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Old 01-24-2012, 09:24 AM   #121
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....I see Vanguard has a Canadian site: https://www.vanguardcanada.ca/portal...t-vanguard.jsp

Maybe someone there can be your FA no. 15
Wait, I see someone mentioned Vanguard's Canadian site several posts ago
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Old 01-24-2012, 09:37 AM   #122
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Some people mow their grass themselves, some people chose to pay someone else to mow their grass (even though they could easily do it themselves).

Statistically most people don't manage their own investments very well - half of investors are below average by definition. They use financial planners or go it alone without a good knowledge base, in either case it's costly but inevitable. [Not that financial planners can't be a net positive to returns providing above average results, but there are many more who will provide below average results if only due to extracting fees & commissions. MD seems to have had the latter experience - sadly 14 times (that's criminal IMO)!]

Problem is, you've chosen to debate this in a community forum made up of DIY investors, that minority who use financial planners on an exception basis if at all. DIY investors know enough to forego the best possible results (knowing the risks are huge), for a higher probability of above average results. That comes with education, and can be as simple as reading and understanding one book (many have already been named in posts above).

We've given you lots of answers, but it just seems to generate more and more questions. I wish I could be more helpful...


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  • I’m not sure if Canada has Vanguard, but my question was not answered before, what is Vanguard? Google?
  • And this is what confuses me since the TSX had gone up to it’s highest point until 2008, wasn’t there an opportunity to make a substantial amount of a return up until that point? Now I know we don’t have a crystal ball but when the housing crisis happened in the States wouldn’t it have been wise to stick with bonds until things got more settled? Hindsight is a wonderful thing...
  • I wasn’t asking for significant returns, I was asking for a reasonable return and not only did I not get a return, I’m way down. No financial planner can guarantee a positive return either.
  • If you have consistently not made money with several advisors would you consider any of them “good advisors”? Good is relative, if they outperform benchmarks after their expenses, they've done a "good" job. IOW, if the market is down 20% and your equity portfolio is down 10%, they've done very well.
  • Sorry Ha, but “one week”? As for the 1%, I’m presently trying it on my own with part of the portfolio and I’m also not making money.
  • When I tell an advisor that I want to make money and I haven’t, what part didn’t they understand? With all due respect, it shows you don't understand markets at all. As for the Financial Web Ring, at first I thought it was the way I presented myself, but after receiving numerous pm’s from fellow newbie’s stating the same concerns and frustration I knew I wasn’t the only one. I know there are several members on this forum that are also members on the FWF so I hope I haven’t stepped on any toes.
  • To me a good advisor is one that looks after your portfolio and in let’s say 5 years you’ve made money. I poor investor is one that makes more money that you have over the same time period. I figure in the last 5 years I’ve paid close to $50,000 in fees and I’m down more then that. Would they be considered good FA? Would you say that establishment that has invested my money has benefited much more then I have? It would have been nice if I made as much as they have…………NO? The answers have been offered several times in earlier posts, it's up to you now IMO.
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Old 01-24-2012, 09:56 AM   #123
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So, VG advisors are good advisors because they're free? How do you know you're getting good advice?
Since I don't use them, I don't. But if I were to use an "advisor" it would be vanguard, just to help me diversify my port.

I just believe that an advisor is only as good as how the market does that year. As long as my approx 50/40/10 is where I want it I'm good with the world. So I don't need an advisor to index IMHO.

FD, can you honestly say that you can consistently beat the market more so than just indexing?
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Old 01-24-2012, 10:29 AM   #124
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Based on the recent replies I maybe looking at this all wrong. I had a choice years back in that I could have stuck my money in something that was guaranteed to make at least 2% per year to let’s say 10% over the course of 5 years but I didn't. I attempted to find several of the best recommended advisers from one of the 5 major leading banks in Canada and paid them a large sum over that course of time in hope they would do a better job by investing for me. I told them to invest in what they felt would give me the best returns possible. In the end, I’m down oh maybe 10% , but since nobody had a crystal ball I took a gamble and decided against the guaranteed 10% return and still should feel I have had good advisers since they beat the TSX by maybe 1% after there fees?

All along I felt a good advisor would have told me that based on recent events they felt that the market was too unstable and that I should put our portfolio into fund that net a better return until the market was more stable such as maybe bonds.

Is this a correct assumption, if not then my way of thinking is flawed?
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Old 01-24-2012, 10:42 AM   #125
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All along I felt a good advisor would have told me that based on recent events they felt that the market was too unstable and that I should put our portfolio into fund that net a better return until the market was more stable such as maybe bonds.
Any advisor who told you this would have just been guessing, so yes your expectations of clairvoyance are very unrealistic. Now you know why most of us don't feel it is worth paying an advisor.
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Old 01-24-2012, 10:51 AM   #126
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Originally Posted by My Dream View Post

All along I felt a good advisor would have told me that based on recent events they felt that the market was too unstable and that I should put our portfolio into fund that net a better return until the market was more stable such as maybe bonds.

