Omaha, U.S.A. — According to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s recent report on financial literacy in the United States, many individuals would do well to take a refresher course just to cover the basics. And when it comes to more complex financial issues such as 401k and retirement planning, the average investor is not in a position to either make informed decisions on their own or have an enlightened conversation with their broker if they have one. “The SEC’s report points to subjects that are not even on the radar of conventional sources of investment knowledge,” says George Morgan, the Executive Director of The Buttonwood Center for Investor Education.
So how can a person know if they aren’t financially literate or aren’t asking the right questions of their broker? “You really have to take some time to educate yourself,” says Morgan. “If you’re going it alone, be on the lookout for educational financial planning classes in your area. If you are working with a broker, your questions should include things such as what is an appropriate return on your investment, as well as asking about alternative ways of investing.”
Morgan, a retired broker himself, recently ran into a married couple who were former clients. ”They told me about their current broker and what a great job he is doing. They described how this new broker met with them on a regular basis and that so far this year, they had a return they were very pleased with. If they had known the right questions to ask, their returns might have been significantly higher and the amount of money they paid to the broker could have been considerably lower.”
Morgan’s new book, Extra Lettuce: Manage Your 401k Now to Avoid Flipping Burgers Later, easily explains how to take control of your personal finances and manage retirement funds in order to best plan for your golden years.