Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Financial Advisor / Wealth Management
Old 04-16-2016, 02:43 PM   #1
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 192
Financial Advisor / Wealth Management

I know that many people on this forum do not use a financial advisor or wealth management firm, and believe that doing so is a waste of money.

While I respect that view and understand that it has some merit, I personally do use a financial advisor and I have found it to be worthwhile. (I negotiated the price and I paid last year around 60 bps -- cheaper than many FAs, though still a good amount of money).

My questions is this: Do any of you use a financial advisor who, like mine, charges fees based on a sliding scale percentage of assets under management? If so, do you think you are getting your money's worth? Why?

Or am I the only one around here who does this, and everyone else thinks it is nuts?
__________________

__________________
medved 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 04-16-2016, 03:00 PM   #2
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
braumeister's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Northern Kentucky
Posts: 8,617
I think there are quite a few FAs who use a sliding scale, and even more who are willing to negotiate if your net worth is large enough.

I have a friend who has used one for years (and has often recommended them to me). Their published fee schedule starts at 80 bp for the first $2M and goes down to 55 bp for amounts over $5M.

I don't think anyone would consider it "nuts" to use an FA if it meets your needs and your mindset. The bigger issue is whether you're comfortable with a DIY approach. Many of us are not only comfortable with DIY, we actually rather enjoy it.
__________________

__________________
braumeister is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-16-2016, 03:11 PM   #3
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
youbet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Chicago
Posts: 9,965
What braumeister said.........

And not all FA's or FA firms are the same. I'm aware of one situation where the FA is part of a firm which includes CPA's and attorneys. They handle complicated situations involving estate/legacy planning, taxes, non-traditional assets, complicated business situations, etc.

OTOH, I'm also aware of FA's that want 0.5% to 1.0% to simply determine an AA for the client via a discussion and questionnaire and then plug his/her assets into a program that spits out amounts of funds to buy to meet the AA. Then rebalancing is done. Schwab now does this for free. If I recall correctly, the general term for this is something like "robo-advising" and we discussed it in another thread not too long ago.

OP - what is your FA doing for you? You said you have found using an FA to be worthwhile. Specifically why? Any complicated situations being handled? Any tax or estate planning? Or were you simply put into some funds and you get rebalancing and minor changes from time to time?

I don't use an FA. My investments are rather straight forward. I have this forum and some knowledgeable confidants to bounce my (likely stooopid) ideas off of before I act on anything major. My Schwab rep handles administrative and execution questions. I readily go to a CPA or attorney if needed.

I have absolutely no issue with others using general purpose FA's but I do recommend making an effort to understand exactly what you're getting for your money. Your 60 bps price may be a bargain or a rip-off depending on what you're getting.
__________________
"I wasn't born blue blood. I was born blue-collar." John Wort Hannam
youbet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-16-2016, 04:02 PM   #4
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 192
What does the FA do for me? In no particular order: (1) helps me avoid making emotional or "reactive" financial or investment decisions -- which in a perfect world I would not have to pay someone to do, because it is within my own control, but alas we humans are imperfect; (2) gives me access to Dimension funds; (3) does more diversification than I would do on my own and rebalances often; (4) does some tax lost harvesting, which has been valuable with the market volatility; (5) interacts with my accountant, saving me the time of doing so; (6) provides advice about asset allocation, insurance, investment questions, and other issues that come up from time to time -- and helps me think through how to balance competing goals (eg, minimizing risk versus achieving acceptable returns); (7) runs various projections and retirement scenarios that show me how much money I would have to live on, and with what degree of confidence, based on various assumptions (running monte carlo simulations, essentially); and (8) once I retire, will formulate and help me to implement a tax efficient withdrawal strategy. I feel more comfortable retiring early knowing that I have some guidance and advice, and a professional who tells me that I can do it at a certain level and that he will guide me through to make sure I don't screw it up...

