March Madness is now behind us. And I would like to readdress the investment facilitator/salesperson vs. investor coach debate. Many in the financial services industry believe that to increase sales you must give the customer what he/she wants. In most cases this is an irresponsible conflict of interest.

The same financial services industry will predict what will happen next to the economy, the equity markets, the bond markets, and on and on. They do this to feed the fear of the investing public. Remember the

Wall Street bullies make money when money moves from one asset class/product to another.

After this prediction the bullies recommend a product which will deal with the fears they themselves generated. What the Wall Street bullies do not want is for investors to develop a prudent portfolio and remain disciplined to that strategy. Investors will be successful in reaching their long term goals by developing, understanding and believing in one strategy.

If you try to jump from one strategy to another you will inevitably fail.

When you accept the fact that the equity markets are invariably volatile.

And you understand that in the long term you will reap the benefits by remaining disciplined. You will reduce or eliminate your anxiety when equity markets are in down periods. This will also result in better performance going forward.

Since investing really is not an investment problem but rather a people problem. The help of a good coach is essential to your long term financial success. As my friend and fellow investor coach Dan Cuprill stated

Like a good physician, the coach does not confuse giving the client what he wants vs. what he needs. The salesman will sell anything. The coach does it right or walks away. Such rare conviction is liberating.

Ok Dan is from the Buckeye state but I forgive him.

The Wall Street bullies will continue to advertise that you can do this yourself with the help of their online adviser. The problem is these advisers will not understand you and only assist you in whatever behavior you want.

This is not coaching this is working with an investment facilitator or salesperson.

The value of a great coach can be seen in the NCAA basketball tournament going on right now. The teams with a process and the discipline will succeed long term. A great coach will have a plan in place to deal with any emotional issues.

The Wall Street bullies on the other hand will continue to use your emotions against you to sell more and different products. Products designed and sold by them to feed your fears. Do not empower these bullies, take control of your own finances, hire an investor coach not a facilitator.

To succeed in reaching your long term financial goals you need to:

Stay focused on the long term and ignore the short term volatility.

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The Four Pillars of Retirement Plans: The Fiduciary Guide to Participant Directed Retirement Plans

If you are a trustee, plan sponsor, or financial advisor serious about the retirement plan marketplace, you MUST read this book, or you will be ill-equipped to deal with the fiduciary meltdown non-readers will be facing. John Lohr, ERISA attorney and author