Sometimes my own trust issues get in the way of whats best for me and my family.   Truthfully

I have trust issues and Amanda can probably acknowledge that, I don’t know.  It’s especially with people in authority. Maybe it’s because of my family upbringing.  Maybe it’s from my military experience, maybe it’s from past jobs, I don’t know. It’s a lot of those kinds of things.  

So through some situations I wanted to go and see a therapist about it, actually someone in authority said, “You should go and see a therapist about it.”  That’s why I did it. So I started seeing a therapist about this but then I came to one of the sessions and he had a Star Schmuck cup on the table.

Now if you know anything about us, we are independent coffee shop owners or we were at the time and he knew I ran an independent coffee shop and didn’t like Saint R-bucks one bit.  I think I had just told him that in our last session. So anyway, after that meeting, I’m trying to deal with my trust issues, family background, and all the other stuff. Anyway I didn’t go back to see him after

Remember Aladdin the Disney movie?


I must have watched it a thousand times as a kid.

Remember when Jasmine realizes the handsome prince is the “street rat” she had met earlier?

It was because of how he asked the question, “Do you trust me?” He asked as the “street rat” when they ran from the authorities and then again as the prince when they went on the magic carpet ride. Those 4 words were his give-away.

Now that movie is full of characters pretending to be different than they really are. From disguises to hiding their true feelings and intentions. Even Genie finally shows his true dreams at the end and it’s beautiful.



I could tell you story after story I’ve come across of people and their relatives who have gotten screwed over by someone who was dishonest or at best only in it for themselves.

How do you tell the difference between false prophets and genuine financial advice?

How can you tell if a ‘financial expert’ can actually help you?

Is his primary mission to pad your pockets or his own?

In this episode, you’re going to learn 3 tips to help you when deciding who to place your trust in to help you build future wealth Grandma would be proud of. This is a ‘common sense’ approach to finding the right financial advisor to make sure you don’t get ripped off.

The Show Highlights:

– You can’t make it drink…but you can put salt in the feed ([1:20])
– Trust issues and why I fired my therapist ([2:00])
– The truth about (many) financial advisors, and who you can really trust ([4:30])
– Why your parent’s financial advice is probably wrong ([5:00])
– Robo Advisors: Are computers better financial advisors than humans? ([10:20])
– 3 wealth-building tips for deciding who to trust with your money ([12:30])

People will do whatever they want to do, no matter how much you try to persuade them with advice. You can’t make them ‘drink’…but you can put salt on the feed. Tune in to this episode to make sure you never get ripped off when it comes to building future wealth with a financial advisor.


Remember to download Grandma’s free wholesome wealth recipes book by dropping into Time-honored wealth strategies served with a helping of balance and trust.

If you’d like to see how Grandma’s timeless wealth strategies can work in your life, schedule your free 15-minute coffee chat with us by visiting…just like Grandma would want us to do.

Read Full Transcript

A hearty welcome to Grandma’s Wealth Wisdom with your hospitable hosts, Brandon and Amanda Neely. This is the only podcast for strategies to grow your wealth simply and sustainably like grandma used to. Without further ado here are your hosts.

Amanda: Hi, I am Amanda and welcome to Grandma's Wealth Wisdom where we help you build wealth grandma would be proud of.

Brandon: And I'm Brandon. Today, Amanda has roped me into telling a story about why I needed a therapist but I ended up firing him. Again, I think sometimes we all need to have somebody to talk to but sometimes it's good to also get rid of those people if they are not helping you deal with your problems, I guess you could say. But before we get into that, we've titled today's episode, "You Can't Lead a Horse to Water".

Amanda: You can.

Brandon: Oh sorry, you can lead a horse to water so the title is "You Can Lead a Horse to Water." You might be familiar with the rest of that phrase but you can't make it drink. It's grandma's way of reminding us you can make it easy for someone to do something but you cannot force them to do it. You can lead a horse to water, not you can't.

Amanda: Right. But you can't make it drink. It's also a way of saying that people will do whatever they want to do no matter how much you try to persuade them otherwise; which is a big caveat for people like Brandon and me who love to teach and share what has benefitted us the most. But as one of our mentor's mentor wisely reminds us, you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink but you can salt the feed meaning you can help make the horse thirsty or in the case of people you can bring them the information and make it irresistible which leads us to the therapist story.

