Wednesday, May 19, 2010
What Do Mary Kay and Your 401(k) Have In Common?
I finally got some feedback from my compliance supervisor, regarding my upcoming book, "Help! My 401(k) Has Fallen - And Must Get Up!"
As a licensed Financial Advisor, I certainly want to be sure my book stays "in bounds". I need to "C M A" - so to say.
How do I C M A? (Cover My ***) Two main rules -
1. No wild promises.
2. No product endorsements.
Years ago, I remember reading the story of Mary Kay Ash, founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics. Mary Kay said that she lived by a principle which I found fitting. "I never promised a woman that my products would make her beautiful, but I always tried to give her hope."
I like that. You could certainly apply the same concept to financial services and even more specifically to my book. We have been bombarded by the media with "hopelessness" at every turn. My job is to be a beacon of light. Straight talk and common sense to show the way. With no pensions, a weak Social Security system, and people living much longer, you really need your 401(k) to grow strong.
In the book, there are examples which DO show specific mutual funds. However, I was asked to simply enter a disclaimer footnote. This avoids endorsement of a certain product or fund.
"Investors should carefully consider the investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses of mutual funds. This and other important information is contained in each fund's summary prospectus and/or prospectus, which can be obtained from a financial professional and should be read carefully before investing. Investments outside the United States involve additional risks - as does investing in smaller companies - such as currency fluctuations, political instability, differing securities regulations, and periods of illiquidity. Equity investments are subject to market fluctuations."
There. I feel much better now, don't you? I have also taken a lot of time to make sure that "Help! My 401(k) Has Fallen - And Must Get Up!" is properly referenced and indexed. If someone else said it, it must be OK for me to say it - as long as I credit the source.
In the end, I'm happy with the way the book is turning out. My next piece will be on the final editing.
I'm proud to say - I covered my "A".
You can contact me through my website. I am currently accepting new clients and specialize in 401(k) rollovers. You can get a FREE REPORT there also, "The 5 Biggest Problems With 401(k) Plans - And How to Fix Them". Follow me on Twitter or Linked In.
My radio program, "Improving Your Financial Health" is weekly on Saturday mornings at 9:00am EST on Harvest 103.1 WHME-FM in South Bend. Archived programs are also on my website under WHME.
Best wishes to you!