Hosts: Gary Abely, CPA, CFP®, AIF® and Joe Bert, CFP®, AIF®

It is an Ask The Expert Saturday morning on WDBO.  Good to have you along with us.  This is On The Money brought to you by Orlando’s oldest and largest independent firm of certified financial planning professionals, the Certified Financial Group in Altamonte Springs.  And every Saturday morning at 9:00, we bring in the Oracle of Orlando, Joe Bert, along with today we have Gary Abely, who will answer your questions, your queries, and to call us and even add a little bit extra to the program.  Good morning, Joe.

Good morning.

Good morning, Gary.

Good morning.

Joe, tell everybody what you take calls about.

Well, once again, Gary and I are here to clear up the mind fog regarding your personal finances, as we said in one of the opening, I guess, commercials, you’d call, about the dilemma that folks face today in deciding what to do when you’re approaching those retirement years.  We work a lifetime hopefully saving and investing to reach that point in time when the paycheck stops and we have Social Security, and how to we fill that gap <Inaudible> calls the delta, between your guaranteed fixed income, which is your Social Security — for some people, a pension — and what you’re going to spend.  We have to make decisions along our lifetime about stocks and bonds and mutual funds and our IRAs and 401(k)s and real estate and life insurance and reverse mortgages, annuities.  All that stuff and more we deal with day in and day out.  As I like to say, on Monday through Friday, we do it for a fee.  But Saturday morning, we do it for free.

For free.

There you go.

We do it for free.  We are here, folks, to take your questions.  Anything that might be on your mind.  And you can call in anonymously.  You don’t even have to use your real name.  And ask us a question and we will be glad to answer that for you.  Our job here is to illuminate.  In fact, it was interesting, yesterday, I had a client in the office who has been a listener for 20 years, Gary.  And he’s been a listener for 20 years.  And he says, I’ve learned so much from you guys, it’s been great.  He says, I’ve been listening for so long, that when you get a question, I can do the answer.

Need to invite him.

Well, you know, hopefully the answers are consistent, but that’s what we do.  So if you’re out there, the good news for you is the lines are absolutely wide open.  There’s nobody in line and you can be the first in line with your question or your query.  And not only can you call, but you can text, and here’s the numbers.

844-220-0965.  That’s a free call.  The texting number from your mobile device is 212-32.  Or if you’re so inclined and you want your voice to be heard, you can use the open mic feature.  And you’ll find that on the News 96.5 app.  Again, the number 844-220-0965.  One of those extras I was mentioning that we’re going to talk about today are some easy ways to improve your credit score.  And, at what age should a child start building credit?  But first, let’s start off with one of our listener questions.  With all of the uncertainty surrounding the election this year, is this a good time to sit out the market?  Carrie.  Well, what do you think Joe?  Would you ever recommend sitting out the market?

What that implies is that you know when to get in and when to get out, and no one consistently knows that.  That is the dilemma.  March 9th, 2009 was the end of the bear market that we went through and beginning of the one of the biggest bull markets in my professional history.  Yet, at that time, people were running out of the storm.  And some people are still sitting on the sidelines waiting.  The real key, as we know, and what we espouse to our clients is that, what you need, first of all, is diversification.


Secondly, you need quality.  And those two things, in the long run, with the right proportion of fixed income and growth, will get you to where you want to go.

Well, a lot of folks, Joe, are asking, what about this election is so different and what — is it better if a Republican wins or a Democrat presidential intender wins.  And the truth of the matter is the market does best when we have a divided government.  So when we have the legislative branch different from the executive branch, that’s really what I shoot for is hoping that we have our checks and balances that our founding fathers provided for us.  And as long as we have that, the market seems to do well.  I wouldn’t worry about who gets elected.

What you don’t want to do is guess.  Once again, be diversified with quality, know where you’re going, and don’t be moved by the news of the moment.

That’s right.  And all of my guesses, thus far, have been wrong so far with this campaign.  Again, the number, folks, 844-220-0965.  Let’s go to Winterhaven, and we’ll talk to Mike.  Good morning, sir.

Good morning.  How are you doing today?

Good morning, Mike.  What can we do for you?

