I’m 34-years old and barely a millennial. I’ve worked in finance for 10 years, which relatively speaking, is not a long time, but enough to look back with insight and a vested eye on the future. I grew up in Kansas and double majored in History & Sociology at the University of Kansas so I don’t even have a business or finance degree to impress you with. In college, my interests aligned more with understanding socioeconomic status and how groups of people are treated, rather than supply chain management, retirement savings and investment banking. And if I were going to be really honest with you, my biggest concern during my formative college years was making sure there were enough handbills around the KU campus to promote my rock band’s next show at the Granada Theater.
This all changed after my parents’ divorce. Their divorce immediately threw me into the realm of understanding discount points on mortgages, cost basis calculations on taxable investments, and estate and insurance planning in an effort to help my mother. During the marriage, she never earned much and always relied on my father to handle the finances. After the divorce, she had to rely and trust in others. This included an investment professional who, despite my mother being fresh off a divorce, low income, and insufficient savings, put her in a variable annuity. More on that in a minute.
And then there is my wife who, in her late 20’s, also sought guidance in an advisor. At that time, she was single, no kids, had heaps of school loans, zero IRA’s and insufficient emergency savings. Yet, she left a meeting with a trusted advisor with a term AND a whole life insurance policy. What she failed to leave with was a strategy on how to pay off her student loans or a plan for retirement savings.
For those that aren’t in the financial industry these advisors failed to act in the best interest of my mother and wife. What it appears to me is that these advisors were more interested in selling products that resulted in a good commission for themselves, rather than helping their clients. I’m not suggesting that annuities or insurance policies are bad in general. But they were not the right plan for my mother or my wife at that time. What they needed was simple and sound advice, what that got were financial products they didn’t need.
If it was this hard for my mother and wife to get quality financial advice, imagine how this translates to the millions of Americans needing help. There are some 90 million Americans with retirement plans and blooom believes that around 80% of them need more love. They don’t need a 20-page white paper on consumer cyclicals, they don’t need Jim Cramer yelling stock picks at them and they don’t need 15 investment calculators telling them how poor they are. Many people just need someone they can trust to do it for them.
Blooom was built off the fundamental belief that folks need a simple, affordable and transparent solution for retirement savings and planning. While nobody will ever care more about your money than you, there are trusted services out there that will act in your best interest. Just be sure those are the ones you are trusting with your future. For more on how to find such a trusted person, read our blooom blog “The ‘F” Word in the Financial Industry.”