Forum Thread

How did you find your financial advisor?

380 36 May 28, 2019 at 08:47 AM
Deal
Score
0
1,321 Views

Thread Details

0 Deal Score
1,321 Views
Hi Everyone,

If you have a financial advisor, I'd love your input. How were you able to find them and what did you look for in your advisor?

(venting for a second) I just got off the phone with Vanguard's financial advisor department to set up an appointment. While I really enjoy most experiences I have had with them in every other department, this one left me feeling less-than-positive. They didn't like me asking how much experience the person we'd be working with had. The person they set us up with had only been with them for a couple of years. When saying we wanted someone more seasoned, they became hostile/aggressive - I told them we're clearly not a fit due to their reaction.

So, back to the drawing board for me. I liked Vanguard, but maybe not if they can't ensure someone with experience to work with us.

How did you find the person you use? I'm at the beginning of my research phase. My goals right now are more long-term management.

Thanks!

14 Comments

1

Sign up for a Slickdeals account to remove this ad.

This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined Sep 2006
L7: Teacher
2,235 Posts
942 Reputation
#2
There may have already been articles somewhere (the unbiased ones) but I would like to know if putting all my money in total stock index fund beats majority of the financial advisor / actively managed invest method out there.

If the index fund method produces better long-term result. I don't see why I need to find a financial advisor, let them take my money, and invest in stuff that has high load and fees. For aspects other than investing, I am pretty much set (mainly budgeting and will. no debt).

You made a good call on not wasting your time with Vanguard advisor discussion. If they feel uncomfortable just because you wish to know more about their background, there is very little point to even bother. I hope at this point everyone knows there is no certification for such advisors or any protection from law to prevent investors from getting sold out

https://www.marketwatch.com/story...2018-03-16

I don't think it's a good idea to trust your money with anyone, unqualified for the job, and whose goal is to get as many accounts as possible for the commission.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Last edited by teetee1 May 28, 2019 at 10:08 AM.
This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined May 2004
L4: Apprentice
380 Posts
36 Reputation
Original Poster
#3
Quote from teetee1
:
There may have already been articles somewhere (the unbiased ones) but I would like to know if putting all my money in total stock index fund beats majority of the financial advisor / actively managed invest method out there.

If the index fund method produces better long-term result. I don't see why I need to find a financial advisor, let them take my money, and invest in stuff that has high load and fees. For aspects other than investing, I am pretty much set (mainly budgeting and will. no debt).

You made a good call on not wasting your time with Vanguard advisor discussion. If they feel uncomfortable just because you wish to know more about their background, there is very little point to even bother. I hope at this point everyone knows there is no certification for such advisors or any protection from law to prevent investors from getting sold out

https://www.marketwatch.com/story...2018-03-16

I don't think it's a good idea to trust your money with anyone, unqualified for the job, and whose goal is to get as many accounts as possible for the commission.
Thanks. I'll start to google to find articles about the index funds vs advisers. So far, I've been doing a mixture of index funds and money market accounts / high yield savings (to keep some funds liquid). I'll do a bit more research on it all. This at least gives me the terms to look for / to start researching more. Thank you!
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined Feb 2008
L8: Grand Teacher
3,796 Posts
936 Reputation
#4
Quote from teetee1
:
There may have already been articles somewhere (the unbiased ones) but I would like to know if putting all my money in total stock index fund beats majority of the financial advisor / actively managed invest method out there.
I believe, in general, yes, index funds will beat actively managed funds. Now over a short period, active may beat index ... and on occasion some managers can beat the index for a decent amount of time. Problem there is that quite often fees eat up that difference or the manager leaves, and then the fund kind of tanks.

Managed bonds may be a little different, and some lightly managed stock funds or low-fee managed funds (vanguard has some) still aren't bad. There you are trading some potential profit for more stability + less risk.

You can use https://www.portfoliovisualizer.com/ + backtest portfolio to see how various funds stack up over time.

