In this Episode of On the Money with Secure Money, Brian teaches us about ESG and the various other concerns that might factor into your financial advisor’s decisions besides the performance of your investments.

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Announcer 00:00

Investment advisory services are offered through Foundation Investment Advisors, LLC. an SEC registered investment advisor. Brian Quaranta and his guests provide general information not individually targeted, personalized advice, they’re not liable for the usage of information discussed. Exposure to ideas and financial vehicles should not be considered investment advice or recommendation to buy or sell any of these financial vehicles. This information should also not be considered tax or legal advice. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results, investments will fluctuate and when were deemed to be worth more or less than when originally invested. Any comments regarding safe and secure investments and guaranteed income streams refer only to fixed insurance products, they did not refer in any way to securities or investment advisory products, fixed insurance and annuity product guarantees are subject to the claims paying ability of the issuing company.

Steve 00:41

Hey, welcome, everybody. This is On the Money with Secure Money. I’m consumer advocate Steve, and this week, the Biden administration vetoed a bill that directly impacts pre-retirees, retirees and quite frankly, anybody who is saving for retirement right now. Now that veto preserves the Labor Department’s ESG rule, we’ll break that all down for you dig into some particulars, how it could affect you that more all coming up on today’s show, Brian Quaranta is here, Brian, what’s new?

Brian Quaranta 01:10

Steve, another great show that we have lined up today for all of our listeners. And I can’t wait to get into this stuff. Because this is important stuff that people need to know. And I’m telling you, when it comes to ESG, I’ve been hearing a lot at my office that people want no part of it. So, I’m curious to see what the listeners think when we come right back with On the Money with Secure Money.

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Brian Quaranta 02:00

Yeah. So where do you want to start with this? Right? Well, first off, you know, let’s, let’s talk about what it is. Right? So, it’s the environment, social and governance type investing, right, which is very, very controversial, because the ESG investments, you know, essentially are potentially going to allocate money based on political agendas. And that’s what everybody’s concerned about, such as, you know, allocating more money to drive against climate change, you know, rather than trying to earn the best returns for savers and BlackRock, you know, $4 trillion company out there is probably leading the way in this whole ESG movement. But you know, you got, you got two camps out there, you got people who say, look, I want to buy investments that, you know, are going to focus on these types of things. And there’s other people that say, look, I, I just wanted to put my money where I’m going to make the best rate of return. So, if you have an agenda, where ESG is now driving, where the money is gonna go, and it’s not based around what isn’t the best returns for the Savers, and retirees. My question is, How is anybody acting as a fiduciary there? Because if you’re, if you’re specifically driving towards those investments that you know, are based around the ESG philosophy, then I don’t know if you’re necessarily acting as a fiduciary to someone which is doing what’s in their best interest to try to get the best rate of return. So, it’s very controversial on both sides. So, you know, I get a lot of people that tell me that they want to stay away from it. They want no, they have no interest in it. I have other people that are agnostic and say, “Look, you know, my goal is to do the very best that I can for my money,” and I know that might mean that I have to put money in places like, you know, tobacco companies, and they might not necessarily agree with, you know, smoking tobacco. But, you know, if that means that they’re going to make the better rate of return there, that’s what they want to do. Sure. So yeah, you got all kinds of opinions on this one. I’m just curious. I mean, what’s your what’s your thoughts on it? Steve? I mean, you know, have you put any thought into it?

Steve 03:51

Well, about the only thing I thought about is okay, so they’re going to invest in these funds in my 401k. So I’ve really got no say, right, so how are those funds, now, this isn’t this has been going on? For what about four or five years?

Brian Quaranta 04:05


Steve 04:06

What kind of money does an ESG fund make compared to what I might like?

