We are a financial advisor from the Old School. What does this mean?
We have the experience and credentials that you expect from a firm that’s been highly rated in online reviews. But that’s not what we’re talking about when we say we’re Old School.
We have a way of doing business that’s different from what you see with other advisors.
The Old School Principles of America First Investment Advisors
- We have a rational, understandable approach to investing that makes it more likely that you will be able to stick with your financial strategy.
- Our advice to you will be the same that we’d give to a member of our own family. We are a fiduciary, meaning your best interests are placed ahead of our own.
- We don’t sell insurance, mutual funds, or any other financial products that may compromise our advice.
- We think independently and don’t follow the crowd. Financial planning and investment management are done in-house.
- Our goal is to help you achieve your financial goals, not beat the yearly return on a market index or choose the next hot stock. We’re willing to be out of step with the market when we can’t find investments that meet our tests.
- At America First Investment Advisors, you will benefit from having a responsive team of people working for you.
The Typical Approach to Financial Planning in Omaha
The typical financial planner in Omaha has a business model that gives them plenty of time to sell products and look for new clients.
They see their role as helping you develop a financial plan, selling you insurance products they think you need, and outsourcing the management of your investments to experts that they have identified.
Here are some problems with this approach:
1. Financial planners often push annuities.
This product provides a stream of income that is guaranteed by an insurance company. It sounds appealing to people who want a seemingly low-risk way to generate income in retirement.
But annuities are very expensive. Planners are paid big sales commissions to sell them. Buyers may not realize that their money will be locked up for years, and that the quality of the guarantee can fall sharply over time.
There are much better alternatives to annuities, including certificates of deposit and US Treasury securities. You don’t pay sales commissions, you can get access to your money more easily, and the quality of the guarantee is much better.
2. Day-to-day investment management decisions are often outsourced to managers you will probably never meet. Your advisor will not be able to tell you much about what you own.
They will know generally about the types of stocks and bonds you hold, but not much more. They won’t know if a manager is overpaying or finding bargains. Remember, they don’t claim to have investment expertise themselves.
But if they don’t have investment expertise, how do they know that the managers they outsource to are good? Might it be the case that they simply choose managers who have been lucky enough to post good returns lately?
3. Knowing that such advisors lack investment expertise, you may find it hard to stay with your financial strategy during difficult times in the financial markets.
This is a key problem that also faces do-it-yourselfers. When the financial markets are rising, it all seems easy. You may wonder why people even hire advisors.
But things change in a downturn. You suddenly realize that you don’t really understand what you own. Should you buy more of that stock or index fund that is suddenly lower in price, or should you sell?
If you confidently buy after prices have already gone up, then sell because prices have dropped, how likely is it that you will get very far?
A good advisor will have a sense of what investments are worth. That doesn’t mean they can predict short-term price movements. No one can do that.
But it means they should have an ability to judge whether an investment offers good value for an investor who has a multi-year time frame.
The Bottom Line
To have success with your financial plan, you have to be able to stick with it. This is easier to do when you have confidence in the approach that’s being used.
At America First Investment Advisors, we have a rational, understandable strategy. We think independently and do our own investment research and management. This makes a big difference.
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