A Helpful Guide to Empower Investors with Education and Gauge the Skills of Their Financial Advisor


A blueprint is more than just handy when building anything. Whether it be a new home, an office building, or even a new business or career, having specific instructions and detailed plans to guide you through the entire process is invaluable.

Yet, when Hunter Bailey started his career in financial services, he could not find a “blueprint” to guide him in this new enterprise.

Thus, he struggled. He made mistakes. He dealt with frustrations and obstacles that looking back now were ones he could have avoided.

He couldn’t change what happened to him, but Bailey could facilitate change for other financial advisors – especially those just starting in the business.

Enter Bailey’s authorship of, “Active Retirement Investing: The Process.”

HB“This book is the recipe book for advisors,” Bailey, owner of Wealth Strategies-Retirement Asset Management Services located just outside of Sacramento, told Advisors Magazine. “I am excited to help them have a process because I did not have that throughout the years.”

The 251-page book is a tell-all guide for advisors as well as a heap of financial advice for do-it-yourselfers or prudent investors that want to verify the effectiveness of their current advisor.

The book describes three phases of interaction that advisors and clients should have based on Bailey’s experience.

Phase I is the financial planning process. Here, a variety of diagnostic reports are run on the client’s current financial status. Topics include a thorough examination of the client’ estate, insurance, investments and portfolio, personal cash flow, and taxes.

“We have to know where we are starting from,” Bailey said.

The last part of the first phase involves developing a punch list to address any inadequacies found in the diagnostic reports.

Phase II focuses on portfolio construction and aligning investments with the client’s goals. This phase, Bailey explained, ranges from minor tweaks to a complete portfolio overhaul.

Phase III in Bailey’s book and in his private practice is portfolio monitoring. This includes daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, biannual and annual tasks performed by the advisor – and reported to the client – to ensure investing goals remain on track.

The back of the book includes eight pages of resources for readers to explore as well as a 25-question self-test for readers – advisors and clients alike – to test their knowledge of financial topics. The cliff notes section is seven pages of guidance and notes on how to conduct client meetings and informational events. A comprehensive glossary of the various types of investments and a glossary of financial terms defined in layman’s language make up the back end of the book.

There are a couple of common industry practices that Bailey makes clear he is not a fan of in his writing of this book.

The first is the “one-stop” financial service trend in which a firm employs under its one roof the following professionals: accountants, attorneys, CPAs, estate planners, financial planners, insurance agents, etc.

“It is not fair for a client to come in and have a team of people all owned by one company who all have an incentive to promote and support each other servicing that client’s needs,” Bailey said. “When a client works with a team of advisors that are independent of each other, those various advisors are protecting the client instead. It is a lot safer to have independent advisors going to war on your behalf than it is to have five advisors all protecting each other because they belong to the same company.”

A second pet peeve for Bailey is the idea of auto rebalancing an account just because a certain time period has elapsed. Worse yet and even more adamantly so, he is against the idea of letting a computer determine the rebalancing.

“I am totally for rebalancing when it is done on an individual basis by a live person,” Bailey said. “To have a computer decide between stocks and bonds is a little absurd. The computer does not know the client the way that the advisor does.”

In reading the book, it seems each page has at least one bit of financial advice that Bailey wants to share with readers whether they be other advisors or potential investors and savers looking for better ways to secure a future nest egg.

book“This book is full of those little things that are not so glamorous but very well could save you a lot in the end,” Bailey said.

For instance, when buying a home, he highlights the need for a thorough home inspection before purchase. Once in the home, he stresses the necessity of having home safety procedures in place.

“Having been carried out of a burning house at age five, I know the importance of that one,” he said.

"Active Retirement Investing: The Process" is available on Amazon.


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