You see the doctor when you're sick. You seek religious guidance for spiritual growth. And yet, according to a 2004 Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards survey, nearly half of all consumers -- mostly lower-income young adults -- brave the quagmire of financial figures and jargon on their own, only to lose money on uninformed financial decisions.
Don't throw away hard-earned cash trying to decipher crunch numbers and complicated prospectuses.
There's a new investment professional in town who can help inexperienced and seasoned investors make smart decisions.
"We don't want people calling an 800 number. I will help anybody who is serious about saving for their retirement," said Ross Hage, who runs Payson's third Edward Jones Investments office, located at Sawmill Crossing.
Hage has spent nearly a quarter of his life handling other people's money.
At 25, an age when many are still trying to shake the shock of adulthood, Hage was well on his way to a building a successful career while creating wealth for his clients.
His strong work ethic started when he was a small boy detassling corn on his father's soybean and corn farm in Iowa. Later, as an adolescent, Hage cleaned pig kennels for $4 and hour on a neighboring farm. Impressed with the boy's diligence, the farmer predicted a great future for Hage.
"If you're doing this at 15 years old, you're going to go places," Hage said, recalling the farmer's words.
Two years later, at 17, Hage landed his first job as a teller at Wells Fargo Bank.
"When I got that teller job, I thought it was the best thing in the world," he said.
Financial planning is affordable, even for those who think they have nothing to invest, he said.
Kiplinger magazine agreed.
Edward Jones & Co. has the lowest transaction fees and the highest rate of return on investments, beating out financial powerhouses like Merill Lynch and Morgan Stanley.
Hage said he's passionate about helping people build a balanced portfolio -- through retirement and estate planning -- for where they are in life. Rich or poor, Hage can work with anyone to create wealth later in life -- even on the smallest of salaries.
"I love helping people like that," Hage said. "The sooner the better, but it's never too late to start investing."
For instance, an 18-year-old with a $20,000 income, investing $25 a month can sock away between $100,000 and $500,000 for their golden years, based on a rate of return of 8 to 12 percent.
For those of you new to Payson, Hage encourages reinvesting locally.
"If you want to the convenience of having your money nearby, bring your money closer," he said.
For more information, contact Hage at (928) 468-2281.