Screen Shot 2013-10-07 at 10.15.57 AMWhat is the Number One Financial Mistake Women Make?

If women do not know the difference between using a financial advisor for (1) financial planning and (2) for the process on how to select an investment, chances are they will be sold products that do not suit their needs, pay fees in excess of what is necessary and limit the future performance of their nest egg.

Not On My Nickel assists women in understanding the difference between financial planning and investment selection.  We are here to help you understand why in most cases you will never want to pay a “financial advisor” an annual fee for assets under management and when to pay a financial planner.  It is imperative to have the tools and education to understand the difference.

Not On My Nickel is the first independent financial education service for women 

Not On My Nickel was developed to meet a gapping hole in the investment industry today.  We assist women in understanding the difference between hiring a “financial planner”  for overall financial planning and an “adviser” registered with the SEC who actually manages a portfolio of stocks and bonds.  There is a significant difference.  We explain why you most definitely want to unbundle these services to ensure you are not taken advantage of.

How is Not On My Nickel education service different from a financial advisor?

  1. Not On My Nickel believes in empowerment.  We do not provide advice. We believe in providing the services that give every women the confidence to make a financial decision and the tools to do so.  We focus on the tools and training to help you understand investment selection.  We help you understand how to Benchmark – an investment or an advisor.
  2. We show one how to avoid hidden advisor fees and excessive investment fees.
  3. We separate the “planning” and budgeting from the investment selection.  While you may want a “financial planner” to help you with a budget and an overall plan, we strongly encourage all women to go through Not On My Nickel’s education to understand how to select an investment and what investments are in your best interest, after all fees.  We show you how investment selection is different from the financial planning process and why you must know the difference to protect your nest egg

85 Broads Report On the Top Financial Mistakes Women make

At a recent financial panel provided by 85 Broads, the panel, linked to above, informed the group of women:

“The panel also acknowledged the sometimes-ridiculous complexity of the financial services industry….be it the characteristics of the different types of Financial Advisors, the features of products like annuities, or simply the difficulty in determining fees. While this type of complexity can be a deterrent, the panel urged the audience to find an Advisor with whom they are comfortable to guide them through this.”

Not On My Nickel cautions women, remember this panel is selling financial advice and investments.  It is in their interest to keep it complex and overwhelming. The first step and the biggest mistake most women make is not understanding how to use an “Advisor” and when and why you may or may not need one.

Not On My Nickel is the first service that helps you understand this “ridiculous complexity” from a neutral third party.  We are not an advisor.  We are not selling advice services or financial products. We do provide a second-opinion on what type of advisor you may need or even if you need one. We give women tools to understand how and when to use an advisor and the wisdom to know when not to.

The complexity in the financial services industry has been created by the industry to ensure you will be confused, overwhelmed and (1) pay more for the services of an advisor and (2) buy more expensive product from the advisor.

The first step is understanding what services you need and what services will add value in your situation.  85 Broads assumes everyone must must have an advisor.  Not On My Nickel gives you the tools to determine if their assumption is correct for your personal situation.

Not On My Nickel’s founder began her career in international banking and has over 30 years financial experience in all aspect of the markets today – whether that be in financial planning, insurance, retirement investing, investing a lump sum and the training and education of analyzing mutual fund fees, advisor fees, to complex financial products such as options (Series 4), over-the-counter derivatives and foreign exchange hedging.

Not On My Nickel’s founder believes one of the most important things for women in investing (and men for that matter) is to understand benchmarking and how to use it to judge all investment advice.  Understanding this simple process will provide the confidence in every investment decision and eliminate fraud and Ponzi schemes.

What Do We Provide?

Not On My Nickel provides hourly educational services to women:

  • Going through a divorce
  • Recently lost their spouse or partner
  • Recently inherited a lump sum or received a lump sum from an accident.
  • Want extra help in understanding how to manage their retirement nest egg, whether that be in a 401(K) or in an IRA.