Brandon: And probably...Amanda has probably salted the feed on me on marriage probably, you never know.

Amanda: Or vise versa.

Brandon: Yeah, I don't know. I was trying to not share this story but so in complete transparency. I have trust issues and Amanda can probably acknowledge that, I don't know. It's especially with people in authority. Maybe it's because of my family upbringing. Maybe it's from my military experience, maybe it's from past jobs, I don't know. It's a lot of those kinds of things. So through some situations I wanted to go and see a therapist about it, actually someone in authority said, "You should go and see a therapist about it." That's why I did it. So I started seeing a therapist about this but then I came to one of the sessions and he had a Star Schmuck cup on the table. Now if you know anything about us, we are independent coffee shop owners or we were at the time and he knew I ran an independent coffee shop and didn't like saying R-bucks one bit. I think I had just told him that in our last session. So anyway, after that meeting, I’m trying to deal with my trust issues, family background, and all the other stuff. Anyway I didn't go back to see him after that. I didn't trust him to have the intentionality of a thoughtful person who was sitting across from him.

Amanda: Right and I remember when you came back from that session and you were complaining to me about it. At first I thought, well maybe he could have been testing you and trying to help you overcome those trust issues and using the cup as a prop. But then I was thinking about that and I was thinking if he was using a prop you would have thought he would have at least pointed that out if that was the case. If it was a teaching aid, he would have used it to teach.

Brandon: Yeah. He didn't do any of that stuff. And maybe even knew my personality, I'm an 8 on the Enneagram so maybe that was part of it, I don't know. But in reality, he didn't even followup with me when stop making appointments. He didn't go back and ask, "Hey this guy is not calling anymore, not scheduling anything, we never finished out sessions." He didn't do that either.

Amanda: Yeah. So why are we telling this story. You might be asking yourself that question. What does this have to do with grandma and leading a horse to water?

Brandon: Yeah, what does my trust issues have to do with any of this stuff? Great questions. It's because when it comes to building wealth, you have to be careful who you can trust to help you do it. Of course we know grandma is very considerate of other people and utterly trustworthy. But what about financial advisors who claim they can help you become wealthy. I mean really who can trust even after the 2008 thing and all kinds of other things. There is a huge trust issue out there.

Amanda: Yup, so Brandon has trust issues with people in authority but a lot of people have trust issues with people in the financial sector and rightly so. So we thought we would do an episode about who can you trust and see where that goes. So let's start with some people that you might think you could trust but ..

Brandon: Those people in authority.

Amanda: ...might be the hardest people to trust, our parents, our very own parents. It's hard to trust them for good financial advice. Hopefully, you have parents that did things right but chances are looking at the average baby boomer, our parents' generation, they didn't.

Brandon: Definitely mine didn't and that's maybe part of the reason I have trust issues, maybe I don't know. Not only do we see how much they screwed up and got us into bubbles overarching that generation that burst like the .com bubble in the late 90s and early 2000s and the housing bubble of 2007 and 2008 and not to mention the rise in debt and ...

Amanda: All kinds of things.

Brandon: ... all kind of stuff.

Amanda: Yeah, one of the biggest things that we are just starting to see is that poverty is increasing substantially among boomers as they are reaching retirement age. According to a recent report from the New Schools Short Center for Economic Policy Analysis.

Brandon: Say that five times fast.

Amanda: Right, I'll put a link in the show notes if you want to check out this report. But I'm going to quote it here; what they wrote in the report. "33% of current workers aged 55 to 64 are likely to be poor or near poor in retirement based on their current levels of retirement savings and total assets. Additionally close to 2% of near retirement workers will find themselves in extreme poverty with less than 50% of the poverty threshold. This means that many workers will experience downward mobility when they retire if they are able to retire at all." So what does that mean Brandon?

Brandon: That's some pretty scary numbers, actually. I mean 35% of the oldest boomers having no more than double the federal poverty line in income. 35%, that's like a lot. Roughly speaking that means one third of boomers will have less than $24,000 per year in income in retirement; depending on where you live in the U.S., $2000 per month doesn't go very far, especially here in Chicago. Let alone the bottom 2% who have less than half the poverty threshold, only $500 a month. I think you talked to somebody like that just recently, right?

