Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Help choosing a financial planner!!
Old 03-10-2008, 09:17 PM   #1
Confused about dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 4
Help choosing a financial planner!!

Hello....My wife and I are finally going to start that college fund and start planning for retirment! There seems to be tons of companies (Schwab, Ameriprise, Fidelity) wanting to help, but who does the majority of people trust? Any help? Thanks.

Frank
__________________

__________________
Frankie G is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 03-10-2008, 09:19 PM   #2
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
twaddle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 1,378
Analyzing the 'high-fee' DFA-approved advisor's sales pitch.
__________________

__________________
twaddle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2008, 09:24 PM   #3
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,183
No one is more interested in my risk & returns than I am. Spend a FEW BUCKS at the book store and jump in the pond. What you don't pay for advice can add up to a whole lot of money and bad advice is more common than good. JMHO
__________________
crazy connie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2008, 09:46 PM   #4
Confused about dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 4
Thanks connie. I think I will do that first!
__________________
Frankie G is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2008, 09:47 PM   #5
Confused about dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 4
Thanks to you too twaddle. That was some interesting reading and lots of great facts!
__________________
Frankie G is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2008, 10:57 PM   #6
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
DblDoc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,224
I agree with connie. Look in the mirror. To get into the spirit I'd recommend saving a few bucks and going to the library. Books by Bernstein, Bogle or Malkiel are a good place to start. Check out the FAQ's here. I'd also recommend the Vanguard Diehards site.

DD
__________________
DblDoc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2008, 01:48 AM   #7
Moderator
bssc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 9,940
Hi and welcome.

You are your best financial advisor since you know your likes and dislikes best. Look around and read the threads. Start off slow, no one expects you to be trading options tomorrow (or ever).
__________________
Angels danced on the day that you were born.
bssc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2008, 04:15 AM   #8
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 5,072
Invest in your knowledge. That will take a small amount of money... you can get most books at the library. It will mainly take some personal time and effort to study it a bit.

IMO -I would not use a Financial planner and not recommend it unless you are completely lost. If I did use one, I would use a fee based one and get a one-time consult. If you want an autopilot strategy right now look at the Vanguard site and invest in Index Funds. Pick one of their models that seems to fit your needs and go with it. Spend the next year reading a few well selected books. Then consider tuning the portfolio. If you do not know what you are doing (and most do not), stay away from individual stocks and bonds and fancy strategies. Stick to the basics and grow rich slowly.
__________________
chinaco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2008, 05:50 AM   #9
Confused about dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 4
GREAT replys! The books ound like a great place for us to begin, which I will be ordering one if not 2 today. Anyone have any isite on saving for college? Educational IRA's or I have heard of a 529? I need to obviously make my own decision on which is best for us, but has anyone had any experience with either or others? The web site rocks! Thanks again...

Frank
__________________
Frankie G is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2008, 08:00 AM   #10
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
jIMOh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Milford, OH
Posts: 2,085
If you have the time to manage your assets, then research and experience will teach you more than any advisor could ever help.

Best advisors are fee only, not commission based. Look for CFP designation on their credentials.
__________________
Light travels faster than sound. That is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak. One person's stupidity is another person's job security.
jIMOh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2008, 03:08 PM   #11
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Midpack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 11,983
Do it yourself, here is the best list of book recommendations you will find anywhere. Go at your own pace. You have to learn and pay attention, but what it takes to do reasonably well doesn't have to take over your life by any means, and you can take it as far as you want.

Investment Books
__________________
No one agrees with other people's opinions; they merely agree with their own opinions -- expressed by somebody else. Sydney Tremayne
Retired Jun 2011 at age 57

Target AA: 60% equity funds / 35% bond funds / 5% cash
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
Midpack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2008, 08:08 PM   #12
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Kansas City
Posts: 7,409
Target Retirement - the one suggested for your age.

Don't read books! "Do or Do not - there is no read books." -Yoda, The Empire Strikes Back.

Weelllll - not exactly but close handgenade wise.

Put some real money in the game - it improves concentration. People never listen and read books anyway.

heh heh heh - faith and time in the market trump reading every time. .
__________________
unclemick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-2008, 09:47 AM   #13
Recycles dryer sheets
BigBob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Sebring
Posts: 190
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frankie G View Post
Anyone have any isite on saving for college? Educational IRA's or I have heard of a 529? Frank
Try Savingforcollege.com - The internet guide to funding college and Section 529 college savings plans. as the best site for learning about college savings plans. Pick a plan that gives you the best bang for the buck and begin investing. You won't regret it. I have 2 in college now and am so thankful I saved (529s and Coverdells) over the past years.
__________________
BigBob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2008, 07:13 AM   #14
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
freebird5825's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: East Nowhere, 43N Latitude, NY
Posts: 9,017
Quote:
Originally Posted by chinaco View Post
Invest in your knowledge. That will take a small amount of money... you can get most books at the library. It will mainly take some personal time and effort to study it a bit.

