Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Review of “Building Wealth” by Ric Edelman, Part 1

Ric Edelman is a financial advisor whose personal financial planning firm manages nearly $2 billion for its more than 5000 clients. His audio book “No-Nonsense System for Building Wealth” (Nightingale-Conant Corp, Simon & Schuster Audio) makes big promises about the financial success you can have by following his advice. He is a compelling speaker who has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show, but not all of his points hold up under inspection.

Edelman makes many good points such as the fact that most financial advisors don’t know much about investing, and most of the financial press is full of noise that you shouldn’t listen to. Concerning the financial press, Edelman says the following.

"Many in the financial world have their own agendas. They aren't necessarily trying to give you financial information. What they are trying to do is generate profitability for themselves."

Sadly, the same appears true of Edelman. Most of his advice is good, some of it not so good, and some of it is contradictory. But the biggest problem is that much of his advice is self-serving. Too often his recommendations are of questionable benefit to individual clients, but would improve the profitability of financial planning firms.

In this vein, maybe I should start making recommendations instead of just explaining financial matters. I recommend that you send me a lot of money. If you send enough, I promise that it will have a substantial effect on your finances (and mine).

Starting in part 2 of this review, I will discuss some of the details of Edelman’s advice.

1 comment:

  1. Been with Edelman since April 2007. The staff is super, but the returns are poor -6.38% to date. This includes the 2.0% fee the firm charges. Edelman argues that they do better than most indexes (e.g. we lose less of your money than the competition) By the way, the brokerage firm that Edelman uses, T.D. Ameritrade, charges you fees. Just transfer money and you will get a $50 fee. I think Rik Edelman makes most of his money selling book and being on the radio.