Obviously I am not 100% certain that this is worthwhile -- otherwise I suppose I would not have raised the question on this forum. But it feels like it is worthwhile.
__________________
medved is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-16-2016, 04:12 PM   #5
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
travelover's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 9,897
Quote:
Originally Posted by medved View Post
....... (I negotiated the price and I paid last year around 60 bps -- cheaper than many FAs, though still a good amount of money)...........
I know that you are happy with the FA, but he makes $75,000 off your 12 million every year, at 60 bp, for what seems like a couple of hours work.
__________________
Yes, I have achieved work / life balance.
travelover is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-16-2016, 04:17 PM   #6
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 355
When working I was happy to have a FA because I was too busy to do my homework. Once I knew I was going to retire, I felt that managing our money was going to be essential and not something I could afford to delegate. As people have said, it was not as complex as I had thought.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
__________________
jabbahop is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-16-2016, 04:35 PM   #7
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by travelover View Post
I know that you are happy with the FA, but he makes $75,000 off your 12 million every year, at 60 bp, for what seems like a couple of hours work.
Definitely not a few hours work. I use these guys a lot. I talk with them pretty much every week, email questions, have them run various scenarios, etc. Whether it is all necessary or not is a different question, but they are certainly spending time.

For years, I did my own investing. I was not good at it. I could not devote the time. And I was prone to emotional or reactive decisions. I was also afraid of making big errors and as a result I had FAR too much money in cash. (That turned out to be really good in 2008, but it was luck not skill, for sure).
__________________
medved is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-16-2016, 04:36 PM   #8
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 18,288
Quote:
Originally Posted by medved View Post
What does the FA do for me? In no particular order: .. ...

Obviously I am not 100% certain that this is worthwhile -- otherwise I suppose I would not have raised the question on this forum. But it feels like it is worthwhile.
Quote:
Originally Posted by travelover View Post
I know that you are happy with the FA, but he makes $75,000 off your 12 million every year, at 60 bp, for what seems like a couple of hours work.
Yes, $75,000 year in and year out is a considerable amount! As far as the 'needs', my opinion:

(1) helps me avoid making emotional or "reactive" financial or investment decisions -- which in a perfect world I would not have to pay someone to do, because it is within my own control, but alas we humans are imperfect;

A little education should fix this. Once you understand that markets go up and markets go down, and that your FA is unlikely to have any 'secret sauce' to help with that, it should be easy to just do it.

(2) gives me access to Dimension funds;
And what does that do for you?


(3) does more diversification than I would do on my own and rebalances often;
Why can't you easily diversify on your own? And how much diversification is needed? Rebalancing is EZ, and studies show- unnecessary.

(4) does some tax lost harvesting, which has been valuable with the market volatility;
OK, but that sure isn't rocket science , esp if you keep your portfolio simple.

(5) interacts with my accountant, saving me the time of doing so;
For what purpose?

(6) provides advice about asset allocation, insurance, investment questions, and other issues that come up from time to time -- and helps me think through how to balance competing goals (eg, minimizing risk versus achieving acceptable returns);
That is discussed all the time here, from people with no possible financial interest/conflict, Again, not rocket science.

(7) runs various projections and retirement scenarios that show me how much money I would have to live on, and with what degree of confidence, based on various assumptions (running monte carlo simulations, essentially); and
Again, we do that here, and probably better than any Monte-Carlo analysis.

(8) once I retire, will formulate and help me to implement a tax efficient withdrawal strategy. I feel more comfortable retiring early knowing that I have some guidance and advice, and a professional who tells me that I can do it at a certain level and that he will guide me through to make sure I don't screw it up...
OK, but if this is needed, why pay every year for it? Pay someone by the hour to do the specific analysis you need/want.

How does one evaluate an FA to know if they are giving good advice? At the minimum, I'd want to have a reference plan for comparison (so I'd need to do the 'work' to develop that plan). Otherwise, it just seems to me that you are taking all theses unknowns, and putting them onto another unknown, and now feeling better about it. But I wouldn't, I'd worry about the FA instead of worrying about my investments! It's just shifting the unknown.