Great.  I have a question about my particular situation.  I’m one of those people that are sitting on the sidelines and has been burnt in the market before.  And I am — myself and my wife, we’re 55 years old.  We took the mentality of becoming debt-free, so we own our home, we have absolutely zero debt, and we work full-time and right now, we have quite a bit of money just sitting in a savings account.  I know that’s a bad thing, but it’s more of an <Inaudible> of being burned.  My wife has a pension.  I have a small 401(k), but I’m trying to look at what to do with our assets for the next five or six years.

You’ve got to think beyond more than five or six years.  If Mike was in our office Monday morning, Gary, how would you counsel him?

You’re 55 years old, so I would be — you’re looking at a 40-year period because the odds are pretty good that, at least one of you, you or your wife, will live to the age of 95.  If you make it to 65, there’s about a 35% chance of that happening.  And you really can’t look at any period in the market — frankly, 15 years, let along 40 years, where you haven’t done well.  In fact, one of the worst 15-year periods Joe alluded to earlier, was the 15-year period ended March of 2009 because we had the dot com bust of about 49%.  We also had the financial crisis bust where the S&P 500 dropped by 57%.  So even in that 15-year period, I believe the numbers are positive, I think it’s 2% or 4% over that 15-year period.  I’d have to look it up.  But regardless, that’s somebody who really had awful, awful timing.  And so, one of the things, when we find a client who is apprehensive, is I might suggest — and then, again, of course a lot of folks are talking about this market being expensive, and I don’t think neither Joe or I would disagree with that.  We want to see some profit growth, we want to see some revenue growth.  And frankly, we want to see some GDP growth.  And I think with those three things, we can see the market go higher.  But one of the things I would suggest is maybe dipping your toes.  You said you have a lot of money in savings accounts.  Maybe what you do is have a six-month or a twelve-month plan to get into a diversified portfolio.  So if we do have a market correction, which are normal — we normally have these 10% to 20% pullbacks, you’re less likely to want to pull everything out because you’re going to be burned again, because maybe you only have 1/6 of that risk or 1/12 that risk.  If you think about your 401(k), dollar cost averaging, that might be the way to get in.  But ultimately, the sooner you can get into a diversified portfolio long-term, the better off you’ll be, Mike.

Mike, let me back up a little bit.  Let’s look at this from the very, very big picture.  When we have money, we have three things we can do with it.  We can spend it, we can lend it, or we can own things that hopefully go up in value.  Obviously, if you spend it, it’s gone.  We have to spend so much money every day, on gasoline, just to fill up the tank this morning.  Price is under $2.

Food, I like food.

Clothes and then more stuff <Inaudible> all this stuff right?  And then you can lend it.  What you’re doing right now is you are lending your money to an institution.  You said it’s in a savings account, so you’re lending it to a bank, and your bank’s not paying you much.  So you can figure out, you’ve got a 1% return, it will take 72 years for that amount of money to double using what we call the Rule of 72.  Or you can own things.  Now, own things, your mind can go wild of things that will appreciate in value.  Many people use real estate.  There’s pros and cons of owning real estate.  How do you own it?  Some people own precious metals.  Some people own the Beanie Babies <Inaudible> speculation.


Coins.  One of the best investments you can make is to invest in enterprises — first of all, your own enterprise if you’re self-employed.  That’s the best investment that you can make.  Many people don’t have the ability or the time or the money to start their own business, so what you want to do is own a bunch of other businesses.  And how do you do that?  Well, the only way to do that is through stocks.  And you can buy individual stocks, which we don’t recommend, because that’s a high risk, high reward proposition.  Better yet, having a professional money manager using a mutual fund make those determinations for you.  So now you have the ability to participate in the growth of companies around the world.  Companies that you’re familiar with.  Name brands that you know, use day in and day out.  Some companies will do well.  Some companies won’t do well.  But that’s where the professional money manager comes in, in the mutual funds, to determine what to do.  But, however, all investments are subject to market fluctuations.  But that’s what we call the risk premium that you get.  The extra return that you get on your money long-term that you’re not getting in a 1% savings account.  The key, once again, is to be diversified with quality in the long run.  You’ll do fine and in your horizon, you’ve got 30, 40 years to worry about.

