Many popular books tend to oversimplify things and make it seem as if anyone can read a 200 page book and be completely prepared to handle all of their financial planning and investment needs. In some ways, the books do a service when they tell you to avoid the big Wall Street firms. Unfortunately, the real solution is not to try to handle it on your own, but rather to find an independent financial advisor, preferably a Certified Financial Planner™.
One problem with using books for your financial planning and investment needs is that the authors don’t know anything about your situation. So they can’t tailor their advice to your needs, and even if they could, there is too much to put into one book. The course work to become a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional is thousands of pages long. A 200 page book isn’t enough.
Financial planning covers many subjects and each one is a distinct field of study. A book on the subject matter of financial planning can really only provide at best a framework for decision-making. You need someone who can put it all together for you, objectively, and that is where an independent financial advisor comes in.
Consumers need to be informed about the channels through which they make their financial planning and investment decisions, and the products they use to implement them. Despite the plague of scandals in the last ten years, most people really don’t have the time or inclination to stay abreast of the securities industry.
You need to open your mind, and question what you have heard. See if an idea withstands scrutiny before committing your hard earned money to it. So many things taken for granted by investors are false, misleading, or just plain nonsense. Much of the conventional wisdom in this field is wrong or contradictory because it is based upon misinformation that is repeated day after day.
Everyone’s situation is different and even if the conventional wisdom makes sense for most people, it may not for you. You have to look at your individual situation in light of the financial planning landscape and make the best-informed decisions for you and your loved ones. Your independent financial advisor can look at your situation objectively and help you to determine your best course of action.