I'm hardly an investment expert, but my limited experience with financial advisors hasn't exactly been great over the years. I just handle my own funds and it's been a lot easier.
I recently took over handling my mom's acct too -- I was shocked that she was paying an annual fee to merril lynch for no real reason. And she had a ton of funds with high fees/loads and so on, and how she and her 'financial manager' acted like that was normal. Coming from a Vanguard background, w/ their low fee funds I thought it was all ridiculous.

By the way I have some vtsax ... actually hoping the market ticks up a bit, as I'd prefer to sell it and go with something safer for now. I'm a bit of a pessimist -- stocks are due for a larger fallback in my opinion.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined May 2004
L4: Apprentice
380 Posts
36 Reputation
Original Poster
#5
Quote from Namelessme
:
Coming from a Vanguard background, w/ their low fee funds I thought it was all ridiculous.

By the way I have some vtsax ... actually hoping the market ticks up a bit, as I'd prefer to sell it and go with something safer for now. I'm a bit of a pessimist -- stocks are due for a larger fallback in my opinion.
Thanks. I'm finding the same as well in regards to the high fees elsewhere. I also have the same opinion on the market. I have more to invest right now, but I'm hesitant to buy in with the fluctuations in the market. My index funds are nearly flat vs this same time last year, though it could be much worse.

Thanks for the link, I'll check it out.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined Nov 2005
L10: Grand Master
30,349 Posts
3,908 Reputation
#6
I inherited mine actually. I never had one (although I had a work 401k and a "self directed" brokerage account, wife has 403b) then when my mother passed and I inherited (beneficiary) her IRA, I also inherited her FA who I am 100% happy with. I guess I could change but the experience has been so pleasant and he extends his services to other instruments outside his purvey - e.g. I can send him the list of available funds for my 401k (MassMutual) and he'll direct me which ones he sees as best given our targets, even though he works for EdwardJones. Plus, the service is holistic - he schedules routine recaps/meetings twice a year and goes over not only performance, but also retirement goals (and if situations change) and things like if we have appropriate life insurance, wills, PoA, etc etc. I never feel rushed or as if he's pushing me to do something wrong (for me) for his own gain.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined Dec 2008
L4: Apprentice
415 Posts
82 Reputation
#7
I don't have a link or article I can point out to you right now, but somewhere I read that 90% of actively managed funds underperform a broad stock market index fund. Here's what Warren Buffet has to say on it: http://fortune.com/2019/01/17/war...ohn-bogle/

Honestly, if you do want to open an account with Vanguard specifically, I don't think the advisor matters much because you put your money with Vanguard IF you want to passively invest in index funds. This is what they excel at.

As for what to invest in, in terms of index funds that depends on your age and your risk appetitive, as well as how cheap or expensive the market is.

In general, the U.S. stock market is considered to be very expensive on a historical basis right now:
http://www.econ.yale.edu/~shiller...e_data.xls

IF you don't care about the market valuation that much right now, AND have a long time to retirement I personally would consider investing in 3 index funds. 40% in a broad US Index Fund that follows either the S&P 500 or Russell 2000. 30% in broad International Developed Markets Index Fund, and 30% in a broad Emerging (Developing) Markets Index Fund. If your time horizon is shorter, obviously you'd want to be more conservative.

Full disclosure, I don't currently own an Index Funds, but this is part of my long term strategy once I feel the market is worth investing in. I don't have a financial advisor, and never plan on having one.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Last edited by Sudhakar2k May 30, 2019 at 12:10 AM.
This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined Nov 2006
disgruntled caveman
33,268 Posts
2,032 Reputation
#8
Quote from Sclark
:
Hi Everyone,

If you have a financial advisor, I'd love your input. How were you able to find them and what did you look for in your advisor?

(venting for a second) I just got off the phone with Vanguard's financial advisor department to set up an appointment. While I really enjoy most experiences I have had with them in every other department, this one left me feeling less-than-positive. They didn't like me asking how much experience the person we'd be working with had. The person they set us up with had only been with them for a couple of years. When saying we wanted someone more seasoned, they became hostile/aggressive - I told them we're clearly not a fit due to their reaction.

