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HighTower Advisors has created a great video comparing investment brokers with fiduciaries.

A broker is someone who takes a fee in exchange for executing a transaction. They provide a service in return for compensation. For the most part, a broker is not a fiduciary. However, brokers – depending on where they reside, professional qualifications, company, regulatory oversight, etc. – may have certain duties of care to their clients.

A fiduciary is someone with a legal duty of care to the client. It is more than simply executing transactions. More as if the fiduciary steps into your shoes to try and best meet your needs.

It is an important distinction. Make certain that you always know whether you are dealing with a fiduciary or not. I am not saying never to deal with a non-fiduciary. Only that you know the difference between the two. And, if appropriate, take steps to safeguard your best interests over those of your representative (agent, banker, broker, financial planner, etc.).

Now to the HighTower video. 

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Many readers are a long ways away from retirement.

Messing up on retirement is not yet on one’s radar.

But it should be.

And the sooner you realize how people mess up retirement, the easier it is to avoid problems. 

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Are You Saving Too Much?

On 12/08/2011, in Financial Advisors, Investment Concepts, by Jordan Wilson

I read an article entitled, “Are You Saving Too Much for Retirement?”

I think it is a good article to discuss. No, the article itself is not good. Far from it. Rather this type of article is good to discuss. A big difference. 

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Vanguard Investment Funds

On 12/03/2011, in Exchange Traded Funds, Mutual Funds, by Jordan Wilson

I like Vanguard investment funds for long term individual investors.

Especially investors who follow a passive management style.

As I am not directly or indirectly compensated in any way by Vanguard I recommend them based solely on their merits.

That is not to say that other funds are poorer choices. I recommend a wide variety depending on a client’s investment objectives, desires, and available offering in their home jurisdiction. I believe in a “best of breed” approach for clients, not what is best for my revenue. And within the “best of breed” options, Vanguard funds pop up with regularity.

Why is this so?  

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Money Making Mistakes

On 06/01/2011, in Investment Strategies, by Jordan Wilson

Some interesting examples of money making mistakes courtesy of CNNMoney.

Superficially, they each provide decent advice for individuals.

But they also provide deeper lessons for investors.

And an overall moral that applies to all examples. 

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Each Asset Allocation is Unique

On 01/19/2011, in Investment Strategies, by Jordan Wilson

Asset allocation can be a difficult to explain.

Not the concept, but the actual construction.

That is because one size does not fit all investors.

Unfortunately, some investment models do try to lump investors into boxes as to allocation.

We will look at this issue today.

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In creating an Investment Policy Statement (IPS), individuals should always begin with a comprehensive analysis of their unique investor profile.

In part, the IPS should be a portrait as to who the investor is today.

This includes the investor’s: financial situation; investment objectives; personal constraints.

We will look at these today.

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Over the last few months we have covered a lot of investment related information.

Compound returns, diversification, asset correlations, risk, return, investor objectives and constraints, and a whole lot of information on the core asset classes.

And that is just a sample.

But we have not really got into the creation and management of investment portfolios.

We will start that today.

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The Keys to Passive Investing

On 11/02/2010, in Investment Strategies, by Jordan Wilson

Okay, so hopefully we agree that passive investing is generally the best route for individuals wanting to invest over the long term.

This post outlines the steps to build a passively managed portfolio that meets your needs.

We will flesh out some of these steps in November.

There are three keys to passive investing.  

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Investor Constraints

On 07/09/2010, in Investor Profiles, by Jordan Wilson

Individuals often consider their goals and objectives when investing, but they often fail to focus on their personal constraints.

However, investor constraints require equal consideration as they play a substantial role in one’s investment strategy.

Constraints are limitations or restrictions that are specific to each person. Some may be common to many people, others may be unique to that one individual.

Today we shall look at a few.

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