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Are there certified investment advisors for the little guy?
Old 11-04-2013, 01:03 PM   #1
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Are there certified investment advisors for the little guy?

Howdy!
I'm tried of paying the 2% Financial Planners and wrap fees for someone to look at my portfolio once a year. Are there people out there who will meet with clients once a year and hold their hands through the investment process? I think the guys I have now are just 'buy it and forget it' types and draw money for nothing. I know some people need coaching on paying off debts and mortgages, saving for college, saving instead of spending, etc but I'm past that. All I need is investment advice.
I've looked for a certified investment advisor which sounds perfect but I think they only work with millionaires.
I'd like to find someone like my CPA. I see him once a year to file taxes and answer my questions. I pay him and that's it until next year. I surely would like to find an advisor like that.
Thank you!
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Old 11-04-2013, 01:12 PM   #2
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There are fee only financial planners. Google the term and you'll probably find some links.

Why not become your own finacial advisor? No one cares as much about your money as you do. It's not hard at all. You pay no fees.

Most people here advocate low fee, index fund investing. Doing that and having a FA is silly. I suggest you read Andrew Hallam's Millionaire Teacher to see how easy it is. There are many other books available that can become very technical but you really don't need any of that.
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Old 11-04-2013, 01:27 PM   #3
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You can check out NAPFA for this kind of information, or the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards.

And the term "certified investment advisor" isn't really a designation.
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Old 11-04-2013, 01:29 PM   #4
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For >=50K….low percentage based passive investing --- AssetBuilder Inc., Registered Investment Advisor - Low Fee Model Portfolios for DFA Funds
For >=500K….Flat fee Advisors regardless of portfolio size --- Evanson Asset Management - Main Page
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Old 11-04-2013, 01:35 PM   #5
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A CFA would work for you as well, since you are mostly interested in investment advice.

I think you would be better of DIYing.
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Old 11-04-2013, 01:43 PM   #6
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Here's all the advice you need.

10% cash, 30% Bond Market, 30% International Equity Index, 30% US Equity Index.

Rebalance and sit back.

Now I'm being a bit flippant here, but only a bit. I probably covered 95% of what your IFA did in a couple of sentences.
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Old 11-04-2013, 01:58 PM   #7
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Here's all the advice you need.

10% cash, 30% Bond Market, 30% International Equity Index, 30% US Equity Index.

Rebalance and sit back.

Now I'm being a bit flippant here, but only a bit. I probably covered 95% of what your IFA did in a couple of sentences.
A bit flippant? We know NOTHING about OP's situation.............
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Old 11-04-2013, 01:59 PM   #8
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Howdy!
I'd like to find someone like my CPA. I see him once a year to file taxes and answer my questions. I pay him and that's it until next year. I surely would like to find an advisor like that.
Thank you!
Talk to your CPA. When I was young and (more) stupid, I would run things past mine. He had a much better understanding of how you actually make money, and how much you can damage your balance sheet by dumb decisions.

Ha
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Old 11-04-2013, 03:27 PM   #9
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Thank you all very much. Keep it coming! I need all the help I can get. (I'm sorry - I meant RIA instead of CIA.) I tried to find one once but it looked like you needed to have a pretty large portfolio.
I like the idea of running things by my CPA since my advisor, in all respect, doesn't seem to understand how taxes play into everything. He once stated ' You seem awfully concerned about taxes....' Well, yeah, honey!
I like the DIY idea too - if I can get up the courage. I'd like to use the bucket method for money management . That is, I'd always like to have a pot of cash for big ticket items and fun money covering the next 5 -7 years and replenish when the market is up. That gives me peace of mind. I guess that's a 2 bucket bucket system. I don't think we'll need our investment money for day to day expenses - mostly just big ticket items like cars, roofs , heat pumps , etc.
So forgive me for rambling but...
1) to where would you suggest I transfer my portfolio to manage it myself and
2) What would be a good asset allocation for 2 approximately 60 year retirees who want to hold some cash but invest the rest? I thought maybe if I could find the courage I would initially (and timidly) tweak my portfolio at bit - one of my international bond funds is a lager according to Morningstar. Maybe I'd transfer it to a better one...that is if I NEED an international bond fund...
Thanks again. You're great!
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Old 11-04-2013, 03:34 PM   #10
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Thank you for suggesting a book, 2B. I like reading financial books. I'm going to see if I can find Millionaire Teacher. Have you ever read ' The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need' by somebody Tobias? It's written in a jovial style but very practical.
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Old 11-04-2013, 04:24 PM   #11
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Thank you for suggesting a book, 2B. I like reading financial books. I'm going to see if I can find Millionaire Teacher. Have you ever read ' The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need' by somebody Tobias? It's written in a jovial style but very practical.
Andrew Tobias. I read that30 years ago. I remember one sage bit of advice from it, the secret to financial independence,...buy your toilet paper on sale.
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Old 11-04-2013, 04:54 PM   #12
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Not even FinanceDude can help you. Did you see how helpful his response was upthread?