IMO -I would not use a Financial planner and not recommend it unless you are completely lost. If I did use one, I would use a fee based one and get a one-time consult. If you want an autopilot strategy right now look at the Vanguard site and invest in Index Funds. Pick one of their models that seems to fit your needs and go with it. Spend the next year reading a few well selected books. Then consider tuning the portfolio. If you do not know what you are doing (and most do not), stay away from individual stocks and bonds and fancy strategies. Stick to the basics and grow rich slowly.
i soundly second this advice.

in my experience as a new investor many moons ago (late 90s), any commission based planner i worked with did not work for me, they work for themselves. a given.

a short horror story...i briefly worked with an investment planner that i thought was above board, and they sold a MF that i explicitly told them not to. at the time it (VFINX) was my biggest holding. their explanation was "oops". so i oopsed myself right out of our contract. the contract gave me the right to terminate at any time for any reason, with 10 days written notice. nice clause. the guy actually asked me what he could he do to repair the damage and would i reconsider.

success story - i did go to a CFP (fee based only) in 2002 for a full assessment of my financial & retirement & estate situation. negotiated a set fee for a package deal, with known deliverables, and got it all in writing up front. best money i ever spent. their advice has saved me a lot of problems.
__________________
"All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them." - Walt Disney
freebird5825 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2008, 11:31 AM   #15
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
jIMOh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Milford, OH
Posts: 2,085
Quote:
Originally Posted by freebird5825 View Post

success story - i did go to a CFP (fee based only) in 2002 for a full assessment of my financial & retirement & estate situation. negotiated a set fee for a package deal, with known deliverables, and got it all in writing up front. best money i ever spent. their advice has saved me a lot of problems.
care to share highlights?
__________________
Light travels faster than sound. That is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak. One person's stupidity is another person's job security.
jIMOh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2008, 12:13 PM   #16
Dryer sheet aficionado
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 26
I agree with learning it. Put the money in money market funds until you read/learn. Even if it takes a few weeks/months to read a couple of books.

I found the dummy series books by Eric Tyson (don't like the dummy part...) to be decent books. Personal Finance is very general, and a starting point.

Eric Tyson is a little biased towards index funds, but I think he presents all sides adequately. After the personal finance, I recommend his Mutual Fund book - but, I might be biased as I am a mutual fund buy & hold investor.
__________________
retire48in2018 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2008, 07:41 PM   #17
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
freebird5825's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: East Nowhere, 43N Latitude, NY
Posts: 9,017
Quote:
Originally Posted by jIMOh View Post
care to share highlights?
absolutely.

1st off, make sure they are a CFP. not an FA, not a FP, not a ChCFP. make them show you their business card or license. if they can't produce the CFP proof - smile, stand up and leave.

2nd, take a list of exactly what you want to be done. my list...
- wills/estate review (usually farmed out to a legal firm in coop with CFP firm, that's OK)
- assessment of current financial state (income, expenses, investments, liabilities, etc) in nauseating detail
- assessment of future financial state (projections including various inflation effects)
- review/recommend investments, DCA strategy, and asset allocation
- what-if scenarios (grim but had to be done, if one spouse died, what if etc)
- retirement benefit assessment (both were federal, they earned their money here)
- health insurance/ LTC insurance asessment or recommendations
- estate assets review
- titling review (single, joint, JTWROS) of all assets - CRITICAL ITEM
- goals (near, medium, and long term) and strategy to achieve

there were probably more, but i'm almost 50 and the brain is going...LOL

we wrote all this down, they mailed me a proposal, i negotiated a lower fee cuz i am Miss Orgnaized and had most of the data "camera ready". the product was a detailed customized report that pulled everything together and the what-if scenarios were amazing. and two 2-hour sessions with the CFP to go over it all in great detail.

i accepted the proposal - they said bring ALL your stuff, drop it off and we'll contact you in 4 weeks. it took so long cuz they had to plow through both sets of fed retirement system docs (CSRS and FERS).

cost me $1500 in 2002. i was 44 at the time.

it is not my intent to be grim. it is my intent to let you know how important this exercise can be.

i never regretted a penny of that cost. life thru me a real hardball in late 2004 when DH passed suddenly. i was 100% prepared financially and document wise. had no probate to deal with except for a few vehicles and some artwork. all assets were titled JTWROS.

so, good luck and get 'er done!
__________________
"All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them." - Walt Disney
freebird5825 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-2008, 08:44 AM   #18
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
jIMOh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Milford, OH
Posts: 2,085
Quote:
Originally Posted by freebird5825 View Post
absolutely.

