Of course, any individual would have access to many – if not all -- of these resources, but likely would not want to devote the time to review and study them in the same depth as their financial advisor. That, in fact, may be just the reason they have a financial advisor.
Here is a list of many of the resources that Megan and I have at our disposal to keep current in the realm of financial advising:
• Wall Street Journal and Rochester Business Journal – both keep us abreast of current business news. The RBJ is important to keep us up to date on what is happening in the local business community.
• Commonwealth Financial Group Teams – Our affiliation with Commonwealth gives us access to their Advanced Planning Team and their Investment Research Team. These are experienced professionals, and many in the Advanced Planning Team are attorneys with advanced designations in financial planning. They offer knowledge on a broad base of wealth management and financial planning topics. I can use these teams as additional resources as I do a case analysis for a client. I probably reach out to these teams a couple of times a month.
• Commonwealth Financial Group Subscriptions – Commonwealth also gives me very affordable access to many subscription services like Argus, S&P, Value Line, which provide independent research on securities, and Morningstar, which provides research on 529s, mutual funds, annuity and life insurance accounts and more. I can also use tools that compare contractual offerings of various insurance companies. These represent huge data bases.
• Broadridge – A financial planning research tool that provides access to articles, calculators, illustrations, tables and more for just about any financial planning topic.
• Professional Associations – As a member of many professional associations, I receive monthly journals on both industry and academic research on financial planning topics. These come from affiliations with the Financial Planning Association, the Society of Financial Services Professionals, and the Rochester Estate Planning Council.
• Investment Companies -- Mutual fund companies, insurance companies, and investment managers all provide ongoing research, market commentary, portfolio analysis tools and other resources. In many cases, I listen to podcasts or read blogs from these important sources.
• And a Few More -- I subscribe to the Medicare Rights Center, a consumer-oriented group that helps educate people on Medicare, to the Social Security Administration, IRS alerts, and to the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.
All of this seems like quite a lot – and, in fact, it is. It requires a lot of time and some realistic sorting. But all these resources are at my – and Megan’s – fingertips on a daily basis to help us do the very best for our clients.