Don’t Answer the Door … It Might Be an Adviser!
This is a bit of a rant but please hear me out. Uninvited solicitors . . . they just show up at your door! They might be selling surplus steaks out of a van, magazine subscriptions, or offering a tree-cutting service. Sadly, now you can add “financial advisers” to this list. They say they are just doing it to introduce themselves to the community. I personally think it is absurd. I cannot imagine doing such a thing, but perhaps I am a bit “old school.” I’ve spent eighteen years letting the people of Volusia and Flagler Counties know exactly who I am and what I do – in a professional manner. I cannot imagine anyone doing business with an adviser who just shows up on their doorstep! Are these folks selling vacuum cleaners or are they offering professional, high quality financial advice? Do you think these “interlopers” have credentials or experience? When was the last time you heard of a doctor or attorney marketing their services in this manner? Why would a professional adviser?
Don’t Take Chances: How other advisers market their services is up to them. My real concern is the risk that these presumptuous visitors represent. It doesn’t matter if they have on a suit or uniform, or if they are toting a Bible; why would you risk revealing anything about yourself by answering the door? Here’s a short list of the things you might reveal to a stranger inadvertently: your age and overall physical condition, whether you wear jewelry, whether you are married, the time of day you’re at home and whether you are alone. I don’t have law enforcement training, but these are just a few of the obvious things. How much more do you think a smooth criminal would notice? Don’t open the door to anyone you don’t know or aren’t expecting. Anyone with a legitimate reason to contact you can do so by mail or telephone.
Home Court Advantage: One more thing . . . If you attend a financial seminar and the adviser offers to come to your home, should you let him (even though you’ve just met)? Be forewarned: I once met an insurance salesman at a conference who bragged to me about the bullying techniques he used when he went to seniors’ homes. Why put yourself in this kind of situation? Either meet at the adviser’s office or at a public location, like a restaurant or coffee shop.
Maybe I’m being a bit overprotective. But if you need financial advice, be proactive. Go to the Yellow Pages℠ (yp.com), check out financial firms through the Better Business Bureau® (bbb.org), or search reputable websites like CFP.net. Your home should be your safe haven in what can be a dangerous world; you must be very careful who you invite in.