You’ve got to have some growth.

You’ve got to have some growth.

Either that or a huge pile of capital earning nothing that you’re going to spend and drive down to run out of money when you’re 95 years old.

Mike, you were burned probably in the last 10 years, am I right?

Actually, before that.  I actually got caught up in the telecom debacle of the 2000 era.

And I know many who did.  Some telecommunications and Internet funds actually dropped in value by more than 90% over about a two-year period in the dot com —

That is correct.

Right.  Remember


But one of the things, if you invest it in a diversified portfolio, for example, the 500 largest US companies, just over the last 10 years — and it hasn’t been a good 10-year period, frankly.  When we look at historical terms, normally we would have a long-term return of around 90% or the top 500 companies.  The last 10 years, it’s been 7%.  And going back to Joe’s Rule of 72, that means you’re doubling your money in a 10-year period versus a 72-year period.  We don’t live that long.

And you’re quadrupling it in a 20-year period.

That’s right.

You’ve got — and the key is to be diversified and the key is to have money set aside that you will use to cover those emergency kinds of things when the market does its inevitable correction so you’re not selling in a down market.  And that’s one of the things that’s — it’s a sequence of withdrawals that will hurt you.  Mike, it can be done.  And the other thing that concerns me in your situation is that you have a 401(k) and you’re doing a little bit of it.  That ought to be your first line of attack because —

Actually, my wife and I were both at the max of what the company matches us with.


And we’re actually doing the once a year tax deduction of $6,500 into an IRA.


We’re doing that part of it.

What’s your IRA invested in?  Let me back up.  You said you’re putting your money in to the max of what the company’s matching.  That isn’t just a match for you.

The match for you, at your age, is $24,000 a year over the age of 55.  That’s what you ought to be striving for.  Forget what the — even if the company didn’t match a penny, you ought to be putting in the maximum that you can on a pre-tax basis in your 401(k) into a diversified portfolio.  And if you do that religiously, I guarantee you, Mike, you’ll be better off than 98% of America when you’re ready for retirement.


Good enough.

Thank you for calling.

I appreciate the call.

Appreciate it.  Thank you.

We need to get to Dave Wall in the News Center and then we’re going to come back and take some more of your calls.  I’m going to ask Alia to hang on.  We’ll get to you.  Here’s the phone number if you’d like to join us.  It’s 844-220-0965.  Or you can text us at 212-32.

It’s an Ask The Expert weekend on WDBO.  Good to have you with us this morning.  It’s a beautiful Saturday morning.  And it’s a good time to be listening to On The Money brought to you by the certified financial group.  Get some pocketbook questions answered about your retirement and how to make it go nice and smooth.  I looked at my 401(k) statement this week, Joe, and I was smiling all the way.

Well, it’s been a good <Inaudible>, right Gary?

It has been nice.

It makes up for the down time we had last year.


Joe, as we presents everybody’s memory, we’ve got about four minutes before we get back to Dave Wall in the News Center, what are you guys taking calls about now?

Gary Abling and I are here to take your questions regarding your personal finances, about your 401(k), about IRAs, what you want to be doing now so when the time comes that that paycheck stops, you can continue to enjoy the lifestyle that you always dreamed about.  And unfortunately, they don’t teach us this stuff in school, right Gary?

No they don’t.

In fact, you have gone a long way educating not only your twins, but a number of people in your workshops <Inaudible>.

Catherine and Patricia have had to suffer through my workshops.

They will look back and they will —

They will.  I think they’re appreciative.

