Ordering Off a Menu with 25,000 Options
When you sit down in a restaurant and the waitress offers you a menu with a hundred different items to choose from, do you have trouble knowing what to order? Are you always confident that you are going to like what you pick? That’s what investors face. There are more than 8,600 stocks listed on U.S. exchanges and over 25,000 mutual funds. That’s a big selection.
Investors too often are asked to choose from a menu of investment options without a good idea of what these options are and how they work. This is especially true of people who are enrolled in retirement plans at work, like 401(k)s.
Overwhelmed or Well-Informed?
In a restaurant you can ask your waiter what they recommend. Investors are deluged with suggestions and sales pitches via magazines, newspapers and the TV. In fact, they get so much information, it’s been compared to drinking from a fire hose. But so much choice can cause investors to become overwhelmed instead of informed. In the end, investors with too many options end up struggling to pinpoint the right solution for their own specific needs and goals.
This is where a competent Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) can help. With the right credentials (such as a CFP®) and the legal obligation to act as a fiduciary, an RIA can ask you questions about your goals and plans. With this information he can structure an investment program that is tailor made for you. It’s a way of making sense of the choices you have. Peace of mind doesn’t come from reading the menu – it comes from asking the waiter who watches your options every day.