Brian Quaranta 04:10

Well, right. And, you know, look, I think if they would do it as a sector type of fund, you know, rather than, you know, you know, it’d be a very specific, this is an ESG based fund, period, bottom line. Now, you would be buying into, quote, unquote, that sector, you know, if you’re just mixing ESG, into your traditional, large cap, mutual fund, or, or ETF that gets a little gray right now for me, because, you know, there’s no way to avoid it, then, you know, so, and again, when you got companies like Blackrock out there that control $4 trillion of the money in the marketplace today. Just think about the waves of money that would be going, you know, to these maybe very specific ESG type funds, so yeah,

Steve 04:52

Well, again, those aren’t the kinds of things that people are, like you said, people are reacting to it. And I think there has to be a knowledge and that’s what you just did, you kind of walked us through what this means. And you know, what it can do to us and or do for us, I guess, depending on your your frame of mind. And so but there are those weighing in, in fact, let’s check with Ted Cruz. He was joined Stuart Varney recently,

Ted Cruz 05:15

Impacting folks at home. This is your retirement, that Joe Biden has said his politics matters more than your retirement. And he’s perfectly happy for you to take the hit the Senate stood together with a bipartisan vote yesterday and reverse this and said, “You ought to be able to save for your retirement without politicians impacting and hurting your savings.”

Brian Quaranta 05:36

Right. I don’t think there’s any, you know, we don’t need politics coming into investing, you know, and I think we have to look at, you know, just look at how the industry is trending and the way that the responsibility is on the advisor, especially those that have gone the route of being a fiduciary. I mean, you know, we have to do what’s in the client’s best interest. It’s no different than me recommending annuities. I mean, you know, how many people out there have turned annuities into a political issue?

Steve 06:00

Sure. I completely agree. So, we’ve got other things to talk about, but we’re kind of up against a break here, Brian, let’s, let’s invite folks to call.

Brian Quaranta 06:07

Well, look, you know, I always say forget ESG forget annuities. Forget the stock market, what you need more than anything, is a plan. And that’s exactly what we do here at secure money advisors. And every week on the show, we offer the opportunity for our listeners to come in. And I want to say for the next 10 callers, I’m going to do something that I haven’t not done in a while Steve, I’m going to offer you the ability to come in and get a real written plan for us. Now, my advisors are going to kill me on this because typically, we charge about $5,000 to do a written plan. But I’m going to do it for you absolutely free of charge. I did say free and I hate saying free because I don’t think it really expresses the value that you’re going to get when you come in. My promise to you is this when you come in, nobody in my office ever going to press you to do anything. They’re never going to sell you anything. Leave your checkbook at home. Because when you come in our goal is to help you put together a plan that will give you some clarity around what you’re doing and show you ways that you might do to improve what you’re currently doing. So, if you go to you can get a copy of my book there and also schedule a time to come in or Steve will give you the number and you can do it that way too.

Steve 07:06

800-656-8616. That’s the number to call folks. It’s a comprehensive financial review. And more importantly, it becomes that roadmap you’ve heard Brian you’re gonna get the whole shebang in when you come in and meet with us 800-656-8616, 800-656-8616 Quick break we’re coming back lots more here. On the money with secure money and Brian Quaranta.

Brian Quaranta 07:30

Whether you have been working with a financial advisor or you’re preparing to sit down with one there are a few red flags you need to know about and we’re going to go through them when we come right back with On the Money with Secure Money

Announcer 07:48

And now On the Money with Secure Money

Steve 07:54

We’re back On the Money with Secure Money. Brian Quaranta’s here, I’m consumer advocate Steve, Brian President CEO of secure money Advisors, a fiduciary firms secure money advisors is you can learn more about them at And you can learn a little bit more about Brian and his book that’s the that’s the website where you can find the book Brian again, I went through the process and I ordered a book and I’ll tell you what the information you’ve got there. It’s so it’s succinct. It’s interesting you really short answer all we will I won’t say all you answer a lot of questions before I even have a chance to ask and I just got the book I mean it’s fantastic.