So, back to the drawing board for me. I liked Vanguard, but maybe not if they can't ensure someone with experience to work with us.

How did you find the person you use? I'm at the beginning of my research phase. My goals right now are more long-term management.

Thanks!
Are you looking for someone to pick stocks for you or are you looking for someone to help you with how to best save/spend/invest ie for retirement or for family wealth via their knowledge of estate planning, tax law, and consumer psychology? Different people use the term differently and many financial service providers have employees that do each.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
I heart slickdeals:

$12: 10 (good!) DVDs
$138: Zen X-Fi 32 gb
$4: ToyStory 1&2 BR/DVD + 2x TS3 movie tix
$45: 8 bags M&Ms+ 4Orville 6packs + 2 Redbox +3 blurays+ 2 DVDs+ 4 movie tix+ 1 Bisquick
$262: 50" LED TV
$281.99: mower+ 3 barstool+ 2 tailgate grill+ 6fertilizer+sawzall+4pillows+edger+swimsuit+2WiiU AfterglowPro +2sandals + sprinkler + 50' hose -- SYWR
One happy wife!
Running video game deal list: $155 bought me
3DS: DKCR, ALBW, PkmnY, MarioGolf, Starfox, FE:A
WiiU: NinLand, BatmanAC, AC4, W101, NG:RE, MK8, Pikmin 3, NSLU, 3DWorld, ZombiU

Sign up for a Slickdeals account to remove this ad.

This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined Nov 2006
disgruntled caveman
33,268 Posts
2,032 Reputation
#9
Quote from teetee1
:
There may have already been articles somewhere (the unbiased ones) but I would like to know if putting all my money in total stock index fund beats majority of the financial advisor / actively managed invest method out there.

If the index fund method produces better long-term result. I don't see why I need to find a financial advisor, let them take my money, and invest in stuff that has high load and fees. For aspects other than investing, I am pretty much set (mainly budgeting and will. no debt).

You made a good call on not wasting your time with Vanguard advisor discussion. If they feel uncomfortable just because you wish to know more about their background, there is very little point to even bother. I hope at this point everyone knows there is no certification for such advisors or any protection from law to prevent investors from getting sold out

https://www.marketwatch.com/story...2018-03-16

I don't think it's a good idea to trust your money with anyone, unqualified for the job, and whose goal is to get as many accounts as possible for the commission.
Short answer: It does.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined May 2004
L4: Apprentice
380 Posts
36 Reputation
Original Poster
#10
Quote from bonkman
:
Are you looking for someone to pick stocks for you or are you looking for someone to help you with how to best save/spend/invest ie for retirement or for family wealth via their knowledge of estate planning, tax law, and consumer psychology? Different people use the term differently and many financial service providers have employees that do each.
I'm looking for someone to help our finances reach a minimum of 4% annual growth (ideally, 6-8%, but that's an ideal). I'm looking for someone to watch the market for us, make decisions on our behalf, etc, to reach our current goal.

Info without info: current age is mid-30's. I've seen one recession (the housing crisis) when I was watching the markets, but haven't experienced any major prior recessions personally. So, I'm looking for someone with more experience with this as well. We (my wife and I) are looking at both short-term and long-term investments, with an emphasis on the long-term side.

It really may just be that index funds are the way for us to go. I'm doing my research here now, and doing my best not to be in a rush to jump in. I'd rather be slow and really understand what I'm investing in. That said, it's a busy time of the year for us, so I won't really have the time to look into anything until August if not December. I think my best route is to start listening to podcasts and audio books while I work to passively gain at least some understanding (moreso than I have now, I'm somewhat educated but don't feel educated enough).