We provide hourly education to help you make a decision to determine if you need an advisor, how to use the advisor and the tools and training to understand any investment selection.  We give you the confidence to believe any decision is the best decision at that point in time.  Not On My Nickel is not “Do It Your Self” from the standpoint of investment selection.  It is the new world order where you understand who is actually managing your money – the trusted fiduciary portfolio manager, who can provide you 5, 10, 15 years published performance that you can compare against a meaningful benchmark.  You have the confidence in your investment selection and know exactly where you money is going, how and why that investment is selected and exactly how much it costs.


Academic Study Reveals many large investors are “throwing away billions of dollars a year on worthless advice from investment consultants”.

Screen Shot 2013-09-27 at 5.04.29 AMThe Derivative Project, our retirement investor advocacy group, just tweeted a September 21 article in the Financial Times that reports a recent academic study found large investors are throwing away billions of dollars a year on “worthless advice from investment consultants.”  Not On My Nickel’s tools demonstrate the same concept is valid for every retirement investor.

As the Financial Times reported from this study:

“Since consultants do not disclose their individual recommendations, pension funds are allocating assets on advice the quality of which is impossible to judge,” said Mr Jones, who contrasted the situation with consultants’ “ruthless” scrutiny of fund managers.
“It is high time that pension funds or regulators required consultants to disclose their past recommendations. Unless investment consultants are ashamed of their performance, they should come out of the shadows.”

Not On My Nickel Provides the Tools to Determine if the Advice is Any Good

Not On My Nickel is the new service that gives you the tools and bona-fide education to determine if the advice you receive is providing better returns.  We believe the “proof is in the pudding.”  The rule is very simple.

Do you have five years past history of investment style and performance against an agreed upon, SEC approved, performance index that proves the Advisors “advice” will add value, after all fees?  If not, do not take the advice.  Go with what you know.  The risks are too great for your life savings.  You now have a more conservative option – invest directly with the top US portfolio managers that have 5, 10 and sometimes 15 year history of out-performing their relevant index.

Not On My Nickel Now Provides You An Option to Poor Investment Advice or Advice You Cannot Measure, while you save thousands of dollars 

Here are Not On My Nickel’s rules.  We provide the training. Invest in educating yourself:

1.  Past performance is not indicative of future performance, but it can be used as a guide.  Ideally only choose a portfolio manager with over 10 years of performance that outperforms their relevant index.

2.  There are only a handful, in the United States, of portfolio managers that fall into the requirement of Not On My Nickel’s Number 1 rule.  We give you the tools and education to find them. We do not give advice.  Not On My Nickel provides you with the transparency, the tools and the access to information for you to make an informed decision.

3. Eliminate the middleman fee:

  • It costs you more money and detracts from your performance, unless you have the “Proof” that their advice will deliver superior returns to the top US portfolio managers
  • It eliminates the risk that the advisor may put you into a poorly performing investment.  You are in control and no where your money will be and can watch it grow.
  • It eliminates the risk the advisor will put you into a product that enriches their bottom line but exposes you to a money losing scheme such as Charles Schwab’s High Yield Mutual Fund or auction rate securities
  • It eliminates the risk you will be subject to a Ponzi scheme.
  • It gives you peace of mind and the satisfaction of empowerment – you are in control, through transparency and tools of your destiny.

Remember the “proof is in the pudding.” Measurable results are the only thing that counts.  If the Advisor cannot give you, at a minimum, five years history of how their advice outperforms the returns of our nation’s top portfolio managers, do not pay them a fee.

Bona-fide financial education is the alternative today to conflicted 401(k) plans

Screen Shot 2013-09-23 at 10.09.46 AMFidelity employees are suing their employer, Fidelity, over high-fee mutual funds in their 401(k) plans, as reported today by CNN Money.

Am I Better Off With an Index Fund or An Actively Managed Mutual Fund?

With an actively managed fund, the portfolio manager will do all the work for you. With passive investing, you may not know what indices to choose.  If you pay an advisor to select the indices, you have the risk they will not choose the right indices and you will underperform the market after the advisor fees.  The most conservative option is to go with one of the few portfolio managers that has proven they can outperform their index.