1st off, make sure they are a CFP. not an FA, not a FP, not a ChCFP. make them show you their business card or license. if they can't produce the CFP proof - smile, stand up and leave.

2nd, take a list of exactly what you want to be done. my list...
- wills/estate review (usually farmed out to a legal firm in coop with CFP firm, that's OK)
- assessment of current financial state (income, expenses, investments, liabilities, etc) in nauseating detail
- assessment of future financial state (projections including various inflation effects)
- review/recommend investments, DCA strategy, and asset allocation
- what-if scenarios (grim but had to be done, if one spouse died, what if etc)
- retirement benefit assessment (both were federal, they earned their money here)
- health insurance/ LTC insurance asessment or recommendations
- estate assets review
- titling review (single, joint, JTWROS) of all assets - CRITICAL ITEM
- goals (near, medium, and long term) and strategy to achieve

there were probably more, but i'm almost 50 and the brain is going...LOL

we wrote all this down, they mailed me a proposal, i negotiated a lower fee cuz i am Miss Orgnaized and had most of the data "camera ready". the product was a detailed customized report that pulled everything together and the what-if scenarios were amazing. and two 2-hour sessions with the CFP to go over it all in great detail.

i accepted the proposal - they said bring ALL your stuff, drop it off and we'll contact you in 4 weeks. it took so long cuz they had to plow through both sets of fed retirement system docs (CSRS and FERS).

cost me $1500 in 2002. i was 44 at the time.

it is not my intent to be grim. it is my intent to let you know how important this exercise can be.

i never regretted a penny of that cost. life thru me a real hardball in late 2004 when DH passed suddenly. i was 100% prepared financially and document wise. had no probate to deal with except for a few vehicles and some artwork. all assets were titled JTWROS.

so, good luck and get 'er done!
I do see the value in the 4 highlighted entries in particular.

In the case of the first two (projections)- was there anything provided which could not be done by you online? Was this a second opinion, or was most of projections new to you?

We did wills earlier in 2008. I agree what if is tough, but needs to be done.

I assume the titling of the assets was part of the will preperation/ related to will preperation?
__________________
Light travels faster than sound. That is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak. One person's stupidity is another person's job security.
jIMOh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-2008, 09:41 AM   #19
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
freebird5825's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: East Nowhere, 43N Latitude, NY
Posts: 9,017
Quote:
Originally Posted by jIMOh View Post
I do see the value in the 4 highlighted entries in particular.

In the case of the first two (projections)- was there anything provided which could not be done by you online? Was this a second opinion, or was most of projections new to you?

We did wills earlier in 2008. I agree what if is tough, but needs to be done.

I assume the titling of the assets was part of the will preperation/ related to will preperation?
at the time, there were a few good online resources to be had. but no way to fuse all the data together. at least i couldn't find any.

i'm an engineer, so my brain told me to look for the systems (package) approach with a pro. may have been able to do it on my own, but wasn't up on all of this at the time.

titling was indeed part of will prep. JTWROS titling, at least in NY, bypasses probate.

BTW, if you have more detailed questions, feel free to PM me if that's appropriate.
__________________
"All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them." - Walt Disney
freebird5825 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-2008, 06:59 PM   #20
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
packrat44's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: near Canadian border and near Mexican border
Posts: 1,142
Quote:
Originally Posted by freebird5825 View Post
i'm an engineer, so my brain told me to look for the systems (package) approach with a pro. may have been able to do it on my own, but wasn't up on all of this at the time.
It is always nice to see a fellow engineer on the forum.

By the way, has anyone seen where I parked my train?
__________________

__________________
Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered. That's my story and I am sticking to it.
packrat44 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Let's make believe you did have a Financial Planner retire@40 FIRE and Money 42 03-31-2011 12:24 AM
Meeting with a financial planner Ronstar FIRE and Money 15 10-19-2007 12:41 PM
Need to fire financial planner Jeff55 FIRE and Money 16 09-15-2005 04:50 PM
J&L Financial Planner mark FIRE and Money 3 03-29-2005 02:01 PM
Value of a financial planner Lance Covington FIRE and Money 19 01-14-2005 04:27 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:18 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.