Edit: from a slickdeal point of view - it's perfectly fine to buy now, decide/research later when it comes to a slickdeal. However, when it comes to long-term wealth ... I think some caution is definitely warranted. (Though, I am mindful that, overall, it needs to be invested sooner rather than later assuming the index funds continue to see gains)
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Last edited by Sclark May 30, 2019 at 02:37 PM.
This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined Dec 2008
L4: Apprentice
415 Posts
82 Reputation
#11
If you're in your mid-30's then you realistically have a 30 to 40 year investment horizon. Your best bet is to do LOW COST index funds like i suggested earlier. The broad stock market should easily return 6% over such a time horizon. You'd easily earn a risk free 3% in a government backed treasury bond fund over that stretch. You could mix match bond index funds and stock index funds to return somewhere in between while understanding you adding some risk. But at your age, I'd recommend mostly stock index funds.

The other advice I can give you, if you have money don't put it in all at once. For example, if you have $50,000, put like $1500 in a month so that you're not going in all in at the top of market. If the market falls you could always add more in that month.

And understand that at some point during that 30 year stretch, the market will fall by 40%. In those times, don't panic, dont sell, and try to have cash on hand to put into the market.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined Jul 2014
L7: Teacher
2,814 Posts
301 Reputation
#12
Quote from Sclark
:
I'm looking for someone to help our finances reach a minimum of 4% annual growth (ideally, 6-8%, but that's an ideal). I'm looking for someone to watch the market for us, make decisions on our behalf, etc, to reach our current goal.
Here's the ugly truth about financial planners. They have no idea what the market is going to do either. They can read all the articles they want...they do not have a crystal ball. The nice thing about being a FP is...they get paid whether they make you money or not.

Like others said. Your best bet is to buy/hold low cost index funds. I would start by visiting bogleheads: https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/T..._portfolio

I have both of my index funds through vanguard, along with my roth ira. I have my roth ira in a target fund. You pay a little more in expenses (way less than what a FP would take) and it adjust as you get older (gets less aggressive.)

Investing is easy if you stick with a plan of no matter what the market is doing, keep funneling a set amount of money in each and every month. Each month, on the 1st (or right around the 1st,) I transfer $500 to my roth ira and $500 to my index funds, whether the market is up or down. The issue is when amateurs start trying to time the market and become emotional when the market starts to go down. Things can get ugly then.

If you cant stand the heat then stay out of the kitchen. If you're going to get spooked when the market drops a couple percent...let someone else handle your money. At least then it will be your fp's fault when they lose your money...not that anything can be done about it.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined Nov 2006
disgruntled caveman
33,268 Posts
2,032 Reputation
#13
Quote from Sclark
:
I'm looking for someone to help our finances reach a minimum of 4% annual growth (ideally, 6-8%, but that's an ideal). I'm looking for someone to watch the market for us, make decisions on our behalf, etc, to reach our current goal.

Info without info: current age is mid-30's. I've seen one recession (the housing crisis) when I was watching the markets, but haven't experienced any major prior recessions personally. So, I'm looking for someone with more experience with this as well. We (my wife and I) are looking at both short-term and long-term investments, with an emphasis on the long-term side.

It really may just be that index funds are the way for us to go. I'm doing my research here now, and doing my best not to be in a rush to jump in. I'd rather be slow and really understand what I'm investing in. That said, it's a busy time of the year for us, so I won't really have the time to look into anything until August if not December. I think my best route is to start listening to podcasts and audio books while I work to passively gain at least some understanding (moreso than I have now, I'm somewhat educated but don't feel educated enough).

Edit: from a slickdeal point of view - it's perfectly fine to buy now, decide/research later when it comes to a slickdeal. However, when it comes to long-term wealth ... I think some caution is definitely warranted. (Though, I am mindful that, overall, it needs to be invested sooner rather than later assuming the index funds continue to see gains)
You and I are probably +/- a year in age so we probably have similar financial goals -- though TBH I am doing my best to retire before 50. I'm happy to talk about my philosophies on investing and wealth management with you, either in this thread or PM. Cheers

If your goal is to make 4+% a year, there's no real reason to find a personal investor. As has been mentioned here, regularly contributing to low-cost index funds will almost earn you that (and more) over the long run. Obviously, there's no guarantee on the return if you need the money in two months, however. The reason why you'd want "pros" investing your money is to take advantage of things like HFT/algorithmic trading, which you don't have access to. However, a lot of the places where you can do that require a $$$$ investment.

