Don’t Buy Complicated Investments

There was an article recently in the Wall Street Journal about the collapse of a company called Future Income Payments. It was a really sad story.

There was a couple in the article and a nice picture of them. They have lost a big part of the money they had set aside for retirement and are in pretty bad financial condition.

It is alleged that they lost that money in a scheme perpetrated by a company called Private Income Payments which would buy pensions and sell the rights to the payments to investors in a little known, and to be kind, opaque market. The company has since collapsed. I wasn’t even aware something like that could be done.

My theory, which I read in Fortune magazine a long time ago, is that anything more complicated than a stock or a bond or a fund that buys stocks or bonds, was probably made by the financial institution to make more money.

There’s no free lunch in investing and there are no sure things, and if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
It’s a terrible thing when you see these stories. People really get hurt and I think unless you really know what you’re doing, and most people don’t, it would be best to avoid complicated investments and try not to go down that path.

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Michael J. Garry, CFP®, JD/MBA

Michael Garry is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner and owner of Yardley Wealth Management in Yardley, PA. Michael is a NAPFA-registered Financial Advisor. He is a member of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) and the Financial Planning Association (FPA).

Michael recently published his first book: Independent Financial Planning: Your Ultimate Guide to Finding and Choosing the Right Financial Planner

Michael is a frequent expert contributor to financial publications, and has also been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Money Magazine, Kiplinger’s, BusinessWeek.com, CNNMoney.com, Consumer Reports Money Advisor, Investment News, The Bucks County Courier Times, Financial Advisor, and other periodicals;

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