Brian Quaranta 08:38

Well I appreciate that you know we put a lot of time and effort into it and Chrissy from your office also texted me and said look, you know, she says the books outstanding so you know, I wanted to make it an airport read and what I mean by an airport read is I travel a lot so when I’m flying from you know state to state I like to bring a book with me and I usually like books that I could finish in a two or three hour flight and that’s the way that that that you know right track your retirement was written was to get rid of all the fluff get right to the points as a big reader I can’t stand it when author’s drag on and on and a drone on about a topic and you’re like wow, you could have said that in two pages. So, but this book is really for everyone Steve I mean, uh you know everyone from who’s getting ready to retire who is retired I get you to understand very important things in here like how to think like a pension or a not a gambler, you know how to use the 4% rule, how to use the rule of 100 at the rule of 72 We talked about how to avoid sequencing risk and you know give you really uncommon answers to common questions that a lot of people when they get these answers are like you know, Brian, I never thought about that way but it makes perfect sense. So go to get a copy of the book. Again, as Steve said, you know, it’s absolutely free. We don’t charge you a wish we pay for the shipping and handling and when you get it read it from cover to cover. I’m telling you whether you decide to come in and work But secure money advisors or you already have a financial advisor, or maybe you’re just a do it yourself type of person, this book will give you very meaningful things to learn different ways of approaching retirement that are approaching retirement in a way, that’s going to give you peace of mind insecurity. Because the number one problem we have right now, going into retirement is that 85 to 90% of the people retiring do not have pensions. So there’s five key areas that we always have to make sure that are taken care of, and I’m gonna cover them in the book number one, and most importantly, is income, because when you retire, Social Security will not be enough for you to live off of. And if you think you’re just going to start taking money out of your 401k think, again, this is how people are running out of money. Number two is making sure that when you’re withdrawing money, you’re not paying a ton of taxes, or maybe even make that money tax free. Number three, the investments that accumulated your money and got you to retirement are not the same investments that are gonna get you through retirement. Number four, you better have a health strategy, because if you don’t, I promise you, if you go into a nursing home, or you have some type of health event, and you need care, it will affect a very large portfolio very, very quickly. And number five, a good estate plan. Because if you don’t have an estate plan, the state of Pennsylvania will have one for you. And I promise you, you will like yours a lot better than the state of Pennsylvania’s. So, get a copy of the book,

Steve 11:20

Sounds great, Brian, and again. So, we’re gonna go over some red flags here. So, if you were like, like you said, if you’re about to sit down with an advisor, or maybe you’re gonna meet with your advisor and go over your plan, or, you know, but there are some things if that advisor starts saying things like, well, there is no risk at all in this investment, it’s completely safe.

Brian Quaranta 11:38

Well, look, there’s risk in everything. I mean, there’s, there’s, there’s, there’s risk, and me putting money into a savings account. And the risk is, you know, I I’m losing opportunity cost there, right? Like I don’t have, I don’t have the ability to earn any interest in that account. If I buy a bank CD, there’s risk in a bank CD. Because if I have to break that CD, because I need that money, I’m going to take a penalty for early withdrawal. So there’s always strings attached to everything that you do, you just have to decide what is going to be best for your current situation. So for someone to say there’s no risk at all with any investments, I always would run if I heard that, because at the end of the day, there’s always going to be strings attached to something.

Steve 12:19

Well, how about this one with the advisor says, Hey, look at we’ve got a plan. It works perfect for everybody. We’ve tested this out. It’s good.

Brian Quaranta 12:28

Yeah, well, I don’t know. That’s a pretty bold statement to make, right?

Steve 12:32

I’m just trying to be a battle. But you know, yeah.

Brian Quaranta 12:35

Well, no, yeah. No plan can ever be a one size fits all, should be, you know, they should be customized to your own goals and circumstances risk tolerance. You know, this is why working with a fiduciary firm is so important. I mean, this is why if you look at the financial industry, and you look how much it’s changing, I mean, for a long time, I look 25 years ago, I worked for a big box firm. And I learned very early on, I didn’t want to work for the big box firms, because the big box firms have an agenda and the advisors that are working for those firms have to follow the rules there. When you get with a small boutique firm, or even a mid sized boutique firm, you’ve got the flexibility, these individuals have the flexibility to rule under the fiduciary ruling, which allows them to do things that are in your best interest. And that’s the type of person I want working for me.

