Advisors help in the search for answers

Published 12:34 pm Monday, July 13, 2009

Niles Daily Star

Every day, anxious Americans wake up to opening market numbers and headlines chronicle life in the current recession.
Blackberries, desktops and laptops serve as gateways to watching the stock market and investment costs throughout the day, blaring their fluorescent glow until the markets close.
And as unemployment figures continue to rise, as more and more companies like GM experience, what the auto giant is now emerging from, the reality of bankruptcy – one might imagine investors spend most of their day in a state of wonder when it comes to their finances.
“People are obviously concerned with what is going to happen to the economy,” said Shane Shidler, financial advisor for Edward Jones – which is holding a special meeting this week with clients as part of a midyear market presentation answering questions to answer their burgeoning questions.
As uncertainties and speculation about if or when exactly the economy will rebound continue, Shidler said the focus of the seminar being held this week and Edward Jones’ approach to current and prospective clients is one that encourages a strong focus and smart investing.
“You just have to try and focus on what you want to do,” he said.
Weighing on many minds are thoughts of retirement, sending growing children to college and preparing for tough economic times.
He added, people in general should be asking themselves, “what do I need to do to net that goal … really it’s sitting down and looking at what’s really important.”
The effects of the current recession, Shidler said are evident right here at home.
“Look at this town, how many people just lost their jobs,” he said.
The list of topics picked for clients to address their concerns at the presentation include:
• Turbulent market cycles that have come before.
• The importance of putting a strategy into place, sticking with it and reviewing it regularly.
• Steering portfolios without allowing politics to impact decisions..
• Keeping a steady footing among day to day market activities and news reports
• Focusing on elements that can be controlled, buying quality investments and holding a diversified portfolio for the long term.
For clients and those currently concerned with the state and future of their finances, Shidler does offer advice.
“My advice to clients right now is to make sure you do have cash reserves,” he said.
That means at least six months of expenses stored in savings and making sure one has good insurance.  Reviewing, he added, is key. Reviewing goals and investments and methods of attaining those goals.
And for those who are only now beginning to consider getting serious about managing their money – Shidler said “it’s really never too late” to sit down with a financial advisor and start planning for the present and the future.
Investors need to remember there are good, solid companies out there, he added, and that “if you buy quality, if you diversify, that’s key…”
Investing, “is not a get rich quick scheme,” Shidler said. Indeed, living in today’s recession getting rich quick seems like a thing of the past.
For investors and Americans concerned with where their money is going and how to stretch and save their dollars, there is no shortage of financial advice. Though the presentation being held by Edward Jones this week is specifically for clients, Shidler said anyone can come down to any of the Edward Jones offices to get back on track and get answers for questions and concerns.
As it seems, getting rich by being smart, is something financial advisors in investment offices and through banks and credit unions are continuing to try and educate their members, customers and clients about.
Unfortunately, whether or not it’s a lesson lawmakers in Washington understand – remains to be seen.