Investing With Confidence

Paul Pittman Tells HIS Side of the Story

I REALLY DIDN’T GET STARTED in the investment area until the late 90’s and more research should have been conducted prior to my first involvement in the stock market. But I considered myself very good at tracking information . . . especially after the fact.

My expectations with the first investment firm I chose proved to be somewhat disappointing because I thought I should be notified immediately if any investment changes should be considered. Therefore, when my expected type of treatment did not take place, I started doing my own investing by opening an Ameritrade account.

However, while working a full-time job, it became virtually impossible to track the investments even though I was doing rather well with my aggressive approach. That is, until the year 2000. That seemed to be the beginning of the end.

Along with several thousand other self investors, I kept hanging on thinking the market would turn itself around. Let me put it this way. I have enough capital loss deductions to last several more years.

So the picture that is being painted is this; all my expectations in the investment arena had not gone well. What to do next?

After much consideration, my next move was to reduce my stress level by consolidating my investments, which included the Ameritrade account, an annuity, and my workplace 401(k). However, the primary question was how this needed to be accomplished.

I could have gone with professionals associated with my workplace 401(k), but this left me dealing with out-of-town contacts, 1-800 numbers, and not the one-on-one local contact I could reach out and touch.

By the way, I forgot to mention that I am married, so the proper thing to do was to consult my real boss and get her opinion. (Paul’s wife, Faye, works in the Accounting/Finance Department at Paducah Bank.)

She said, “Why don’t you talk with George Shaw?”

My question was, “Where is he located and what is his back- ground?” Her reply came back, “Paducah Bank, third floor, and I think he has at least 35 years in the financial services area.”

Having banked at Paducah Bank for many years and knowing the team of Joe Framptom and Wally Bateman, her comment at least had my interest. So I asked if she would set up a meeting with George, and she gladly did so.

Anyone who knows me can tell you that I seldom trust first impressions; I listen more than talk, and I never disclose all the facts until some level of confidence has been achieved.

My first meeting with George was very pleasant, and he just wanted to establish some common goals and objectives for the long term. Even though I never trust first impressions, I left feeling very impressed with his mannerisms and approach, but, as usual, I did not give him all the necessary information.

Another meeting was scheduled, and this time with some additional coaching by “the boss,” I went with the total amount of information that should have been presented at the first meeting. What the boss didn’t realize was that I was testing George’s patience level, because when he is discussing MY money, full confidence must be obtained if possible.

Anyway, during the second meeting I gave full disclosure and George never blinked an eye; he simply suggested we should really approach the investment area with a different strategy. Consequently, a third meeting was scheduled and he gave me some investment brochures to review and consider.

Should I have trusted George the first time? I probably should have. But now I do not have any problems recommending George and the Paducah Financial Consultants to anyone. A good friend- ship has been established and the return on our selected investment areas has exceeded some of our initial established goals.

If you have questions about your investment options, consider giving George and the Paducah Financial Consultants a try. I think you’ll be very pleased.

Oh, I want to leave you with this famous quote: “It’s not timing the market, but time in the market that should be considered.”

Guess who told me that one?

George Shaw Tells HIS Side of the Story

OH, SO HE WAS TESTING ME I SEE! Actually, that’s not a bad idea. When it comes to placing your financial assets with someone

you don’t personally know, it’s always a good idea to make sure that the person with whom you’re entrusting your future financial viability is someone you have no reservations about whatsoever.

There are many types and styles of financial advisers. With that in mind, you should take the time (as Paul did) to choose your financial adviser as carefully as you would a family doctor or a lawyer.

Investing your life savings involves trust—trust in the manage- ment of companies you invest in and trust in the people who advise you and handle your funds. However, trust should never take the place of careful research and healthy skepticism. As Paul suggests, don’t make your choice of financial adviser lightly or without due diligence.

How to begin? First decide what kind of investment services you need: are you a knowledgeable investor who plans to do
your own research and make your own decisions? If so, you may want someone to simply execute trades for you. Are you looking for someone who can provide investment advice, make recommendations on securities and also execute trades for you? Then you want your consultant to provide more in-depth services to assist you with your portfolio.

What questions do you ask? The following are a few good ones to consider:

• What services do you offer, and what are your areas of specialization?
• What do you charge for your services?
• Based on my needs and tolerance for risk, how do you plan to invest my money?
• How often do you evaluate your client’s financial portfolio?
• How often do you meet with your clients?
• How do you keep on top of market trends and swings?

These are good start-up questions to ask of your chosen financial adviser. This will give you a good fundamental view of the person you’ll be working with. It will also give financial advisers, like me, good information as well. It’s important that both the portfolio manager and the client clearly define the investment plan and the process of reaching the established goals.

Paul is an engineer, which means he is very detailed. He likes to dot the Is and cross the Ts. And he certainly wants to communicate on a regular basis. This was obvious to me as we conversed during the first series of meetings. I knew quickly what Paul expected of me, and I was happy to accommodate his plan of action. Just as every person is unique, so is every person’s financial plan. We’re well on our way to setting up a plan of asset management that fits Paul’s needs and goals.

If you’d like to talk about your investment portfolio, give me a call at 270.575.6636.

And remember, “It’s not timing the market, but time in the mar- ket that should be considered.”

Paul’s a good listener!