Use independent education and the proper tools to choose the very few funds that have consistently outperformed the relevant index.  The concept is very simple.  Out of the 10,000 actively managed funds, which are the very few that outperform the index with trusted managers, with low fees, with low portfolio turnover?

There are just a hand-ful of these portfolio managers that have withstood the test of time.

If you were invested in Index Funds this year, you would have lost out significantly, as Not On My Nickel bona fide education and tools will show you.  Can you understand this Yahoo Chart below? Has your Fidelity Advisor or CFP taken you through the steps to learn how to select the few actively managed funds that consistently outperform the relevant index?

Come join us at Not On My Nickel and we will give you the education and tools to select the best mutual funds out of the 10,000.  All you need is one or two balanced and growth funds, if you are young and starting out.  In the chart below we compare Fidelity’s Target Date Fund 2045 to three NOMN researched funds, a balanced fund, a growth fund and an aggressive growth fund.  The NOMN growth fund has outperformed the S&P Index for over 20 years by over 5% over the past 15 years.  The balanced fund is below the S&P index since it holds bonds. but it still outperforms the Fidelity Target Date Fund.  The blue line is the Fidelity 2045 Target Date fund.  The red and green lines represent all the lost potential, by not in investing in proven portfolio managers who outperform their index, with low fees, over many years, sometimes two decades. The red and green lines represent the opportunity costs of investing in passive funds, when there are a handful of top fiduciary portfolio managers that have consistently beaten the relevant index.

There are a handful of true fiduciaries that operate in the best interest of the retirement investor.  Remember your advisors do not file regular performance results.  It is significantly more conservative going with the portfolio managers that do file performance results with the SEC.

Screen Shot 2013-09-23 at 10.45.15 AM

Education = FutMP900341471Not On My Nickel is Do It Your Self, but only from the standpoint of selecting a Portfolio Manager

How do you achieve the best retirement returns?  First, understand performance does matter.  Poor advice will detract from your performance and how much money you will have at retirement.

At Not On My Nickel you learn how to determine what is good and what is bad advice. At Not On My Nickel, you are not doing it yourself. You are given the tools, research and education to select your portfolio manager, who will do all the retirement investment management for you.

Ideally, one does not change managers very frequently. Not On My Nickel helps learn how to research portfolio managers that have been in the business for decades and have the performance results that exceed their relevant indices. There are not many that consistently outperform their index. Not On My Nickel believes in strictly investing with the few portfolio managers that do.

Passive vs Active Management

Not On My Nickel believes in principally active management, but solely with our nation’s top portfolio managers that have proven their worth and have out-performed their index for years.  They must meet our six strict criteria, as defined on our home page here, Save Your Sanity”  and have prudent and reasonable fees, as one believes in “an honest day’s work, for an honest day’s pay.”  These are the true fiduciaries, not middleman that keep you in the dark as to performance and unnecessary fees on top of fees.  By definition, that model is NOT a fiduciary business model.  It is simply a model that developed with the advent of 401(k)’s in the early 1980′s.  It is a redundant business model.

This business model and the “financial planning” industry is now focusing on lower fee mutual funds and ETF passive investing, solely as a means to keep their high fees of 1%- 3%.  Why?  In this low interest rate environment, once you pay your “advisor” your returns may be negative.  Thus the advice industry is able to retain their fees, if the asset manager (who is actually managing your money) has lower fees, which is the case with passive investing.

There may be instances when passive management is warranted, but a blind adherence to passive investing, guarantees performance, after fees, below an index.

Not On My Nickel’s Vision

We are here to change the current business model for retirement investing. Ideally, everyone would have defined benefit pensions, but that is no longer the case and probably will not be the case. What is the next best alternative today? We believe that in today’s retirement investing marketplace “assets under management fees”, on top of mutual fund fees, are simply a scheme to defraud a retirement investor of savings that belong rightfully to them.  We provide the tools and education to help retirement investors take charge.