Steve 13:19

Sure. 800-656-8616. So we’re talking about red flags that you might see or hear from an advisor. Another one is, you know, you’re sitting there and you know, maybe you get a little wink wink nod nod, say, Hey, you better sign along right now. Just do it.

Brian Quaranta 13:36

Yeah. Yeah, well, look, I mean, you know, if people are making you feel pressured to commit to an investment, you know, again, get up and leave. Because if the deal is good today, the deal will be good. Tomorrow be good. Next month will be good. Next month after that, you know, at the end of the day, what you should be making your decision on is do I feel that this person delivered me a plan? Do I feel that their ongoing servicing model is going to be something of value so for example, you know, at secure money advisors, we follow the right track retirement system, and it’s truly a system and process and folks, if there’s anything that I can tell you make sure whoever you’re working with that they have a system or a process.

Steve 14:15

Yes, exactly. Well, and again, Brian, there are many more red flags. We’ll get to them but first we need to break.

Brian Quaranta 14:20

Yeah, folks, listen, every week on the show, we leave the opportunity for our listeners to get an opportunity to come in and sit down and go through the right track retirement process with us you know, look where everyone else is telling you to risk your money we’re telling you that you need to protect your money I want you to come in take advantage of that complimentary right track review will evaluate the five key areas so I talked about all the time your income taxes, investments, health care strategy and estate planning strategy will show you how to potentially increase your monthly income show you how to prevent yourself from running out of money, show you how to ways to save on taxes and we got to remember taxes will erode your purchasing power folks. So the more we can avoid taxation, the better you’re going to be and finally, we’ll do a risk and analysis to show you how to reduce risk and potentially maximize return at the same time, but you got to do your part you got to call us 800-656-8616 Or go to where you can do it all right there and get a copy of my book absolutely complimentary. It’s free. I don’t know any other way to say it. And again, as always, Steve, I say, if you come to the office, nobody’s ever going to press you to do anything. Nobody’s going to sell you anything. But the meeting will be very informative retirement the chance to do what you want, when you want where you want. When we come back, we’re gonna talk about a few things before you jump in with both feet when we come right back with On the Money with Secure Money.

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Are you fighting for financial knowledge? Don’t let that advice be a punch in the gut to your retirement. Take advantage of a complimentary no cost, no obligation consultation with a local trusted financial coach. Call Brian Quaranta and his team at Secure Money Advisors. 800-656-8616, 800-656-8616.

Speaker 1 16:11

Thank you for calling. There’s No Human Being Here Whatsoever Financial, please say the reason you’re calling.

Speaker 2 16:21

Retirement. Planning.

Speaker 1 16:23

I think you said high risk investment. Is that correct?

Speaker 2 16:28


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Let’s try again. Please say in a few words, your reason for calling.

Speaker 2 16:34

Retirement Planning

Speaker 1 16:36

I think you said early Social Security claiming strategies. Is that correct?

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No! Real! Live! Human! Person! Retirement! Planning! Oh, forget it.

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Retirement Planning!

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Announcer 17:27

You’ve worked all your life you’ve saved you followed all the rules. Now it’s time to retire. Here’s the question. Who do you want relaxing and taking it easy, your nest egg or you? Well of course you want to relax and travel and enjoy. And nest egg? You’ve got more work to do. For a retirement that maximizes your portfolio, your Social Security, avoids unnecessary risk, protects you from pitfalls, and frankly, lets you retire and keeps the nest egg working, you need a retirement partner. You need someone looking out for your best interests and building a plan for you based on your situation. Call Brian Quaranta at 800-656-8616 or text BrianQ to 800-656-8616. That’s 800-656-8616 or text BrianQ to 800-656-8616.

