August 29, 2010
I learned about finance in my 40's and thereafter began managing my own investments. I deal with Charles Schwab. Most women I know don't want to take the trouble to learn about finance and investing. They leave this important task to their husbands. Big mistake.
I have not had any good experiences with brokers or investment advisers. Women (and probably men) who are not knowlegeable about finance are easy prey for these people.
I went to a fee based investment adviser early on. She pulled out Morning Star and said "Let's see what we can find for you." Fortunately, the first appointment was free. I understood Morning Star so didn't need her to do what I could do.
Bad experience with a Dreyfus representative who tried to talk me into buying an annunity. It was a three hour appointment. I took Peter Lynch's advice, "If you don't understand a financial instrument, don't buy it."
My grandmother left me 90 shares of United Income Fund (now Waddell Reed). I attended some classes they provided and did learn. However as I started learning about funds, I was astounded at this funds high advertising fee, reinvestment fee and other hidden fees.
Also two very early bad experiences with stock brokers when I was managing my mother's money. The first was a Smith Barney broker who was taking time to explain the bond market. When I didn't want to buy from him, he said, "But I thought we were having fun?" Sayonnara to him. I might add I am a woman and this irked me.
The second was with a Dean Witter broker who pretended to be interested in my hobbies and then wanted to sell me a financial instrument on which he got a high commission.
Now that companies are not managing employee's retirement money, I am scared for these people. Understanding finance needs to be taught in high school so these people have a chance to manage their own money. No one cares about your money the way you do. All these people are out to make money....your money.
I use common sense and have mostly blue chip stocks with good dividends. I rarely trade and let time do the work and don't get greedy. I always keep 15% in cash, but most of my money is in blue chip stable stocks.