always happy to speak about strategy because that is what we can control. Market fluctuations, we can't control but we can prepare and position ourselves to take advantage of the market movements. 2. Ask your advisor, Who is your Custodian?- A custodian is a third-party bank that holds the cash and assets on behalf of the advisor. In our case, our custodian is TD Ameritrade, which is merging with Charles Schwab, so we will have a new custodian. At no point do we hold the cash or the assets. The money doesn't go to A.B. Ridgeway LLC. When a firm has a third-party bank, this limits the risk to investors. With our custodian, you can check on your portfolio at any time and they generate the statements, so our firm can not manipulate the numbers, as Madoff did in that Ponzi Scheme. 3. Look for a Fiduciary, Fee-Only Advisor- A fiduciary, fee-only advisor is one that doesn't get paid from commissions. They are not compensated based on what they sell you, but on the services they provide. They are paid for the quality of their recommendations and not the amount of profit that is tied to those recommendations. The only person who pays them is the client. They have taken a verbal and written oath to always work in the best interest of the client, which is in alignment with Regulation BI. (The same one that the brokers got busted for violating) If you are looking for a fee-only advisor, I recommend looking at the XYPlanning Network where you can search a database of advisors. You can search by niche as well. So if you are looking for an advisor that likes fishing, hunting, or maybe you are looking for a Christian Advisor. If that is the case though, come check us out first, as always we are willing to speak with you. It says in 1 Corinthians 13:6 "Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth."
I wanted to bring you the truth to expose the evil that is out there. This world is stopping you from being prosperous. They scare you about inflation and the stock market. They scare you about the gas prices. They scare you about wars. They are constantly putting fear into you, so much that you don't know what to do. But I am here to help you and give you the truth. You will not find this type of information on Facebook, because this type of information doesn't make anyone money, it protects their money. No one is teaching you how to protect your money. No one is teaching you how not to make emotional decisions. No one is teaching you how to choose a financial advisor. But we are because we believe knowledge is power. We abhor the individuals who took advantage of those retirees, and we don't want you to be taken advantage of. So be sure to share these emails to help protect your loved one. Because today we can achieve more.
The Federal Reserve decided to raise rates...again.
The Federal Reserves has raised rates by .075%. I know many of you see the news coverage and still are a little unsure of what that means. I know here on this mailing list, we have been covering this since the initial rate hikes earlier this year. As with all things finance, we don't focus on what we CAN'T control and we focus on what we CAN control. How much the Feds raise rates is something we can't control. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) and inflation are things that we can't control. If the stock market goes up or down tomorrow is something we can't control. But we CAN control how much cash we put down on a loan to lower the interest rate. We can control how many additional principal payments we make to a loan to reduce the interest paid over the course of the loan. We can control our allocation and reduce our equity exposure. We can control how much additional debt we take on going forward and how much cash we use for purchases. When the economy is going down, it is going down across the whole board. There are rarely any safe places to turn during this time. As we saw a few days ago, we are officially in a bear market. What is a bear market?
No! Not that kind of bear.
When the MARKET, not just your portfolio, is experiencing prolonged price declines. This will encourage selling on the side of retail investors who are trying to protect their principle out of fear or are still in the distribution phase of their financial plan. Fortunately for those who are invested, this has some upside. One, the prices of equities will start to fall, so as you receive DIVIDENDS and reinvest, you are reinvesting at a LOWER price point. So if you stay invested as the market recovers, you will end up with more capital gains. Yes, your portfolio will take a hit, but remember, you don't lose money unless you sell, you still have the asset. The focus shouldn't be on the amount of money you have, but on how many additional shares you are accumulating at a cheaper price. Some may be asking, "Why don't you just rebalance the portfolio to hold assets that have done well in a recession and other bear markets?" Our philosophy has always been to already hold these portfolio hedging assets even in expansions and bull markets. Our portfolios are not meant to give you the highest of highs, or the lowest of lows. That is why you will see stable declines, and also stable growth over the course of your holdings. They are designed to have less of a roller coaster effect because we are investing for the long term. Clients aren't experiencing a huge 30% decline on a random Wednesday like those who invested their life savings into Netflix stocks. Also, I want you to think about this. If the average recession lasts on average 11 months. How many months ago did the pandemic start?
If you answered 27 months, you would be 100% correct! Time flies, doesn't it?
You don't want to make a short-term decision on long-term money.
What you do want to do at this moment is put together the strategy that you will maintain over the course of years going forward.
To create such a huge overhaul of a portfolio for a short duration of time may cause more harm than good unless you are hugely misaligned with your future goals.
But what we do is not necessarily a buy and hold strategy either. It is still important to rebalance your portfolios and know which allocations to place additional funds for reinvestments.
It is important that we are on the same page. Because I am going to be introducing concepts based on these rate hikes and other variables so you are fully aware of what is going on and how that affects you and your investments. Investors need transparency. They need someone to tell them when it is good, but also let them know when things could be better. So as these stories develop be sure to check out our other resources on our website. And send us your questions and comments. We want to hear from the people and what they are thinking so we can provide the information that you feel is valuable.
Thank you for reading!
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About the podcast:
Many Christians struggle with the seemingly conflicting views about our faith and the pursuit of financial gain. They were taught that poverty was piety and that a lack of money was the only way to truly detach themselves from the love of money. Our podcast debunks some of those claims, teaches you that you can be rich and righteous, and at the same time fulfill your obligation to tithe and give to the less fortunate. We are dedicated to helping you become cheerful givers by organizing your personal finances, providing investment tips to help you create wealth, and encouraging you to create a gifting strategy that will make your family and God proud.
Meet the Host:
A.B. Ridgeway, MBA (email@example.com) is the owner and Christian Financial Advisor with A.B. Ridgeway Wealth Management. With a decade in the finance industry, his goal is to give believers clarity around the most confusing topic in the Bible, money, and tithing. A.B. Ridgeway helps tithing Christians become cheerful givers but unlocking their money-making potential, so they can prosper and be the great stewards of the wealth God has entrusted them with.
This communication is not intended as an offer or solicitation to buy, hold or sell any financial instrument or investment advisory services. Any information provided has been obtained from sources considered reliable, but we do not guarantee the accuracy or the completeness of any description of securities, markets or developments mentioned. This is strictly for information purposes. We recommend you speak with a professional financial advisor.