More and more we are seeing the trend of modern investors losing faith with big, traditional investment firms. According to recent studies, investors are increasingly cynical that investment advisors have their best interests at heart and are counseling them accordingly. 67% of millennial investors surveyed agreed that their investor “sometimes recommended products and solutions that were in the advisor’s own best interest.” Ouch.
The thing is, I can’t disagree with them.
When I got my first career job with a 401K and a profit-sharing plan, I suddenly had real money to invest. You can imagine how excited I was about it. I approached a traditional investment mega-firm (which shall not be named) with my little burgeoning nest egg. I won’t go into details, but essentially I got the door slammed in my face. The amount that I wanted to invest was too small — although it was huge for me. And when I tried to talk to someone about what other solutions and products they had for me, I was dismissed and shuttled about. They conveyed to me that I, and my business, was not welcome.
Not a comforting feeling for a new investor.
So, I just didn’t invest. Instead, I stuck it in a high return savings account. I faithfully funneled money to it every month. Like many of my peers, I would rather save on my own terms than invest on someone else’s.
I think that for many of us, traditional investment firms have largely lost our trust. Between high minimum requirements for investing, dismissive advisors that aren’t accessible or trustworthy, the increasing rates of investor fraud and electronic theft, and coming of age in the rocky landscape of market volatility — I don’t think this is going to change anytime soon.
But, there is light at the end of the dark fiscal tunnel.
More than ever before, there are options for taking charge of our own investments and financial futures. There are tools such as micro-investment apps (check out our review of some of our favorites). And there’s ready access to sound, unbiased investment advice from experts you can trust and learn from, without the concern of being swindled or railroaded into purchasing some high-priced service.
Here are some ways that you can take charge of your own investments:
- Invest with micro-investment apps, such as Acorns
- Get unbiased investment advice from someone who doesn’t control your money (like us!) (shameless self-promotion) (seriously though we’re working on a 401k tips service and it’s gonna be great)
- Sign up for your company’s 401k, especially if they do contribution matching
- Educate yourself as much as you can; Weisert Investments is the basis that we use for all of our analysis, and The Intelligent Investor is a fantastic read on the essentials of value investing
- Contribute to a Roth or traditional IRA and take advantage of those sweet tax breaks
Take back your financial power by making your own investment decisions. Don’t feel limited to the finance mega-corporations of yesterday. In today’s internet age, there are more options available than ever before; get out there and explore them! Take charge of your financial future!