Screen Shot 2013-08-19 at 5.34.26 AMTake a look at this chart on the left of a 401k investor’s dreadful returns compared to a Not On My Nickel researched portfolio manager, PRWCX. How much is lost, in many of the 401(k) plans today? So much money is needlessly lost, particularly from newly-designed target date options. Yes, in most 401(K) plans, you are often losing your hard-earned savings to fees and poor returns. The returns on the left are the actual returns, filed per SEC reporting standards.

retirement savings per robert hiltonsmith

Robert HIltonsmith’s retirement reality with a focus on hidden fees

In the instance on the left, if you have a State Farm sponsored plan, managed by Black Rock, as the chart on the left depicts, and are in one of their Target Date Fund options(NLHAX), you could be giving up thousands of dollars needlessly for advice fees, 401(k) fees and poor returns. Further in this instance on the left, your employer may have allowed Charles Schwab/Guided Choice to further charge you an advice fee to select a poorly performing Target Date Fund.

Read the study to the right, prepared by Robert Hiltonsmith. You are losing hundreds of thousands of dollars to worthless fees in most 401(k) plans.  Not On My Nickel further highlights the worthless advice fees, not mentioned in this study, that are being skimmed from your nest-egg by “Advisors” and the poor returns of today’s Target Date Funds or packaged exchange traded funds, (ETF’s) that have no performance history!  It is like throwing money into the wind.

You can change this picture today!  Despite the promotion by main stream media, described in this Blog Series, Part I, by the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, financial advice for everyone, is not the option. Employer sponsored 401(k) education is conflicted and therefore of little value. Conflicted advice and education, provided by a sales force, selling products, is not advice and education. The result is financial illiteracy. Bona fide retirement investing education that provides real transparency and the tools to make informed choice is the solution.

Education = FutMP900341471Remember Not On My Nickel’s Number One Rule

Make only informed choices through proper education and financial tools. Do not take advice or pay an assets under management fee to any “investment advisor” or “financial advisor” that does not file regular performance returns, against a widely published index, with the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC.

This includes paying for investment advice to a CFP or to new online start-ups, such as Betterment or Wealthfront While their intermdediary fees are lower, it is still the same flawed “assets under management” business model. Until any investment adviser can deliver published performance returns against an agreed upon index, (for a minimum of five years and ideally 20 years) do not do business with them. The risks are too great.

Remember, just because the business model is online and costs less, it is not necessarily any better. Performance does matter. Modern Portfolio Theory, that these online services are based upon, has significantly detracted from retirement savings performance. Not On My Nickel experiential education and tools help you understand the pros and cons of Modern Portfolio Theory. It is in your best interest to make an informed choice on why or why not you would want such an online service to manage your money. Without the education and the proper tools, you cannot make an informed choice.

The Incredible Power of Informed Choice and Education in Leveling the Playing Field

If Americans would begin to follow Not On My Nickel’s most simple rule an industry would be transformed. Through the elimination of this financial intermediary, the financial advisor, societal benefits would be profound:

  • Senior fraud, through confusing certifications, would be close to being eliminated, since these intermediaries are redundant. Informed choice and education would reveal that..
  • Regulatory costs would be close to cut in half as most investment fraud and Ponzi schemes could be eliminated through transparency and bona-fide education. The SEC budget would decline and save significant tax-payer dollars.
  • 401(k) plans and 403(b) plans would change immediately, if every employee used their brokerage window and placed their money with the top performing portfolio managers. The poorly performing mutual funds would simply go out of business.
  • Americans would have significantly more money in their retirement nest egg. Significant sources of revenue would shift from financial service firms into the pockets of middle class Americans at their retirement.
  • Many jobs would be lost, yet new ones would be created in areas that add value to society overall. Financial service firms would be forced to focus on the true societal benefit, prudently managing retirement assets and the best way to deliver the best performance, not skimming off easy middle-man fees.
  • High-fee fund of fund Target Date funds that solely benefit financial service providers, not retirement investors, would disappear.

Why Do I Not Know About the Services of Not On My Nickel?