Perhaps at your high wealth stage, some help makes sense, but I would not pay an FA year in year out for it. Hire the help you need, when you need it.

-ERD50
__________________
ERD50 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-16-2016, 04:36 PM   #9
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
youbet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Chicago
Posts: 9,965
Quote:
Originally Posted by medved View Post
(1) helps me avoid making emotional or "reactive" financial or investment decisions -- which in a perfect world I would not have to pay someone to do, because it is within my own control, but alas we humans are imperfect;
I started to comment on each of the FA benefits you listed, but after thinking about it, if you have an issue where emotions or a reactive nature puts you at risk and you trust your FA enough that you listen to him/her, then the fee is probably worthwhile.

Most of the other FA benefits you list could be purchased from a fee only planner, CPA or attorney; done yourself; or done for free by one of the robo-advisors. Except, that is, for the proprietary funds. And I'd have to take a long look at those to see if they are really so hot.......

Don't take the anti-FA comments on this board to heart. We're dominated by DIYers who particularly detest the occasional "shark attack" that a few FA's are known for. It sounds like you know what you're paying for and what you're getting. And your FA reduces the risk that you'll make an emotional or reactive move, which you say you have a tendency to do.

If you're happy, that's what life is all about....... I'm sorry I can't comment on your "sliding scale" question as I've never used an FA other than a few instances on a fee for service basis.
__________________
"I wasn't born blue blood. I was born blue-collar." John Wort Hannam
youbet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-16-2016, 04:39 PM   #10
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 18,288
Quote:
Originally Posted by medved View Post
Definitely not a few hours work. I use these guys a lot. I talk with them pretty much every week, email questions, have them run various scenarios, etc. Whether it is all necessary or not is a different question, but they are certainly spending time.

...
And a very important question. For $75,000, these guys will want to be doing 'something', or you won't feel you are getting your money's worth. But is what they are doing really helping you?

Plenty of people here do very well by setting an AA, and forgetting about it. Period.

Quote:
For years, I did my own investing. I was not good at it. I was prone to emotional or reactive decisions. I was also afraid of making big errors and as a result I had FAR too much money in cash. (That turned out to be really good in 2008, but it was luck not skill, for sure).
And now you know better! So don't do that!


-ERD50
__________________
ERD50 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-16-2016, 05:18 PM   #11
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
travelover's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 9,897
Quote:
Originally Posted by medved View Post
Definitely not a few hours work. I use these guys a lot. I talk with them pretty much every week, email questions, have them run various scenarios, etc. Whether it is all necessary or not is a different question, but they are certainly spending time.

For years, I did my own investing. I was not good at it. I could not devote the time. And I was prone to emotional or reactive decisions. I was also afraid of making big errors and as a result I had FAR too much money in cash. (That turned out to be really good in 2008, but it was luck not skill, for sure).
OK, sounds like everyone is happy.
__________________
Yes, I have achieved work / life balance.
travelover is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-16-2016, 06:27 PM   #12
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 355
In case you are interested. Here is a thread about DFA vs Vanguard from the Boggleheads forum. The general tone is they are pretty good (given Boggleheads is very pro Vanguard).

https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=113380

Nice to have you as part of the forum.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
__________________
jabbahop is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-16-2016, 06:56 PM   #13
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 2,264
If I had 12.5 million, I would be using an advisor too.
__________________
tmm99 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-16-2016, 07:12 PM   #14
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Midpack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 11,978
It's not unusual for FA's to use a sliding scale. If yours doesn't, I'd ask about it.