Speaker 2 18:29

Bad money habits. If bad money habits constrain your financial progress. It’s time to alter your behavior. Here’s another bad money habit to break: Thinking you’re winning big in the lottery. It would be nice and we can certainly dream but if you think about it, is there really any need to buy more than one Powerball ticket? Here are the odds of winning the big prize in Powerball. 1 in 292,201,338. So let’s say you buy 20 Powerball tickets, you’ve just increased your odds one to 20 in 292 million. The odds of finding a pearl in an oyster shell are just one in 12,000 You’re way more likely to date a supermodel, be crushed by a meteorite, be elected president, or become an astronaut than to win the big lottery prize. It’s not even close. So, while it can be fun and people do win, it certainly can’t be your retirement plan.

Announcer 19:33

And now On the Money with Secure Money.

Steve 19:40

We are back On the Money with Secure Money and Brian Quaranta. Brian, President CEO of Secure money Advisors, a fiduciary independent. You are an independent firm, that means all the folks there are independent, they’re beholden to no one, well, except you.

Brian Quaranta 19:49

That’s right, except for me.

Steve 19:54

Anyway, so we’ve got questions from listeners, Brian, and, you know, let’s jump in. There’s some good ones here today. Let’s start with Alice. Alice says, I retired last year and started collecting my Social Security benefits. My understanding is I can earn up to $21,240 this year without any impact on my benefits, but I want to be safe rather than sorry. So, I booked an appointment with you to sit down and talk about it. So, what else can help someone with this? At my age? She’s 71? So that’s an interesting question.

Brian Quaranta 20:27

Well, it’s an interesting question, because they’re, you know, she’s assuming that she has a limit that she’s got to adhere to with her earnings. And that’s just not true. Because when once you turn to your full social security age, Social Security will allow you to make as much money as you want. So, you know, I mean, she could have turned her benefits on, let’s say, her full retirement age was 66. And she could be earning $200,000 A year and social security isn’t gonna, it’s not going to impact her benefits. So, I think she’s probably talking about the penalty from Social Security. Right? That’s, I think, what she’s referring to, but what we have to know is that, you know, you know, there I’ve got a lot of our clients that that are collecting Social Security and working at the same time, and we have no worries with that at all. So not really sure what she’s trying to get at that there. But I can tell you from a social security standpoint, she’s got nothing to worry about. All right, good enough.

Steve 21:11

The 800-656-8616 Alice, let’s see, Bernadette has a question. Bernadette says I’m retiring at the end of this year, I used a fee-based advisor five years ago to ensure that I was on the right track to retire now, based on the prior analysis and goals. I’ve accumulated enough assets to retire as planned. Should not asking for much here. What are the top five areas I should ask my advisor to focus on? Now that I’m changing from the accumulation phase to the drawdown phase?

Brian Quaranta 21:41

Well, I think this is a great question. Because, look, this is where I say, Look, if you’ve won the game, why are you going to keep playing it? Right? So, and this is the fundamental change that people really need to get through their minds, is that when once you’ve won the game, once you’ve accumulated enough money, why are you going to continue to roll the dice and gamble with that money? Because there’s one thing you don’t have on your side anymore, Bernadette? And that’s time because if the markets were to go down, and you need that money, as most people do, you don’t have the time to recover? You know, can you believe one of my advisors was meeting with an individual last week, and the individual had come in because they had just sat down with their previous advisor, and they had lost money. And he was in an income phase. And he said, Look, you know, we’ve lost money, and I’m really concerned, you know, if I keep taking money out, I’m going to run out. And the guy says, Why I agree with you, I think, you know, over the next year or two, you need to stop taking money out. That was the answer. I mean, that’s crazy. I mean, it’s not the answer. I mean, you know, see, you could do that 30 years ago, because most likely you had a social security check and a pension check. Right? So if you were taking money from your, your retirement accounts, or your investments, it was most likely because it was for vacations or you know, things you wanted to do like your bucket list things, right, of course, but that’s not how it’s working. Today. People literally need this money to pay the bills, just just to meet expenses. So that telling somebody, well, I’m sorry, the markets down, do you can now stop taking money, you’re gonna have to stop taking money to make it all Okay, folks, that’s not a plan. The best advice I can give you here is when you won the game, why you’re gonna keep playing it. Because at this point in time, the most the biggest concern that you need to have is the return of your money and the money being there when you need it. Not the return on your money. The return of your money is most important at this point in your life. Of course, yes. Don’t have the time to recover like you did in your earlier years.