Amanda: Right, I talked to somebody who all she has is Social Security income and it was less than $900 a month which is little better than the bottom 2% but still really hard and in her 70s is trying to get a job. It's really hard to do. But the bottom line with all of these numbers, what we are trying to get at today is that it can be hard to trust the boomers who now have gotten themselves into this situation where you see poverty increasing among the elderly people as they approach retirement but also I don't trust the financial advisors that help them plan and try to convince them to save.

Brandon: They help them plan.

Amanda: Right, well it's just not the advisors, it's not just the boomers, it's both together, and the kinds of retirement plans that became popular in the 70s and 80s and 90s as boomers were saving for retirement.

Brandon: So then who can you trust? There has to be some other option.
Grandma always said, “Eat your vegetables.” She loved making home-cooked meals with healthy food and from-scratch desserts. Would you create a diet of fast food or cookie cutter financial products that made you fat and bloated with fees or would you like wholesome time-honored wealth strategies served with balance and trust. Get started with your healthy money planning by downloading wholesome wealthy recipes; your moola cookbook is waiting for you at

Brandon: Let's take a quick look at four things, four options. What about those financial gurus we see on TV and hear on the radio? I mean I see and hear them all of the time. How do you know when there is a slight of hand or if you ever get a full picture, how do you know that? One key thing is to look at their sponsors. So again, look at those financial edu-tainers, educators, who are their sponsors? If you know who is sponsors them, you can probably guess what strategies they are going to recommend.

Amanda: Yup so that is number one, financial gurus, can you trust them? Number two, what about your relative or friend who is a financial advisor? Are they trustworthy in helping you build wealth? One key thing to ask when you're talking to a friend or a relative who is a financial advisor or any financial advisor, is what brought them into the industry, into this profession? Get them to tell their story. If they seem to only be in it to make money that should probably be a red flag.

Brandon: When I think sometimes, our financial advisors are our friends next door who actually have never done anything in finance and we are like, "You do taxes so you should help me with my finances." Or we just ask for advice in that way and I think that's not a good way to go either. Then there are the robo-advisors. Can computer automation do better than a human? I mean this is interesting. Perhaps with the emotion out and pure logic guiding decisions, there is something to be gained there.

Amanda: Like Spock.

Brandon: Yeah, like Spock or like we say, "like Amanda."

Amanda: I'm kind of like Spock, yeah.

Brandon: Yeah, she is a little bit but she does have emotions in a lot of other ways. Definitely more than a robo-advisor which is just the internet but humans are still creating the robots and the automations plus a computer could never compute the human aspects of your financial life, what some like to call the external rate of return. They don't compute your dad went in the hospital and you were out a little bit or various things like that; that are affecting your financials. I think it's not going to account for those kinds of things.

Amanda: Robo-advisors can only get us so far. Then there's the internet.

Brandon: The internet?

Amanda: The internet. I love to ask clients, where do you typically go for financial advice? One of the most frequent answers is Lord Google. The advantage and disadvantage of this is that there is tons of information out there on Lord Google. Some of those people that are writing out there on the internet, they conflict with each other.

Brandon: I mean that is almost all of the internet is like back and forth conflicting things sometimes.

Amanda: Yeah, right.

Brandon: You can always find what you're looking for that will go with your opinion.

Amanda: That's true. On the one hand, you don't know who is just making stuff up and being a troll and on the other hand, it's helpful to read multiple perspectives and decide for yourself what you believe. But again, you could also just find confirmation for what you already believe rather than something that is going to challenge your beliefs in that way. Of course, grandma would remind us don't believe everything you read on the internet.

Brandon: She probably said that to me for sure. So what is the average person to do? Who can be trusted to guide you on your financial decision making? We've got three tips for deciding who to trust to help you build your wealth no matter who you are thinking of working with think through these three things when you're trying to decide who to trust with your future.

