Finding the right advisor is critical to understanding the difference between the accumulation phase and the retirement phase of life and learning how to adjust your investment strategy for the phase you’re in.

Imagine selecting your Financial Advisor as you would your doctor. If you had a heart condition would you see a proctologist or a cardiologist?

Don’t be so quick to laugh.

They’re both doctors. They both went to medical school. So, why can’t you just see the proctologist for your heart condition?

Because he’s looking at and analyzing the wrong end!

Many people in or near retirement are dealing with Accumulation Phase advisors who are trained and focus on risk investments: stocks, bonds and mutual funds. These advisors may be appropriate for your working years when you’re accumulating your retirement nest egg, but not when you’re trying to safeguard what you’ve worked all your life for and cannot go back out and re-accumulate.

When you’re in or near retirement, you don’t have the luxury of time to rebuild what took you a lifetime to accumulate. The crucial difference in retirement is that you’re dependent on your assets to last as long as you do, making market risk a potentially crippling financial problem. It’s wise to find a Retirement Phase Advisor who will protect your investments, because you simply don’t have the time to recover from losses to your nest egg.

Most advisors are trained in risk investments, like stocks, bonds and mutual funds, and they don’t have the specialized training to address the concerns and crucial issues retirees face on a daily basis. You need an advisor with the proper training in safe alternatives outside the securities industry, because the securities industry deals only in risk. Retirement phase advisors can educate you on the little-known IRA and IRS laws that will protect your nest egg from its two biggest threats—taxes and market risk.

Knowing the difference between an Accumulation Phase advisor and a Retirement Phase advisor could save your portfolio. In retirement investing, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Our Crash Proof Principle this week is seek out the right advisor for the phase that you’re in, one with the specialized training to guide you through retirement and seek out safe alternatives outside the securities industry, which grant market-like returns without any of the market risks.