- Fee-Only Financial Services
- Comprehensive Financial Planning
- Free Initial Consultation
- Investment Management
- Retirement Planning
- Education Planning
- Elder Care Issues
- Estate Planning
- Insurance Analysis
- Charitable Giving and Trusts
- Planning for Business Owners
- Cash Flow and Budgeting
Allentown, PA 18104
Russell Wild is a NAPFA-Registered Financial Advisor.
NAPFA is the country's leading association of Fee Only Financial Planners.
What is "Fee Only Financial Planning," and why is it important?
In 1980, I graduated business school and went to work as a credit analyst for a large international bank. A smug kid in a pin-striped suit, I was certain that my analytical skills and my Texas Instruments calculator would earn me such a fortune in the stock market that I'd be able to retire rich in a year, maybe two. Well, I've since learned that the markets can be a wonderful source of income, but great wealth doesn't generally come that fast and easy.
Here are some other things that I've learned in almost three decades as a successful investor:
- It is very, very hard to pick winning stocks, or to time the market. Most people who try (as I did in 1980) eventually crash and burn. This includes professionals as well as amateurs. Study after study show that buying the market (indexing) is the best investment strategy.
- Costs matter, and matter enormously. If you invest in, say, a mutual fund that charges you 1.5 percent a year, or if you pay a money manager that much, you are very unlikely to wind up ahead. If you pay a commission (load) of, say, 5 percent to get into a mutual fund, you are tossing money to the wind.
- Diversification is all-important. By investing in a broad array of "asset classes" that include growth stocks, value stocks, large and small company stocks, Asian stocks, European stocks, bonds, and commodities, you have your best shot at a fair return with minimal risk.
- Every investor is different, and successful investing means tailoring a portfolio to the individual's needs. A 30-year-old with an income of $70,000 a year should not invest anything like a 70-year-old with an income of $30,000 a year.