Amanda: So the number one, it's what I call the number one most important question to ask whenever you're sitting down with a financial professional, ask this question, I tell people this all of the time: What do you do with your personal money? Again number one most important question to ask: What do you do with your personal money? You're talking to a financial expert. You would think that they have their own personal financial situation figured out. You know they are taking what they are teaching and they are applying it to themselves. In grandma's language, they are walking the talk or talking the walk.

Brandon: If they are broke as well, maybe not a good thing. Also making sure they are taking care of the client too at the same time.

Amanda: Well, kind of but what I’m really getting at is; are they giving you advice that they are willing to follow themselves too? See what you think of their answer when you ask them what do you do with your personal money?

Brandon: The second tip is to make sure they will take the time to really get to know you and personalize the strategy based on your unique financial goals and concerns. I mean, you don't want to do exactly what everyone else does since your situation is going to be different than theirs. I mean how will the advisor take the time to help you discover for yourself the best way forward. Again in your life, you might be younger and running a business and you're strategies and your financial goals are different than somebody at age 71 with $900 a month. Those things are very different so you really want to make sure that you have somebody that's looking at you and your personal goals and dreams and how to achieve those things as well as leaving a legacy, assets, and all that other stuff.

Amanda: Yeah, so number one and number two might seem contradictory. You want to know what the financial expert does with their own money but you also want to make sure they are going to make something unique for you and not just give you a cookie cutter approach. You want to balance those two things. You know following good advice, making sure your advisor is following the same advice but also personalizing that advice for yourself. Then that brings us to number three, after you kind of feel the things out here with what does that person do with their money and how are they going to personalize it for you then you want to make sure that you're the one who will make the decision yourself. The person that you are working with won't make the decision for you but will show you some options, discuss the pros and cons of those options and then let you choose for yourself. Even if you are to ask them what should I do or what do you think I should do? Be really careful and listen to how they respond. What you see if they respond by saying things like only you can make the final decision and here are some of the pros and cons, this is what one person would say, this is what another person would say but you have to make up for yourself what you say about this. That's the kind of thing that you want them to empower you to make the decision for yourself.

Brandon: Not also what you say but also what you do like if you don't do anything with that information then you have actually made a decision too.

Amanda: Right and also we're going to talk in a couple of episodes about this idea of being empowered to make decision for yourself in a lot more detail so if that seems really scary to you. You're thinking I'm not a numbers person. I hate thinking about money then wait for a couple of episodes, keep listening, subscribe and we're really going to dig into that for you then.

Brandon: Awesome. I'm looking forward to that one. Definitely a lot better than this trust issues topic that I had to share my own story but to bring it to a close here, you have to be careful who you can trust in every industry but especially in the financial sector. I guess me having trust issues is a good thing.

Amanda: It's helpful sometimes.

Brandon: So I think it's good that I have those issues.

Amanda: Sometimes.

Brandon: Sometimes. Overall people seem to have a healthy skepticism already. Hopefully we gave you some good tips for how to decide who you can trust and three important questions to ask any financial advisor you're thinking of working with including us. I want you to ask those questions of us. Be sure you're working with the right people so that you can avoid being in poverty in retirement like the 35% of boomers approaching retirement in the next ten to fifteen years. Again 35%, don't be that person. We love to be some of those right people for you. So to get started go to and click request a meeting and we would love to schedule a financial analysis and see if these strategies we worked through can work for you.

Amanda: So we just lead you to some water here. We gave you some tips for how to find a financial advisor that you can trust. We can't make you do it. We can't make you go to and click request a meeting even to just do a 15 minute call with us; see if we are good fit to work with each other. We can't force you to do that but now that you know, it's up to you. Are you going to drink the water? Are you going to keep moving along?

Brandon: We salted the feed with that 35%.

Amanda: Right, we did. So join us next week where for the next episode we're going to be talking about Donald Trump.

Brandon: Uh oh. Donald Trump, really?

Amanda: We're not getting political but grandma has a few things to say about if we want to be billionaires with the "B", billionaires.

Brandon: I'll be sharing another fun story that happened to me about Donald Trump and not everybody wants to be like him which I said...

Amanda: In 2011.

Brandon: 2011. So stay tuned for that one next week. Until next time, keep building your wealth simply and sustainably for your own future and the future of your grandchildren's generation.

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