Actually, I’m glad you brought it up, but September 27th, we’re doing a financial basics workshop.  This is for teens, young adults, and actually for any adult that really feels like they want to get the financial basics.  I’d say the average age is probably 40, frankly, of those in attendance.  So that is from 6:00pm to 8:00pm on Tuesday, September 27th.  And while I’m at it, I’ll just go through a few of the other workshops we have.  Next workshop after that is Social Security Bootcamp.  That is on a Thursday evening from 6:00 to 7:30.  Then, a When Can You Retire, Know Your Number.  Everybody wants to know when can they retire and what’s that magic number they need.  So we help you calculate that.  That one’s coming up on a Tuesday night from 6:00pm to 8:00pm October 25th.  And then last workshop we have scheduled right now is November 15th.  And that is countdown to retirement, also 6:00pm to 8:00pm on a Tuesday night.  And in that workshop, we talk about the things that you should be doing about two years outside of retirement.  We kind of go through a checklist, making sure you’re dotting all your Is, crossing your Ts.  You have your legal documents in order.  You’ve done your proper planning for long-term care.  You’ve done your proper planning for Social Security.  Maybe pension decisions, life insurance decisions, etc.  So once again, all of these are absolutely free.  Leave your checkbook at home.  We’re not trying to sell you some annuity that a lot of folks have these lunch and dinner seminars about.  And the reason we do these, folks, frankly, is to give you information so you’re not a casualty when it comes time to retirement, and to also introduce to what we do as financial planners and how we work with our clients, and we do this on a fee basis.  If you want more information about it, go to our website.  That’s  Click on workshops and you can learn more about Gary and me and all the other 10 other certified financial planners that are with us at Certified Financial Group.  We look forward to seeing you.  You can make a reservation right there online.


Hey, before we go to Dave in one minute in the News Center, I’ve got to get your opinion on some big news that happened this week.  Do you think that we’re beginning to see, maybe, the —

Goodbye, Ruby Tuesday.

Well, they’re shutting down some stores, just as Macy’s is now going to <Inaudible>.

What’s going on?

Well —


Yeah.  And Macy’s.

Sometimes, the property’s worth more than you can —

And if you’re <Inaudible> you’re just closing them fast and <Inaudible> the property’s worth more than they’re making on the retail side.

Buying a lot online, so the economy is changing.

Yes, yes, yes.


Well, it happens.

I hated to see Sports Authority go.  That was our favorite place to go on the weekend.

Well, competition in online stuff.

Joe Kelly said yesterday on Orlando’s morning news that he started to see them close down so many nice burger joints.  Somebody called up and said, it’s a fine restaurant.

It’s an Ask The Expert Saturday morning on WDBO.  My name is Kirk and I am with two of the twelve certified financial planning professionals with
Certified Financial Group.  The Oracle of Orlando is in the studio, Joe Bert, along with Gary Abling, who is also a CPA, one of the most popular guys in the office, I heard.

You got that right.

Once again, let’s go down this list because we’re kind of slow today.  And I understand the show before us was pre-taped so they weren’t taking any calls.  So what we’re going to do is tell you what we take calls about.  Joe.

We are live.


From New York.

Absolutely not.

We are taking calls this morning to answer any questions that you might have regarding your personal finances.  As we oftentimes say, unfortunately, our educational system has failed us miserably when it comes to teaching us how to save and invest for our personal financial future.  So we’re here to answer those questions.  Questions that you might have regarding your 401(k), regarding IRAs and mutual funds and reverse mortgages, and real estate, and annuities and life insurance and all that and more.  We are here — Gary and I are here.  And the good news for you, once again, the lines are wide open.  So all you have to do is pick up the phone and dial.

844-220-0965.  Here’s some texts for you.  My 15-year-old daughter — right there, you guys are already on edge.  My 15-year-old daughter is an authorized user on two of my Mastercards.  <Inaudible> on my end.  Credit utilized on one due to medical for her is almost at limit.  Second one has one half —

And then it broke off.

Yeah, my apologies.  I should have told you we only have a limited Number of characters we can use, so that’s where it cuts off.

That’s a good question, though, and that really brings up a few points.  When should you start having your children establish credit?  My general rule of thumb is at least a year or two before they head off to college.  And then you’ve got a few options.  Do you want them to have their own credit card in their name?  And that’s, by the way, very difficult if the child is below the age of 21, unless they have substantial income on their own.  So the other two most frequent options are to be an authorized user on the parents’ card or to have their card but have it co-signed by another adult, usually a parent.  There’s a lot of risks associated with the co-signing.  And the reason there are a lot of risks associated with that, and that’s why I prefer the authorized user approach, is the parent loses quite a bit of control when they co-sign.  They don’t get statements.  The child can expand the credit limit without that parent knowing.