The Wall Street Journal or the New York Times and most press sources simply report on the firms that generate a revenue stream for them or they agree to the story due to a PR team that gets them to cover it or are connected to the firm since they have “Silicon Valley” venture capital funds. Not On My Nickel does not fit any of those categories.  Not On My Nickel is a new business model different from current financial services firms:

  • Financial service firms will never train you or educate you on how to take charge on your own. They will not provide transparency. Their future is dependent on taking a percentage of your retirement assets or annual planning fees. That is their business model, whether or not it adds any value to your nest egg. Not On My Nickel represents transparency and information to enable informed choice, so one can determine why or why not they should have or not have a “middle-man.”
  • Not On My Nickel takes a little work, for the retirement investor, upfront. Therefore, not many people will “like” us on Facebook or Twitter. We are not the easiest and quickest solution, but we are the best and only solution today. One has to have the inclination to invest some time to learn how to select a portfolio manager on one’s own. Not On My Nickel completely understands that taking the time to do so, is not easy. Work hours are long, families need attention, the house needs to be cleaned. One wants to have some down time on the weekend.
  • Not On My Nickel strictly focuses on the tools that enable an experiential learning to involve every level of investor in their bottom line immediately.  There is not sorting through difficult investment concepts from ‘growth’ to ‘value’ to ‘small-cap’ to ‘mid-cap’.  The learning rewards are immediate allowing excitement in the ability to take charge of one’s financial affairs.

We understand the realities of time constraints and a ‘boring subject’ matter.  We have the techniques to overcome these issues. We will work with you to make you feel comfortable taking charge.. We are up against the media and the financial services firms whose future depends on a chunk of your retirement. We are up against the trillions of dollars of ad budgets, TV budgets, Congress, and the SEC that are all promoting this failed business model that is NOT in the best interest of the retirement saver or society overall.  We are up against an industry that wants to keep you in the dark.

servicesHow to Maximize Your Retirement Returns?  

Join us today and get started on maximizing your retirement investment returns, that will increase substantially through bona-fide financial education and transparency, not self-serving financial advice.    Please read our Part IV Blog, tomorrow, for more information and details on how to get started.  We look forward to hearing from you.


Education = FutMP900341471Where Should I Go For Investment Advice? I Do Not Know Where to Begin

Not On My Nickel is here to provide you the basic education and ongoing research so you can hire your portfolio manager on your own, who will provide you investment advice that is not conflicted and where there are no hidden fees. It is the first and only fully transparent bona-fide retirement investing education service and portfolio manager research service.

Not On My Nickel works with you to provide you with the tools so you no longer need to be dependent on untrained, conflicted, self-serving sales personnel. We start with the basics and give you the life-long tools to manage your retirement savings, through transparency, education and unbiased research. We help you learn how to make these most critical decisions on your own:


  • How do I select the best portfolio manager(s) for my 401(k) or IRA?
  • Do I need to trade my IRA or 401(k)? Why you should not do so. That is why you hire a professional, experienced portfolio manager.
  • What are the best choices for my small business, to offer retirement savings to my employees?
  • What about asset allocation? You will learn about cash investments, why to avoid money market funds in today’s unprecedented interest rate markets, what is “voluntary recapture”, the dangers of bond funds and how to select the best long-term investment strategies from portfolio managers who have proven styles that have withstood the test of time.

In sum, you will be given bona fide education and the proper tools and training to effectively manage your retirement nest egg.

Not On My Nickel has six strict criteria that you will learn to aid you in evaluating who should manage your retirement nest egg–whether you have just started saving or have amassed a large retirement nest egg.

Not On My Nickel’s Experiential and Independent Curriculum

Not On My Nickel is the very first experiential curriculum for retirement investing that empowers you to cut through all the advertising and the self-serving advice designed to benefit the Advisor. We provide you the financial tools to help you make the determination on why one portfolio manager is better than another. Remember that the “advice” from your 401(k) or 403(b) financial advisor, providing Department of Labor mandated financial “education” is not really education. It is simply comments designed to get you to work with their firm, buy more financial products from their firm, save more in their products or pay annual fees for managing your life savings.

Not On My Nickel is not dependent on any financial services firm. We do not receive any form of payment from any financial services firm. We are the only bona-fide retirement education firm, independent education and research firm, that exists today.

