The American economy is in an unprecedented place today. The markets have experienced severe volatility, and the mortgage meltdown and foreclosure crisis continues to burden homeowners. There have been fraudulent scandals and debilitating Ponzi schemes that have scammed people out of their hard-earned money. All the while the federal debt keeps skyrocketing. At the same time, one-sided talking heads continue to dominate financial news and headlines.

The unfortunate reality is that most Americans aren’t sure how to interpret these major events, and their finances are suffering as a result. During our country’s turbulent economic times, people need someone on their side to help them sort through the clutter of negative news and mixed reports.

Now, more than ever, Americans of all ages need unbiased, truthful financial advice and an honest, balanced resource to help them take control of their financial well-being and achieve financial independence. They need a true advisor to give them both sides on every financial issue.

Our responsibility

It is our responsibility to be sure that Americans have the information they need to financially succeed, no matter what happens to the economy. We need to teach Americans how to become financially independent and successful in retirement, not sell them a financial product to make ourselves a commission. We need to educate Americans about the financial world we live in and assist them in making informed financial decisions. Americans need to learn:

  • That the world is biased-don’t accept everything you hear as financial truth.
  • That there are two sides to every coin-all investments have an upside and a downside.
  • That they have a responsibility to investigate the facts themselves before making a financial choice.

Once they understand this, they will know what to look for when making a financial decision and refrain from just letting an advisor tell them what to do with their money. They will be taking an active role with you, the trusted advisor, to protect and grow their money today and into the future.

Don’t just tell your clients they need a product-help them to understand the financial headlines and what it means to them and their finances.

I believe as a financial advisor you’re either part of the problem or part of the solution. Either you contribute to the one-sided, slanted “advice” your clients are hearing, or you’re part of the solution, giving them the whole story and an education and then a recommendation on what’s right for them financially. It’s time for financial accountability, and it starts with you.

Co-author of “Fiscal Fitness: 8 Steps to Health and Wealth from America’s Leaders in Fitness and Finance,” with Jack LaLanne, Matthew J. Rettick heads Cornerstone Retirement Group, LLC in Nashville, Tenn. He also founded “Checks and Balances TV.”