Excuse me, Are You Listening? - 9-8
Saturday, May 8, 2010

Dear Readers,

I want you to read this article by Dante Lee who is an award-winning entrepreneur and best-selling author. He is in Ohio, we are in Michigan. The same issues impact all of us. It is always amazing to me how we can talk about what is going on all over the nation but can’t talk about what is going on in our own city.  
I remember choosing my financial planners (that I don’t have any longer).  They always tried to act like every thing that they did was something that I owed them for.  In my opinion, I pay you and you do your job.
My financial planner was in Okemos (which is a suburb of Lansing).  They have a huge office and I was impressed.
That was until they started talking about taking out a home equity loan and putting it into  retirement funds.  I laughed.  They got indignant and tried to treat us like we did not know what we were talking about but we did not  follow their advice and as a result do not have to deal with market losses. So pick and choose very carefully.  
By Dante Lee
Maybe you have a lot of resources, and are surrounded by many professionals that you consult with before making decisions. Despite this, before you take business advice from anyone - make sure that they really know what they're talking about.
Just as not all doctors are good doctors, the same goes for financial advisors, lawyers, consultants, accountants, marketers, etc.
Too often, I hear someone say something like: "Well, I talked to my friend who's a lawyer and he said its okay." My response to this is always: "How do you know he's a good lawyer?" Lawyers give bad advice all the time, and passing a bar test doesn't necessarily mean that the person is smart, intuitive or honest.
Before taking the advice of a "professional", be sure to review their history whenever possible. For instance, would you be comfortable taking advice from a lawyer who failed the bar test 10 times before he finally passed it? Would you be comfortable consulting with an accountant who graduated college with a "C" average?
Ask for the contact info of the person's previous and existing clients. Talk with them and ask specific questions. This will always give you a better idea of whether or not you should be taking advice from someone.
I find that nowadays everyone wants to share their "knowledge" and offer their opinions. I've seen overweight people telling others how to lose weight. I've seen people in debt telling others how to get out of debt. And, I've seen unsuccessful business people telling others how to be successful in business.
Listening is never a bad thing, but before you take someone's advice - make sure that they're a reliable resource.
Rina Risper
P.S. Encourage future accountants and planners!!!
This column was originally printed in the May 8, 2010 - May 22, 2010 edition.

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