They could be delinquent on that card and it might take a month or two for the parent to pay that <Inaudible>.

And that affects the parent’s credit.

It sure does.  One thing that’s brought up in this text, as well, that one of the cards is maxed out.  One is about half.  And that’s also affecting that particular parent’s score.  What you want to do to help protect your FICO score is keep the utilization to your cards at roughly 30% or less.  Some folks say, I want to have a high score so I only have one card and I make sure I pay it off every month.  And maybe their credit limit is 7,000 and they always charge maybe 5,000.  They pay it off every month and they think they’re doing a great job.  And it sounds like you’re doing a great job.  But your credit utilization is way over 30%, and you’re actually going to hurt your score that way.  You’d actually be better off having two cards and lowering your utilization on both.  So I hope that answers the question.

How do you feel about — the two that you suggested are great ideas.  What do you think about a prepaid card?  A prepaid credit card.

I think that’s okay.  But in this example, they were talking about a medical or having it for emergencies.  Medical costs are so expensive.  If my child was off to college, I’d want them to be able to have access to a decent sum of money.  Most of the secured cards, you put up 500, 1,500, maybe 2,500 in a bank account.  And then that’s the credit limit.  And I do like those as well.  But it’s probably better to just — just think your daughter’s going off to college and you want to put so much in her account.  Back in the old day, I used to money in a kids’ checking account when they had checking accounts.  Now you can do a prepaid card and pay it down and they always know they have $500 or $1,000 in there.  And then you can see what’s going on there.

And one thing to mention, too, a lot of folks, because they get a debit card that has Mastercard or Visa on it, they think they’re establishing credit by having a checking account with that.  It’s important to understand, debit cards will not help your credit score.  It’s just you’re taking money out of checking account.

Just a classic checking account.

Yeah, that’s right.  So just because it has the logo Mastercard or Visa, you’re not doing yourself any good favors.

Right, right.

So when’s that next bootcamp routine?

It is September 27th.  Are you planning on coming, Kirk?

No, but I wish that you had that when I was a teen.

Well, we all think the same.  I think we all should have learned a lot more at an earlier age.

Once again, you have parents bring their kids.  Parents oftentimes learn an awful lot, so bring your teenaged children.  Going to serve pizza this time?

Well, you know, that’s at 6:00, we can do pizza.

There you go.  Come on in.

Once, again, go to our website, folks,  And you can get information right there about it and sign up.

There’s another quick text before we get back to the phones.  I’m going through a divorce.  Should I keep half my annuity with the same company?  250,000.

Well, I would not want to have an annuity with more than 250.  If you’re right — a little bit over 250,000, that’s fine.  I’m not sure if the 250 is half or if they’d be splitting it at 125, but typically, you’re going to be splitting assets.  So long as the annuity amount isn’t substantially over 250 and the reason we say that number is there’s a protection on the Florida side for companies — an insurance company that might go out of business.  You’re protected up to that limit.

Let’s do this quick text here.  42, self-employed.  No retirement plan.  Beginning to think the scratch-off ticket wasn’t the way to go.

It is not the way to go.


<Inaudible> other thing self-employed folks can do, depending on how much they want to set aside.  A SIMPLE IRA is very simple.  A SEP allows them a self-employed pension <Inaudible>.

Don’t you have all that on your website?

We do.  That’s a great point, Kirk. has a lot of information about retirement plans.  If this is a high income earning individual, and they’re just getting started, a solo 401(k) or a cash balance plan might be appropriate.  Honestly, there are so many retirement plan options for self-employed folks.  But just don’t count on that scratch-off ticket.  And really, at 42 years, you’ve got plenty of time.  I know you say you’re just beginning to start, but don’t be discouraged.  You can make up a lot of ground.

We’ll get back to the texts in a minute.  First, let’s get to Jane in the Villages.  Good morning, Jane.

Good morning.  My financial advisor is —

Don’t mention any names.

