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Category: Finance
Satisfied Customers: 3871
Experience:  Tax professional and business consultant for 35 years.
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Hello. Does anyone advise getting investments into safe vehicles

Customer Question

Hello. Does anyone advise getting investments into safe vehicles given we might be getting into a was with Syria?Thanks!
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Finance
Expert:  PDtax replied 2 years ago.
Hi from Just Answer. I can assist today.

Because of the poison gas claim by the US against that government, used on Syrian citizens, the type of genocide is one thing. How the world has sided with Syria to date is another.

A number of countries unfriendly to the US have supported the sale of gas masks to Syria, likely to support the government's actions.

A rogue's gallery of countries, namely China, Russia, North Korea and others, would not support US military intervention, each for their own reasons. Those reasons are, in my opinion, too diverse to bring about a coalition of these countries with common purpose. Syria's government is accused of actions so heinous that other countries could not publicly support them. As a result, the military action should not threaten world economic stability, and the threat to your domestic investments is likely weak if existent at all.

It may be good to diversify your investment portfolio now, in anticipation of sensitivity to world risks as threat. I especially like Canadian investment to diversify against world risks, for a lot of reasons.

Thanks for asking at Just Answer. As any follow up you like. I'm PDtax.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks....SO maybe switching from 80/20% to 60/40% ?


I have a guy who wants to sell me INDEX ANNUITYS and wants me to put everything into cash NOW.....????

Expert:  PDtax replied 2 years ago.
I'm not a believer in index annuities or the snake oil salesmen pitching them. A new name on an old game. Big commissions, lousy returns. And I would never fall for a sales pitch that touts financial ruin is coming. If it is, what good is the 2% or so guaranteed return?

Run, don't walk, from someone who would sell these products. We do not offer them through our wealth management firm, and discourage others from buying them. There are several reasons, primarily the high commissions, lousy historical returns, and tax treatment of any gains. We recommend liquidation of these positions with every new customer, and accept no commissions for the sale of product.

If you take his advice, and liquidate everything, and have cash, you can pay more into annuities. If you want to have fun, ask him how he will spend his piece of the 7-8% commission he gets up front, then a smaller piece each year from the funds used to invest in. Then think how hard your reduced money has to work to make that back.

I suggest consulting a fee-only advisor, who can discuss investment with you without scare tactics, and set up a plan for long-term wealth growth and management.

I currently recommend that our clients 'get their feet wet' with some foreign investment, typically 10-20%, if they agree with our long term view of the US economy and future risks. You should not make an asset allocation based on my opinion, but instead after consulting with an investment professional.

Thanks again for asking Just Answer. I'm PDtax.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks for that! But I thought it was better no-fee because you save money every year. Rather than paying 1% every year so you have more money working for you. Maybe hybrid index funds are good? I am VERY suspicious of this guy telling me to put my IRA INto cash or a money market immediately. Is he doing this for HIS gain? I already haven't IRA with Schwab and feel I should keep it there. Thank you for helping me!
Expert:  PDtax replied 2 years ago.
A fee-only planner/advisor will earn their money by actively managing and teaching you about responses as life events or economic conditions warrant. And, if someone is working in your best interest, the fees they charge are well worth it. No sales of annuity contracts of any kind just because they pay the highest commissions.

I have already discussed the commission structure of the annuity arrangement you would be buying. Focus instead on what you need, not what someone is selling.

Your 'advisor' wants you to take money in an IRA and liquidate the holdings so that you can buy his product, the primary marketable advantage is tax deferral. Only the worst kind of thief would try to sell you a tax deferred investment inside a tax deferred vehicle.

This actually happened to one of my old bookkeepers. She was sold variable annuity product inside her IRA. When she finally discussed it with me, and she saw how she had been sold the worst product imaginable, and why she was, she liquidated the annuity contract immediately.

Your asking 'hybrid index funds are good' is a question that tells me you should have a pro assist you for now. Once you understand investing, returns, and the variety of investments and their appropriateness, you could manage your own money.

We can't advise through the web site, but I have suggested that you hire a fee-only pro and ask for assistance. Their interest will be aligned with yours (as you amass more money, they make more). The fee, which could be 2%, will easily be managed when your portfolio throws off much higher returns.

To summarize, lose the salesman who is trying to sell you annuity product in an IRA. It's purely in his self-interest to do so, and to your detriment.

Thanks again for allowing me to assist today. Please leave positive feedback to close out your question. I'm PDtax.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you so much....I am really glad I went with my instincts! Is it normal that I would be afraid the markets going to tank with this "Syria thing"? I lost half my !RA in 99/2000 and am afraid I am going to lose again.


BTW, this guy has a company called but I am unable to access this site? This leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

Expert:  PDtax replied 2 years ago.
Once you have been caught up in losses that came from forces outside of your control, it's normal to remember those losses. It's also common that people who understand how to prey on people will do so, and use the interview process to locate areas that will close a sale.

Find an advisor whose opinion you trust, whose credentials and track record show success, even so far as limiting losses, in all kinds of markets, including what they did when they last faced a down market, and ask where they get their information about trading/buying/selling. The best advisors do their own work, and can provide references of their own work and people who will vouch for them.

Good luck, and thanks again from Just Answer. Please leave positive feedback to let the site know you are happy with the service and my work for you.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks a lot. Why would his website be locked out and you need a password XXXXX access it? Is Schwab a good place to put an IRA since they will manage it for 1%?
Expert:  PDtax replied 2 years ago.
I can't explain why the man's site is down.

I also can't advise who to choose for something so important. Do not choose solely on price.

Thanks again for your question.

Category: Finance
Satisfied Customers: 3871
Experience: Tax professional and business consultant for 35 years.
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