There is no shortage of things an investor can do today to take back ownership of and responsibility for his or her investing. Bobby Monks, author of UNINVE$TED: How Wall Street Hijacks Your Money and How to Fight Back, offers up vital questions to ask your money manager. It empowers investors to shop around for a better deal. Investors need to take back the power of and responsibility for our investing. Uninvested shows exactly how to do that; it’s a practical call to action that shows the average investor how to take back power/control, save money, and rescue their financial future from Wall Street.
Below are two of the seven most important questions to ask your money manager:
· Ask your money manager if he (or she) adheres to the fiduciary standard, which obligates him to put your financial interests ahead of his. Ask if the products he sells you are the best for your needs or simply most profitable for him. Ask whether he puts money into the same investments he sells to you. Ask if he makes money—and how much—whether or not he generates a return for clients.
· Ask your money manager to list and explain all the fees, including transaction costs, they charge or pass on to you. (Most will have a hard time doing this.) Ask for an analysis of your returns, opportunity costs, and the effects of fees, inflation, and taxes on your invested capital. Ask how much money you would have if you liquidated your portfolio today (this is your real account balance).
The book was a good read for someone who wants to handle more of their investments but doesn't quite know how. The market can be intimidating, but the book makes it accessible to anyone.
Robert “Bobby” Monks is a serial entrepreneur who has founded and led nineteen businesses in the financial services, real estate, media, and technology sectors. He was chairman of Spinnaker Trust, managing over $1 billion in assets; chairman of Institutional Shareholder Services and Proxy Monitor, the two largest corporate governance and proxy voting services; and founder and director of Atlantic Bank. Monks is on the board of ProPublica. He lives in New York and Maine. Bobby has appeared on Bloomberg Radio and has contributed to MarketWatch and TheStreet.com.