Wants me to buy an annuity at 350,000.  And he said that the balance — the amount might go down, but the 4.5%, I will have of the 350 for the rest of my life.  Does that sound right?

Well, it sounds like there’s a couple different buckets of money.  So if the balance can go down, you’re probably being shown a variable annuity.  The first thing I might say is I don’t know that I’d want to put 350 with one company.  I’d probably want to split that up if annuities were appropriate.  But let’s back up a minute, Jane.  How much in total assets, if you don’t mind sharing that, how much of this 350 is your net worth, would you say?

Investable net worth.

Yeah.  Not including your home.

About 1/3.

So you’ve got about $1M in savings and investments.


So what’s he recommending, you put 350 into this annuity.


So what he was speaking of is likely a variable annuity because, typically, fixed annuities don’t have the potential for losing money, most of them.  And the 4.5% is really an income stream to you.  What he’s saying is that that income stream is guaranteed likely through a rider, what’s called an income rider.  But it really depends on why are you buying this.  Are you buying this for income or are you buying this for growth?

Not really for growth.  I was just looking for that definite 4.5% of the 350,000 for the rest of my life, because I can’t get four and a half at the bank.

Let me explain something to you.  You are not getting a 4.5% return on your money.  It’s very important that you understand that because you mentioned, I can’t get 4.5% from the bank.  With the annuity, that 4.5% represents a part return on your money and a part return of your money.  Meaning, when you are not here, there’s not going to be any money most likely, in most scenarios with most annuity products, to pass on.  Some do have death benefits, but the point is, is you’re not getting a guaranteed 4.5% return on your money.  It’s a return of your money and a return on your money.

What you don’t want to do is confuse the 4.5% you’re getting from the annuities if you’re getting 4.5% of a CD in the bank.  Let’s do the bank.  If you have 4.5% from the bank, the CD’s there and you’re getting the interest and somewhere down the road, you say I’m going to cash out my CD or interest rates are now back to 12%, I want to put it in something with a higher yield.  You always have your principal.  Once you put it in the annuity, what you’re doing is you’re exchanging, as Gary said, the income for giving up the principal.  And when you start getting that income stream, you’re going to get it for the rest of your life, but some of that is your own money coming back to you.

Oh, okay.  Alright.

You live up there in annuity world.  There’s more annuity salesmen up in the Villages than there are anything else simply because annuities are — look attractive on the outside and in some cases, they’re great things.  But oftentimes, we find they are missold.  They are — I think in your particular case, we hear what we want to hear, but we don’t understand all of the intricacies to it.  I’ll tell you what you want to do.  If you want more information about annuities, go to our website,  Click on the Info to Know tab and go to the rest of this story.  There are a couple of articles in there about annuities and what to look for.  The pros and cons.  I think they’re very well — they’re white papers about the pros and cons of annuities, and I think it will give you information.  Why own annuities?  There are some good ones out there given the right set of circumstances, but you need to go in there with your eyes totally open and understand what you’re getting.  But to conflate a CD at the bank with the annuity at 4.5%.  They’re two totally different animals.

And Jane, you may also want to limit the amount you have with one company.  So consider that as well.  You might split that up into two at 175.  By having 1/3 of your money, roughly 1/3, in annuities is not too much, but you really want to look at the moving parts to make sure.

I thought she was going to mention a name.  I had to — sorry about that.  Dave Wall is in the News Center and he’s just a little over a minute away.  Let’s see if we can start with David and Sanford, but we might have to go to Dave here.  Go ahead, David.

Yeah, hi, Joe and Gary.  I wanted to say that I lost a bet with my girlfriend.  I bet it was Donovan’s song on Joe’s daughter.

You called last week about how I named my daughter?

What song?

I think it’s called Jennifer Juniper.

Oh, yeah, right.  That clicked.  I remember that.

It’s a beautiful song and I said he’s a hippie from the past.


How can we help you David?

