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Teaching Materials

Importance of the Topic:

This humorous vignette reminds us of the need to carefully consider who we trust to give us valid guidance in investing our money. Most of us either don’t have the expertise or the time to manage our investments. As a result, as we begin to build an investment portfolio, we look for help. Some rely solely on family members or friends to guide them while others look for professional help. Regardless of the course you take, it is crucial to understand the background and experience of those offering the guidance and advice. It is important that we give our trust to those who deserve it and not simply rely on friendship or whim. After all, you have worked hard for that money and you want to make sure that it is well managed.

Desired Outcome, Knowledge, or Skill:

  1. Realize that making good money decisions could require help and advice.
  2. Appreciate that you should use only trusted and reliable sources to assist you.
  3. Understand the need to check the qualifications of anyone claiming to be able to assist you financially.
  4. Recognize the need to understand all related costs, terms and fees associated with any financial advisor before becoming involved with him or her.

Possible Activities:

  1. Either alone or with a partner, make a list of what you think should be the qualifications of any financial advisor and then check your list against those of some advertised professional advisors.
  2. Research what a financial advisor actually does
  3. Arrange a meeting with a bank employee to discuss opening an investment portfolio and see what he or she would recommend.
  4. Decide what type of investment you might be willing to make and then look for an advisor who has expertise in that area.
  5. To avoid “putting all your eggs in one basket” look at the various ways you can invest your money and determine what your interest and comfort level is with each.
  6. Interview more than one advisor to determine their credentials and what they have as proposed investment strategies before you engage one of them.