And if you value your FA's guidance for what he/she charges, you needn't worry about what anyone here says. This crowd doesn't begin to represent investors/retirees at large...
__________________
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 online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-16-2016, 07:17 PM   #15
Recycles dryer sheets
racy's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 481
Sounds like you're happy with your FA. Also, (beg my pardon), it seems you're poking the forum to stir things up...
__________________
The Big Lebowski: Are you employed, sir?
The Dude: Employed?
racy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-16-2016, 07:46 PM   #16
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
harley's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Following the nice weather
Posts: 6,434
Quote:
Originally Posted by jabbahop View Post
In case you are interested. Here is a thread about DFA vs Vanguard from the Boggleheads forum. The general tone is they are pretty good (given Boggleheads is very pro Vanguard).

https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=113380

Nice to have you as part of the forum.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
I sure wish the phone apps would learn how to spell Bogle. Every time I read "Boggleheads" it makes me think of bobble heads.
__________________
"Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement." - Will Rogers, or maybe Sam Clemens
DW and I - FIREd at 50 (7/06), living off assets
harley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-16-2016, 08:40 PM   #17
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
RobbieB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Central CA
Posts: 2,495
I use one and am happy as a clam. He makes me dough and I don't have to think about it. He knows my style and is not always calling me and pitching. I don't own any mutual funds except for 1 muni bond fund but that's not with his Co. So I have a long list of stocks that are mostly large cap dividend paying stuff and he keeps track of it all so I don't have to.

I'd rather be eating, drinking, cooking and riding motorcycles -
__________________
Retired at 59 in 2014. Should have done it sooner but I worried too much.
RobbieB is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-16-2016, 09:29 PM   #18
Moderator
rodi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: San Diego
Posts: 8,817
Even the low cost folks offer sliding scale for managed accounts. (Schwab offers this.)

Now for a pet peeve of mine. The term "Wealth Management". That's 100% marketing. For you it applies - no one says 12.5 Mil isn't truly wealthy. But that term is used to entice a lot of folks who are not super wealthy... folks with a few hundred thousand. I have a former coworker who kept bragging about her "wealth manager"... she felt wealthy because of this... she's still working and paying almost 1.5% of AUM (on top of expense ratios of the funds the 'wealth manager' put her in) - even though our salaries were similar (mine was actually lower since I worked 80%). She acted like he was so much better than a FA because he called himself a wealth manager. The title struck me as pure ego enticement.... You felt better if you didn't use a FA - but used a "wealth manager" instead.

Ok... off my soapbox.
__________________
Retired June 2014. No longer an enginerd - now I'm just a nerd.
micro pensions 7%, rental income 18%
rodi is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-16-2016, 09:34 PM   #19
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by racy View Post
Sounds like you're happy with your FA. Also, (beg my pardon), it seems you're poking the forum to stir things up...
Yes, I am happy with my FA and for me I think it has been the right choice. But I very much respect the views of those who do not see value in paying an FA.

I should add that no part of my reason for posting this question was to "stir things up" on a forum. (I have better things to do with my time).

Instead, my sole purpose was to hear the reasoning from people who do, and do not, use a financial advisor -- so that I can make sure I have thought about this issue from all perspectives. It seems there are some very smart people on this forum, and I can learn from them.
__________________
medved is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2016, 12:04 AM   #20
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
harley's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Following the nice weather
Posts: 6,434
Well, there are probably more threads on why not to have a financial advisor than any other single topic in this board, so if you are truly interested, head to the search option. The basic reason is that you can do it yourself far cheaper, and probably far better (or at least as well) than any FA can do. Your list of reasons for having a FA is not very convincing to me, but if that's what makes you happy, go for it. I think that's the general trend of this thread, that you've got your mind made up and we're not going to change your mind, so drive on.
__________________

__________________
"Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement." - Will Rogers, or maybe Sam Clemens
DW and I - FIREd at 50 (7/06), living off assets
harley 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
advisor or no advisor frank FIRE and Money 10 04-29-2014 07:58 AM
Retirement wealth management : Annuities & Mutual Funds walkinwood FIRE and Money 2 08-11-2009 10:40 AM
wesabe: web 2.0 financial money management community site free4now FIRE and Money 6 11-20-2006 03:32 PM
Should Financial Management Be Boring? yakers FIRE and Money 4 03-20-2006 05:10 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:17 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.