I just wanted to say, one guy called up and — you just explained the annuities because someone hit me recently about one of those.  But I should have came into you guys 20 years ago.  You look back and a stiff neck’s all you’re going to get.  The one guy that called up and said he’s got some money in savings account, like most people — I guess they just want you to tell them, this is what you need to do, you need to put this in there.  A lot of people don’t like to make decisions, which is like me.  Remember, I told you — I was the one that said something about going to the doctor, there’s five doctors, which one, which doctor should I get.  Who’s the best?  But they have to understand, you guys — this is your living.  This is how you make money.  If you want your tire changed, I can’t do it, you’ve got to have your tire changed.  And I think a lot of people are turned off by that.  They say, well, these guys.  I should have done it.  I’m just saying, if anyone’s out there listening, just take the plunge.  I’m getting ready to go and I’ve already picked that one girl you had there, the <Inaudible> person.  And that — she’s the new one.  What’s her name?  I don’t know.


Yeah, her last name is Rinda.  Anyway, just throw the dart because — take a chance because you’re going to wake up at my age and say what the heck.

Alright, David.

Well, thank you.

Thanks for calling, David.  That’s really nice of you.

In fact, I had a conversation yesterday <Inaudible> with a client who had been listening for 20 years.  And we were talking about why don’t people seek professional advice sooner than what they need to.  And there’s a myriad of reasons.  One of them is some people — I don’t want to use the word embarrassed.  But they think they should know all the stuff that we know.  And they don’t want to expose themselves there.  They don’t want to show their bellybuttons, so to speak.  The other one is some people are afraid to get the results.  <Inaudible>.

When we come back from Dave Wall in the News Center, could you guys explain how a certified financial planning professional works?  How you guys are kind of like cream of the crop when it comes to the guy who’s a disc jockey and dresses up with a suit and tie?  You know that commercial I’m talking about?  The difference between a financial advisor like me <Lost Signal>.

Not a whole lot of time left.  Let’s get right to it.  This is On The Money brought to you by the Certified Financial Group in the studio.  Joe Bert and Gary Abling.  Both of these gentlemen are certified financial planning professionals.  We’ve got another text to get to, so we’ll get to that.  But first, let me ask you guys: What sets a certified financial planning professional apart from, say, somebody like me who can claim to be a financial advisor and slap something like that on a magnetic sign on his car?

That’s a great question, Kirk.  I used to get frustrated when I practiced accounting.  Anyone can call themselves an accountant, but only those licensed in Florida are actually certified public accountants.  It’s the same thing with financial advisors.  Anybody can get a business card tomorrow and put financial advisor on there.

Financial consultant.

Financial consultant.  We can think of 20 names to call yourself, but those who have passed the CFP exam have also had rigorous educational tests along the way and passed the comprehensive exam and continue to have education and also have to abide by very strong code of ethics and act as a fiduciary for their clients.  And then we also have a cute little — I guess it’s a cartoon video, I would call it, on our website,, that does a really good job about explaining the difference between, say — I think it’s the difference between maybe a broker and a certified financial planner or fiduciary.  And it’s actually kind of comical.  It’s worth a quick look.  I think it’s only a couple minutes.

You can pull up the website and it’s — know the difference.

But the beauty is a fiduciary will always put the client’s interests before their own.  So that’s the important distinction.

In the short amount of time we have left — that’s why we can’t answer anymore texts.  We’ll try to answer them off the air.  But what’s the best way to go ahead and set up one of those private consultations with one of the certified financial professionals?

I recommend you go to our website,  You can do it on your cell phone, you can do it on your iPad, you can do it on your computer.  You can make your appointment right through our website,  You can look at the backgrounds of all the 12 certified financial planners that we have with us, and take your choice.  Once again, it’s a complimentary consultation.  We want to be sure that we can help you and give you more information about what we do and how we do it, and we charge a fee for those services.  A lot of people are surprised that the fee is what it is, that it’s so reasonable.  And I find that the biggest benefit of doing a plan and knowing where you are is peace of mind.  Because, for the first time in, perhaps, some people’s lifetimes, you get a very good idea of what you need to do so you don’t look back, as I said, 5 or 10 years from now, say, gee, I wish I would have known, or, gee, I’m sorry I didn’t, or wish we had been there 20 years ago.

Just like our caller.

That’s what it’s all about.  Folks, go to our website.  That’s

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