The simple answer is: "No. There is no one for the little guy worth their fee."

That's why places like Vanguard, Fidelity et al. all have Target Retirement and/or Life Strategy funds. Is there any reason why you aren't using one of these for all your investing needs at the present time?
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Old 11-04-2013, 05:01 PM   #13
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Call and ask...
"I need some basic advice. I just want a consultation... to spend a few hours going through what I have, what I want, and what I need to do to get there.
Will you help me, and how much will it cost?"

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Old 11-04-2013, 05:09 PM   #14
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what about betterment or wealthfront?

wealthfront in particular is designed for the "littleguy"

https://www.wealthfront.com/faq

I'm not affiliated with nor do I use either service, but I have explored their websites.
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Old 11-04-2013, 05:10 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by HappyOutsourced View Post
I like the DIY idea too - if I can get up the courage. I'd like to use the bucket method for money management . That is, I'd always like to have a pot of cash for big ticket items and fun money covering the next 5 -7 years and replenish when the market is up. That gives me peace of mind. I guess that's a 2 bucket bucket system. I don't think we'll need our investment money for day to day expenses - mostly just big ticket items like cars, roofs , heat pumps , etc.
So forgive me for rambling but...
1) to where would you suggest I transfer my portfolio to manage it myself and
2) What would be a good asset allocation for 2 approximately 60 year retirees who want to hold some cash but invest the rest? I thought maybe if I could find the courage I would initially (and timidly) tweak my portfolio at bit - one of my international bond funds is a lager according to Morningstar. Maybe I'd transfer it to a better one...that is if I NEED an international bond fund...
Thanks again. You're great!
The buckets approach is mostly smoke and mirrors and is of most use to financial writers who can use it to sell books. But you have seen through it yourself in that a 2 bucket strategy is basically a common sense way to managing your money for income. Keep enough cash for comfort and invest the rest in a sensible AA.

Move your money to Vanguard and implement a lazy portfolio like the one I suggested above or just put it into a Life Strategy fund.
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Old 11-04-2013, 05:29 PM   #16
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Be careful when googling fee only advisors. Many are now deceptively declaring that they are fee only but the fee is 1 to 3 % of your investable assets.
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Old 11-04-2013, 07:07 PM   #17
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I like the idea of running things by my CPA since my advisor, in all respect, doesn't seem to understand how taxes play into everything. He once stated ' You seem awfully concerned about taxes....' Well, yeah, honey!
I agree with you 100%. Running my income sources & when to take income past my CPA has saved me thousands some years. And someone investment guys don't want to think about the (short term) implications of their changes.
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Old 11-04-2013, 08:16 PM   #18
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Flat fee Advisors regardless of portfolio size --- Evanson Asset Management - Main Page
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Old 11-04-2013, 08:34 PM   #19
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I thought you might look at the link I sent you if you want to find a fee only planner. Also perhaps check out the Garrett Network. It isn't that hard to find hourly advisors, but the problem is advising on investments is far more subjective than advice on other facets of financial planning.
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Old 11-05-2013, 03:05 AM   #20
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An old blog post at Forbes that I ran across today on the thread subject:
No, You Don't Actually Need To Hire A Financial Advisor - Forbes
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