Below is the only financial disclaimer you’ll ever need, it applies to every product, service or transaction you’ll ever be involved with. You’re welcome. – JB
Dear Reasonably Intelligent Human:
From this moment forward, assume that everything you ever hear a financial professional say is in some way designed to sell something to you. Every written word, oral communication, media appearance, email, letter, phone call or text is in some way, directly or indirectly, a solicitation for some kind of product or service. And if it isn’t, well at least you erred on the side of caution.
No one is your friend or doing you a favor. No one is giving you free advice or trying to help you for nothing. Even those with your best interests at heart are still trying to make money as a result of working for you or with you. That’s how the world works. Everyone is trying to make money to feed their family/drug addiction.
Read the fine print. Read the bold print. Ask questions. Don’t say yes to things you don’t need, don’t do business with people you don’t trust, don’t buy things you can’t understand.
Assume that most people in finance are good, some are scumbags and all of them are inherently flawed human beings and biased business people trying to sway you and your capital in their direction. There is nothing wrong with this, it just is. It will never change, even if Dodd and Frank and Sarbanes and Oxley holed up in Hawaii, had a vicious foursome as the waves of the Pacific lapped against the shore, produced a love child and crowned it Emperor of All Things Financial.
The truth is, they could pass laws against 100 ways to fuck you over on a Monday and by Tuesday afternoon someone will have come up with the 101st. Lawmakers and regulators will never be able to see far enough ahead or move quickly enough to match the cunning of the crooks.
As a rule of thumb, anytime someone on Wall Street offers you something for cheap you probably don’t want it. Anytime someone offers you something for free, you definitely don’t.
If you can’t understand this, you will probably lose a lot of money. You may even deserve to.
That’s life, that’s business. You don’t like it? Move to the Arctic Circle and marry a fucking walrus.