Investor Must Educate Himself:

Written by admin on September 11th, 2011

Not so long ago, Americans could be classified into two distinct groups. On the one hand, there were workers. On the other, there were investors. The difference being: The working class worked long hours and often earned little pay, while the investor class worked few hours but earned great sums.

The advantage the investor class had, of course, was access to capital. In other words, they had money. And that money worked on their behalf so they didn’t have to. Of course, back then, investors didn’t invest because they had to. They invested because they wanted to—and because they could.

The upshot of this is, we all need to prepare and educate ourselves—and our children—to the new realities of being members of the investing class. It is for some of us that mean seeking the help of qualified professionals, such as certified financial planners, certified public accountants, brokers, or invest-mint consultants.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with seeking advice, provided that the help you receive is sound and reasonably priced. While  there was a flurry of do-it-yourself investing activity in the late 1990s, surveys have shown that a growing percentage of Americans are seeking professional financial advice.
For example, before the bear market of the early 2000s, around two out of five investors sought the advice of a professional planner. Now, after the bear, more than half of us do.

This is to be expected, especially in a world where the rules for investing are getting ever more complicated. For other investors, the prospect of finding a good and affordable financial consultant may seem just as daunting as finding good, affordable investments.

So this group might choose not to seek professional investment advice at all. After all, how do you know you can trust the person advising you? And how can you tell if the advice is (a) good and (b) worth the fee? Still other investors may want the help of a professional but might not beagle to afford such services.

As the financial services industry focuses on their most profitable clients—the so-called high-net-worth crowd—fees for small accounts have risen while services are being cut back.

Finally, there’s yet another category of investors: those who like managing their own money and who are good at it. Regardless of which group you fall within, it is still important to absorb as much information as you can about the principles—and pitfalls—of executing an investment plan.

Even if you’re paying a professional to construct your portfolio for you, it’s important to at least know enough to be able to tell whether that professional advisor is working in your best interest.

Educating yourself might mean reading the Wall Street Journal religiously. It could mean tuning into financial television networks like CNBC.

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