The reason you probably want to talk to an adviser (if this forum's not enough) is to roadmap your financial pathway and become aware of all of your vehicles. For example, I have access to a pension and two employer-sponsored retirement accounts, plus individual IRAs. A few years ago my wife and I spent some time deciding roughly what and when we'd want our retirement and some other financial goals to look like, researched the pros and cons of each of the accounts, and made a plan of where our money was going to be funneled over the next 10+ years, making sure to leave a big safety net. It honestly wasn't that hard to do the research, but I'm also fairly financially-literate. If you don't feel confident in your own abilities and aren't wholly trusting of anonymous posters, I'd go meet up with someone who could speed up the research for you.

Cheers
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined Feb 2008
L8: Grand Teacher
3,796 Posts
936 Reputation
#14
Quote from FHRITP
:

If you cant stand the heat then stay out of the kitchen. If you're going to get spooked when the market drops a couple percent...let someone else handle your money. At least then it will be your fp's fault when they lose your money...not that anything can be done about it.
Not so sure that'd make anyone really feel any better. He'd still be watching his money dwindle away, based on some random person's decisions.

If major swings scare him, I'd just say put it into a balanced fund (or mix an index stock fund w/ whatever percentage bonds he wants). Vanguard has some decent balanced funds w/ low fees... even a couple of managed ones with reasonable fees.

And that said, based on the market right now, researching and waiting may be his best bet.

I agree about financial planners not really knowing what the market will do either -- now they may know some things you don't, and suggest funds or assets you may not know about. So no harm in picking their brains. Although the ones I have met must have very small brains. And the planners I have met (typically the bank financial manager type, or over-the-phone guys) ... my first thought is, okay, if you are so great with money, why do you have this tiny office in the back of a bank?

I have had relatives who were financial planners too. My Dad was, and he was god awful with money. So was my sister-in-law (briefly). And she and my brother declared bankruptcy a couple of years after she got that job.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Last edited by Namelessme May 31, 2019 at 03:04 PM.
This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined Feb 2004
L4: Apprentice
443 Posts
99 Reputation
#15
Quote from FHRITP
:
Here's the ugly truth about financial planners. They have no idea what the market is going to do either. They can read all the articles they want...they do not have a crystal ball. The nice thing about being a FP is...they get paid whether they make you money or not.

Like others said. Your best bet is to buy/hold low cost index funds. I would start by visiting bogleheads: https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/T..._portfolio [bogleheads.org]

I have both of my index funds through vanguard, along with my roth ira. I have my roth ira in a target fund. You pay a little more in expenses (way less than what a FP would take) and it adjust as you get older (gets less aggressive.)

Investing is easy if you stick with a plan of no matter what the market is doing, keep funneling a set amount of money in each and every month. Each month, on the 1st (or right around the 1st,) I transfer $500 to my roth ira and $500 to my index funds, whether the market is up or down. The issue is when amateurs start trying to time the market and become emotional when the market starts to go down. Things can get ugly then.

If you cant stand the heat then stay out of the kitchen. If you're going to get spooked when the market drops a couple percent...let someone else handle your money. At least then it will be your fp's fault when they lose your money...not that anything can be done about it.
This is good advice. Read, read, read Bogleheads.. Then read some more.

As to OP's Vanguard experience, it sounds like you got a bad draw with the adviser. I understand you want a "seasoned' advisor, but the truth is that the Vanguard advisors are nothing more than an interface between you and the Vanguard system. The advisor isn't going to do anything special whether they have 6 months or 6 years with Vanguard.

If you are inclined to need help with your investing, Vanguard's Personal Advisor Services is hard to beat... 0.3% management fee and their portfolios typically run <.1% expense ratios due to their focus on low cost index funds. Compare that to most other offerings that have a 1% management fee PLUS another .5-1% expense ratio and the savings can be significant over time. Based on what you are saying, I'd guess you will be hard pressed to beat Vanguard.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Page 1 of 1
1
Join the Conversation
Add a Comment
 
Link Copied to Clipboard