Here are some highlighted excerpts from the interview with chartered financial consultant, investment advisor representative and author Mark Roberts:
Why is it one of the worst things to create income? It sounded counter intuitive when I first heard it. How did you come to that?
Mark: Well, the whole purpose of saving money is so we can spend this money in retirement at a time when we need to replace our paychecks. Social Security isn’t going to be enough alone. Well, how do you take income from a portfolio? You have to sell stuff. You have to take a withdrawal. Any withdrawal you take is bad—you’re reducing the portfolio. You just have to understand you’re going to shift from saving money and spending your paycheck, to now no longer having a paycheck and spending your savings. It’s a mental shift for a lot of retirees.
Steve: May I ask you a question on that … so their stock dividends and bond interest, just those, are not enough?
Mark: No, you have to have so many more things. You’ve got to have stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs and annuities. If you do it right, you’re going to have a diversified portfolio of different ways your money is going to grow. It’ll help reduce your risk, and more importantly, give us as the financial advisor the ability to go into your portfolio, go into your tools and try to find ways to generate income regardless of where the market is.
Steve: They’re all about creating income and using annuities in other places. You’re kind of on the other side of this fence in the argument.
Mark: I like annuities, don’t get me wrong, I think annuities are a fine tool to have in the toolbox, but it’s just a tool—it’s not the solution. I use the example all the time. I’ll give two examples. You go into Walmart and you buy a sweater for $30. You walk into the parking lot and you have somebody out there willing to pay you $35 for that sweater. Would you sell it? Heck, yeah, that’s a $5 profit. Would you go out to the parking lot and sell it to somebody for $25? No, because that’s a $5 loss. The same analogy goes to investments: if your portfolio is diversified like it’s supposed to, to get the biggest return on the least risk. When you need withdrawals and you need income, the market is going to do different things to the various investments you have in your portfolio.
Taking income from the same place over, and over, and over again, isn’t always appropriate. The goal is to sell high, not sell low, so I find the number-one flaw people make themselves or financial advisors make, is they’re taking income. They’re taking these withdrawals from the wrong places.
Steve: When you’re talking not only the wrong places, and I want you to explain that, this thing about selling high, not low and that people have this completely backwards.
Mark: When the market is doing different things, there are times to go into your portfolio. I need it to generate income from the bonds. Maybe generate from stocks. Maybe generate from your annuities. The goal is to shave a little off your best investments.
Steve: Okay, I actually find this a little fascinating because that is so contrary to the thinking of most advisors. They’re usually taking their money off their lower income investments and ones that are actually having trouble in the market. I want to go follow this up, you know. Talk about, how do you train people to start thinking this way, because this is going to be a change in the way clients look at this.
Mark: Well, let’s think of it from a practical standpoint. Think of the average financial advisor out there. We are trained to move your money from this account over to this account. Get it from that advisor and move it over to us. We get paid to move it from here to here. We get trained to grow your money. We get paid to grow your money, but nowhere in my 20 years that I have done this, have I ever been trained to take money out of the accounts and give it to you to live on. Because, companies don’t want to train us for that. Companies want us to put money into their accounts and to grow their accounts. They don’t want us to take money out, but the whole reason we save money is so we can take these withdrawals.
Watch the interview with chartered financial consultant, investment advisor representative and author Mark Roberts.
Syndicated financial columnist Steve Savant interviews author, popular platform speaker and investment adviser representative Mark Roberts. Right on the Money Show is an hour long financial talk distributed to 280 media outlets, social media networks and financial industry portals.