Revealing the seven secrets of money masters

Peter Hirsch | 5/20/2013, 10:05 a.m.
In today’s financial landscape, there is no shortage of people who claim to be masters at helping us make the ...
Peter Hirsch Peter Hirsch

In today’s financial landscape, there is no shortage of people who claim to be masters at helping us make the most of our money. Do a Google search for “how to invest money” and you’ll get nearly 12 million hits. Do all of these people qualify as masters? Of course not. In fact, there’s a good chance that your own stock broker or financial advisor is far, far less than a master, and perhaps doesn’t know much more than you do about selecting the right investments for your personal situation.

If everything you’ve ever been taught about getting wealthy turned out to be false, when would you want to know? What is your version of the American dream? If you’re like millions of other Americans, you’re probably living for the day your retirement vehicle or 401(k) had stored enough value or equity for you to enjoy a life of financial freedom. And we’ve seen over the last number of years that the American dream has become for many the American nightmare. So what if everything you’ve been led to believe about your retirement plan is not only untrue but just the opposite of what you have been told? Wouldn’t you want to know immediately while there was still time to capture the American dream? You need to ask yourself, is keeping your 401(k) costing you your retirement?

Those nearing retirement are extremely concerned, and rightly so, that a collapse of the stock market could spell possible disaster for their 401(k) and other retirement investments. The credit crunch and housing meltdown of 2007-08 are stark reminders of the dot-com debacle of 2000-02 that halved market values, forcing retirement for many to be postponed, or scaled down in quality. The fairy tale retirement that many dreamt of did not become reality. Many lost their retirement, jobs, homes and lifetime savings.

In today’s economic environment, who can you trust? Your financial advisor is definitely not someone you should have doubts about. Unfortunately, most people do. They find themselves asking if their financial advisor is a friend or foe. In fact, did you know that 60 percent of people are angry with their financial advisor? Unbelievable, or is it?

The next series of articles will address not only those things that your financial advisor failed to mention to you as you wrote him a fat check, but it also shines a light on the much broader issue of attaining wealth. We will take our time over the coming months to discuss many topics that relate to both wealth acquisition and economic realities.

These articles will discuss seven secrets of money masters with the easy-to-remember acronym SECRETS: safety, expense, cash flow, rate of return, economy (including economic trends and demographics), tax efficiency and sense (as in common sense). And, it’s never too late to get some of that last “S!” That’s what I’m here to help you with. Please read the columns over the next months with an open mind. Know that you will hear some things, possibly many things that sound foreign and contrary to what you may have been told. That’s the point. Other things may sound so obvious at first, but ask yourself if you are really implementing the concept behind the story. These seven SECRETS of money masters will offer you some of the information that true money masters know, understand and use to their advantage.

It is the goal of these articles to better inform you regarding your future retirement planning and to motivate you into making quality financial decisions that could make a difference in how and when you enter into retirement. We all begin our journey next week. Remember, keep an open mind and enjoy!