Where should you begin?

In this age of information, sometimes there is just too much. There are thousands of options for every product, service, and issue that you may want to consider. There are genuine, honest voices and those who are distorting the facts to sway you. This is what makes financial issues so difficult to act on. How do you know who to believe?

In the dizzying array of products available, there are some that you need to be absolutely sure of before you go forward. There are insurance products -- variable annuities, indexed annuities, front-end loaded mutual funds -- that once you purchase them you really are locked in for almost a decade because of the penalties or costs. Now that doesn't mean that there aren't some good products in that arena. It does mean that you may want a second opinion from someone else who can help you understand the product.

Where you get that second opinion is a very critical decision. Will they automatically dismiss the option you are considering in order to get you to purchase their product? That is why hourly financial planning is such a valuable commodity in our time. Instead of getting a free review, pay for an hourly planner to give you a professional understanding of the product or service you are considering. There are many hourly planners available now who can easily be found through a web search.

The importance of understanding your costs and your risks cannot be overemphasized! You become very vulnerable when you choose to remain uneducated about your investments.