Steve 23:34

Of course. All right, there you go. Bernadette, two 800-656-8616. Eddie has a question. He says, I’ve been having a lot of anxiety when it comes to actually spending the money in my retirement accounts. I saved for so long and worked for so work so hard to build it. Is this fairly common? And if so, do you have any suggestions on how I can calm my nerves? Just spend a little money?

Brian Quaranta 23:50

Well, you know, look, this is a fundamental shift for Eddie, right. And some people really struggle with this, they go from, you know, saving to now spending. And this means, you know, when somebody tells me the anxiety about this, it usually tells me, they don’t have a spending plan, right? There’s no plan in place. Because when we map out a strategy for our clients, and we show them how much money they can take out of their accounts, they are excited, they are confident, right, and if you don’t have a strategy, and it doesn’t seem like it does here, and I could be completely wrong, and I apologize if I am, but usually, if someone’s experienced that anxiety, it’s because no one’s ever shown him how to start using that money and how to start using it in a way that they can take the money out on a monthly basis and not have the anxiety that they’re going to run out or you know, or they’re not gonna have a lot left later on in life. So, there’s a lot of ways to do it. And that’s why I always recommend that people come in and take advantage of the right track review, because these are the things that I teach people to do, you know, the traditional way of investing is fine. I’ve got nothing wrong with diversification, asset allocation, I think that’s great all the way up until a certain point in life, but you know, once you get to a certain point, you have to start to make changes. Think about it like this, you know, when you were young, you know, you didn’t have a heart doctor or you know, or maybe, you know, an audiologist Write it. But as you get older, your hearing gets a little worse. You know, maybe your eyes get a little worried, you know your heart and you start to have more doctors point you got more specialists. That’s what retirements a little bit like. I mean, as you get closer to that retirement age, the basic general practitioner is not the person that is going to be able to fundamentally build out a strategic plan for you. And I’m not saying that these individuals aren’t good at what they do. It’s just not what they specialize in secure money advisors, we’ve spent 25 years specializing in just retirement planning alone, I’ve been fortunate to help over 1000 people retire and stay retired. And I’ve got a 98% client retention rate for a good reason. And that’s because when we build a plan, we’re building it around really good strategies that are based around solid protection and products that will help clients get through retirement, regardless of market volatility. And that’s the importance of how to plan so I would suggest folks, take advantage of the right track retirement review again, go, schedule an appointment, it’s absolutely free. You just got to do your part, go to the website, or Steve will tell you how to get there by phone.

Steve 25:58

800-656-8616, It is that simple 10 callers right now you get the comprehensive financial review. And you get the roadmap that can help guide you help get you to where you need to be when it comes to retirement, putting you on your right road to retirement 800-656-8616 800-656-8616 for Brian, as always, it’s a pleasure to be here. This show goes by so fast, but it’s fun, and it’s really informative.

Brian Quaranta 26:22

Steve, it is and folks, we look forward to seeing you again next week. And we’re going to keep coming every single week with as much great information as we can. Thank you so much for all the all the questions that you send us and we’ll see you again next week with On the Money with Secure Money.

Announcer 26:35

Investment Advisory services are offered through Foundation Investment Advisors, LLC. an SEC registered investment advisor. Brian Quaranta and his guests provide general information not individually targeted, personalized advice and are not liable for the use of drip information. Discuss exposure to ideas and financial vehicles should not be considered investment advice or recommendations, buy or sell any of these financial vehicles. This information should also not be considered tax or legal advice. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. investments will fluctuate and when redeemed may be worth more or less than when originally invested. Any comments regarding safe and secure investments and guaranteed income streams refer only to fixed insurance products does not refer in any way to securities or investment advisory products. Fixed insurance and annuity product guarantees are subject to the claims paying ability of the issuing company

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