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Trusting someone to manage your money not easy.

By Dian Vujovich

Everyone is a money manager to one degree or another. Whether you’ve got one million dollars or one million pennies to manage, sooner or later the question of trust comes into play: Do I trust myself with my money management skills or shall I seek out an expert?


Turns out, one survey found that finding someone to trust with your money doesn’t come easily.


TIAA-CREF has posted the results of its second annual  Financial Advice Survey. Revealed in it was the fact that about half of the 1,000 people interviewed said it was hard to know which sources of financial advice to trust.


Why don’t I find that surprising? After all, selling financial advice is what the money management biz is all about.  Nothing more. Nothing less.  Returns don’t matter a whole lot in that equation because it’s gathering assets that count the most for profession money managers.


Throw in the cross-selling of financial services— whether those services are presented at a bank, trust, via a brokerage firm, in-person, online or underneath a Buttonwood tree— it’s the hopeful promise of money-making-money that rocks our world. Not any carved-in-granite returns.


Facing those realities, plus the fact that the market is a fickle ever-changing environment, doesn’t help if looking for someone to trust with your money is what you’re seeking. It’s like oil and water; trust and uncertainly don’t mix naturally.


Here’s some of what the survey showed:


• While 58% said they would prefer to get financial advice from a single point of contact or location, 48% said it was hard to know which sources of financial advice could be trusted.


• Even though 46% said that more than ever they needed a trusted place to go for financial advice, 40% thought good financial advice cost more than they could afford.


• Then again, 37% said they didn’t like talking to anyone about their finances and 33% said they lacked time to get proper financial advice.


•On the other hand, more wanted advice about saving for retirement —63% in this survey, versus 52% in 2012 survey. And, over half of those interviewed in 2013 who got advice were looking for ways to make retirement savings last. That was up nine percent from 2012 results.


So where does someone get financial advice they can trust? By  interviewing a half-dozen or so financial professionals and then trusting your  gut  when choosing among them.

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