Visit Not On My Nickel’s Blog tomorrow for Part III in our series “Best Retirement Returns Come From Transparency and Education, Not Conflicted Advice.”


Education = FutMP900341471Not On My Nickel presents revolutionary change in retirement investing:  Transparency and bona-fide financial education, with regular performance reporting— the key to superior retirement performance




Not On My Nickel’s Number One Retirement Investing Rule to Achieve Superior Performance

How do you achieve the best retirement performance? Do not take advice or pay an assets under management fee to any  “financial advisor” that does not file regular performance results, against a widely published index, with the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC.  Only make informed choices.

Take the time to get the proper education and the tools to make informed decisions.  It is simply a one-time, up-front investment in time to learn what you need to do to make an informed choice on how to invest your retirement savings.

The Media and the Financial Advice Industry

The media is a master of convincing the public they need financial advice. Why?  It generates advertising revenue for them from financial services firms.  The latest media blitz focuses on the need for the public to have access to “financial advice.”  Financial advice does one thing—it detracts from your investment returns.  There is yet to be a published study that can show it will increase your returns.  Ignore the media hype in articles such as these two:

“A Start-up Aims to Bring Financial Planning to the Masses”  New York Times, July 26, 2013.

“401(k) Plans Add More Personalized Advice” Wall Street Journal, September 5, 2013

Not On My Nickel can state unequivocally your retirement savings returns will increase if you take the time to understand just a few key concepts.  Your returns will increase in two ways:

(1)  You will have ready access to the top performing portfolio mutual fund managers through information and education and (2) you will save the costs for the advice fees that are simply a drain on your retirement savings.  They do not add extra value, by definition.  They are financial intermediary fees that can easily be avoided through transparency, use of education, proper tools and effort.

Why You Do NOT Want to Pay a “Financial Advisor” a Fee for Investment Advice:  It is Conflicted and Not Bona-fide Financial Education

Let us first distinguish between investment advice and financial planning and budgeting.  If you want help with learning how to prepare a budget or financial plan, pay a “financial planner” an hourly fee to learn how to do a budget or a financial plan.  Follow these simple rules:

  • If you need life insurance, buy term insurance from a top rated insurance company for 20 or 30 years.  Never buy “cash value” life insurance.  Learn about life insurance online.  Here is one source: Life Insurance – Wikipedia.  Do not take any retirement investment advice from a life insurance salesman, even if they say there are a “financial advisor”.  They are not trained in portfolio management.
  • If you need a will, go directly online and learn how to draft a will or go to an estate attorney.  There is no reason to pay a middleman, “financial advisor” to tell you that you need to go to an attorney to draft a will.
  • If you need tax advice, go directly to an accountant.
  • If you are in debt and need assistance, there are many free consulting services there to help, such as Debtor’s Anonymous.

Read Helaine Olen’s Book for more background information on the dangers of the advice industry, Pound Foolish. Exposing the Dark Side of the Personal Finance Industry.

If you need investment advice, hire a portfolio manager, who is a fiduciary, registered with the SEC to manage your retirement assets.  A financial advisor, a CFP,  is in 99% of the cases, not a fiduciary, even if they are registered with the SEC. They are not specialists in investments and portfolio management.  Deal only with a specialist, a portfolio manager, registered with the SEC who provides you five- year and ideally, ten- year performance returns, that have been filed with the SEC.

“Financial advisors” DO NOT file performance returns with the SEC and they do not specialize in portfolio management.  Financial advisors are generalists.  Go directly to the best, the portfolio manager for your investment advice and day-to-day investment management.  Not On My Nickel’s research service puts you directly in touch with a short list of the top performing specialists, the mutual fund portfolio managers and keeps you updated on these portfolio managers and their mutual funds, on a regular basis.

Join us tomorrow for Part II of our Blog: Best Retirement Performance Comes from Education, Transparency, Not servicesConflicted Financial Advice.  Or email us today to get started on your curriculum that will shape your retirement investing future.  Ask your employer to incorporate Not On My Nickel’s experiential curriculum in your workplace.

Here is the link to the Not On My Nickel Slide Show for Employers