personal emails

The Trouble with Responding to Personal Emails About Investing

One of the things that I love about my work is that I get to talk to you. (Not “my readers” or “a group of subscribers” but a real, for sure you). I always enjoy personal emails from you, telling me about your investment income. More importantly, I love hearing how this investment income has changed your life for the better.

Unfortunately, my hands are usually tied when it comes to responding directly to your emails. This can be extremely frustrating (to me, and to many of you), when I’m not able to answer personal emails directly.

Case in point… I received the following email from “Tom” this week:

Zach… Honesty is key to our relationship.

I think you are being dishonest when you say you can’t reply directly to our questions. The truth is you cannot give individuals advice about their specific situation.

You could answer directly general questions but you choose not to and hide behind the no direct contact statement.

For you it is safer that way. I understand, but you are hiding behind a falsehood. Just say you WON’T answer directly and that your staff will answer where they can.

Tom, I really appreciate your candidness. And while we may be dealing with semantics (“can’t” versus “won’t”), I want to take some time to explain. After all, if you’re feeling this way, there’s a good chance plenty of other people have similar feelings.

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Why I Can’t Respond to Personal Emails

If you send me an email and ask what I think about Tesla, or what you should do with your dividend stock, or why I like Apple, I won’t be able to answer directly.

It’s not that I don’t want to respond.

I actually love having conversations about investment opportunities. And my mission is to help families build income so they can focus on what really matters.

Years ago, I left the investment industry and focused on helping people grow investment income. I realized that I could help more people outside of the investment business than I could help if I kept my hedge fund position.

But now that I’m out of the industry, I’m not registered to offer “personal investment advice.” That means I can’t get paid to sit down with you personally and advise you on how to invest your money.

Here’s the problem with personal emails.

If I were to respond to your question or comment about a particular investment, the SEC could view this as “personal investment advice.” That could open me (and potentially my employer – Agora Financial) up to a significant amount of risk.

In order to protect against this risk, and to ensure I can continue to send good information to you, there is a clause in my contract. This clause states that I cannot respond directly to personal emails about investments.

The clause is simply to ensure that I can continue to send you unbiased information on income investing. But the restriction does make me frustrated.

I Sincerely Care About You…

I know it may sound cliche, but I really do care.

You can pay me no better complement than to tell me that I helped you build income for your family. I know what it’s like to try hard to make your income stretch. And I know how helpful it was to me when my boss took me under his wing and shared his income secrets with me.

That’s really why I do what I do today. Because I want to “pay it forward” and pass on these tools and strategies that I’ve learned in my career.

So Tom, if you’re reading this, please know that it is my intention to be honest and direct with my writing. I don’t want to “hide” behind this clause that prevents me from talking directly to you about your investments.

Instead, I want to highlight the best opportunities I can find so that everyone who is reading can benefit.

Please accept my apologies if you feel that I have been distant or inaccessible. That’s certainly not my intent.

Fortunately, I’ve got a solution that may help you when questions come to mind.

Here’s How to Get Answers To Your Investment Questions

If you’d like to know what I think about a specific opportunity, strategy, or news event, feel free to send me personal emails. You can reach me anytime at

I will read these emails.

Every. Single. One.

I will read them personally. Not an intern, staff member, or customer service agent.

Now I cant (there’s that word again) send you a direct personal response. Remember, the clause in my contract is to protect against risk – so I can continue to offer you the best investment information.

But I can use your question as a basis for a new post. By answering your question in a public forum (like a new article), I’m not giving you personal investment advice. Instead, I’m sharing my opinion publicly.

This keeps me in compliance with my employment contract. And I can still be accessible to you as well.

In fact, that gives me an idea…

Maybe we could have a regular question and answer feature. Each week (depending on how many questions come in), I could spend some time answering your investment questions.

That way, I can know what is on your mind. And you can know my thoughts relating to your questions. Let’s try to do that next week!

So please send your questions to I look forward to hearing from you!

Have an excellent weekend,


Zach Scheidt