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is free advice still worth what you paid for it, or should you add 4% compound annual interest and deduct capital gains?

I have a problem with the plot of brokerage and retirement commercials. Have you ever noticed how they make everything look so easy? And what about the actors? How am I going to grow a mane of silver hair by age 60? For the last time, no I do not have a 401(k)Roth SEP-IRA(MSA) okay?

Maybe I, and the rest of the shrinking middle-class, can worry about protecting my millions when I’ve got a few (or even one). Until then, where are we going to go for retirement advice that makes sense and could even make us some money? As a matter of fact, I have a few ideas:

First, forget about going it alone. Brain surgery is cheaper when you do it yourself, but the headaches afterwards…

Second, don’t even think about patronizing the big investment houses that charge an arm and a leg for the privilege of working with them. Outfits like Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, and others, turn up their noses if you start off with less than a fortune anyway. P.S. I never understood this thinking … if I’m already a millionaire why should I bring you a fortune just so you can make one yourself?

Finally, get educated. Nowadays with the Internet and a wealth of information available 24/7, if you can do basic financial research and establish a relationship with an investment professional you trust, it’s easier than ever to create and follow a strategy that any investment jock would envy.

Follow Up: Take a look at this article by Wachovia Securities for some good ideas and basic strategies. E-mail financial consultant Naveed Ahmed with any questions and mention that you read his name here. He’ll not only explain the process he’ll even do the heavy lifting to get you started on the road to financial security. When you are through, feel free to e-mail me here to discuss how to protect your assets or check out M. Hedayat & Associates, P.C. for more helpful information.

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