Is this a correct assumption, if not then my way of thinking is flawed?
Advisors make money from fees and commissions you pay them. I don't think any of them would tell you "Sorry, I can't help you" regardless of market conditions. They probably believed they could make you money, they certainly knew they wouldn't make any money off you if they turned you away.

If there is any lesson to be learned from all this it should be this: No one is more concerned about your money than you. Take the excellent advice you've been repeatedly given on this thread and learn enough to DIY with a little assistance. Talk with Vanguard. Get an idea of what you think you should do with an investment strategy/AA and post it here for input. It really isn't rocket science.

Not to be harsh, but all the "where did I go wrong" analysis regarding poor financial advisor performance is not moving you in the direction you need to go. Invest some time and effort into educating yourself and it will be rewarded many times over. Here is an excellent place to start: Road Map for Investing Success | An Investing Primer
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Old 01-24-2012, 11:20 AM   #127
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FD, can you honestly say that you can consistently beat the market more so than just indexing?
Well, DFA has been able to do that failry consistently, but most folks on here would never pay an advisor for that access............

If I personally could beat the market consistently, I would be a hedge fund or MF manager.
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Old 01-24-2012, 12:04 PM   #128
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Oh and doneff, I've tried to figure it out myself, as a matter of fact I've been a member of The Financial Webring forum since 2007 and have left several times since I needed to get a thicker layer of skin before returning.
As a sponsor of FWF, I can only recommend that you read their finiki before stumbling into the forum itself. It turns out that there are not many Gods posting there (although there are many balanced index fund ETF bigots). But you can get past that and find some value.

Plus the FAs in Canada extract a large fee every year so you have to get over 3% just to pay them. Yes Vanguard has just entered Canada but they do not have the long history like in the US. There are TD efunds that offer low overheads and have a proven track record.

But I strongly advice the finiki because Canada is different. A helper from Bogleheads wiki is contributing.

(Think of it like plumbing basics.)
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Old 01-24-2012, 12:05 PM   #129
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I still maintain there are more bad FA/FP's than good but...

Based on listening to my former employees, using a financial advisor is usually a Catch-22 unless you are very, very rich (that's another topic, let's not go there in this thread). People who can't or won't learn enough to invest on their own and turn to an FA usually have completely unrealistic expectations. They expect a guarantee of positive returns irrespective of the market/economy and/or well above average returns.

And those customers often undermine the FA by panic selling or acting on "hot tips" from relatives and friends and then wondering why their results are so erratic. I have watched others first hand not only make obvious mistakes, but then repeat them over and over.

And we see evidence of this behavior here too, though fortunately it seems to be a minority here.

I watched it with sadness with employees when I was working...
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Old 01-24-2012, 12:09 PM   #130
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If I personally could beat the market consistently, I would be a hedge fund or MF manager.
IMHO I don't think hedge fund or MF managers do any better than indexing on a constant basis. So you are correct, I won't be paying any "advisors"
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Old 01-24-2012, 12:51 PM   #131
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Sorry Ha, but “one week”?
You misquoted me in a way that completely inverts what I said.

So, do whatever you want, I am sorry I contributed.

Ha
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Old 01-24-2012, 01:14 PM   #132
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Really learning to be a good investor takes interest, time, some money, and a certain habit of mind. Most here do not believe it is possible to be a really good investor, only that it is possible to minimize drag from expenses, transactions, and taxes-and to choose a reasonable allocation and very complete diversification within the bounds of that allocation. To achieve this level of skill should take at most about one week.

Ha
This was the original quote and my understanding was that what takes a week is learning to minimize drag from expenses and choose an allocation. My Dream may have misunderstood.
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Old 01-24-2012, 01:29 PM   #133
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First off thanks to the member that send me the pm re Ha's post, I appreciate the heads up.

Also thanks MichaelB for stating what truly happened which was a misunderstanding as it appears I misread the quote and have no problems deleting my error.

If you took that as an offence then I have no problem in saying "l"m sorry" Ha. As members on this forum I don't see any added value or advantage in misquoting a fellow member. I would like to think fellow member work together to help each other out.

Again.........my apologise and thanks to both of you for quickly bringing this to my attention.
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Old 01-24-2012, 02:51 PM   #134
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I see. I was oversensitive, as I do not like to be misquoted. Misunderstood, sure. But the misquote applied the one week to an level of expertise that only some can achieve, and that many people do not in fact think even exists. The one week applied to a far more modest goal- as Michael B indicated. One week applies to a level of skill to choose an AA, and to understand the concept of rebalancing, and to get Vanguard for example to suggest vehicles to populate the asset categories chosen. People who are interested can spend much more time on this, but for those with moderate interest it seems unnecessary.

It is at least very unlikely that any degree of messing with this can make up for the 1% or possibly more drag from advisor fees.

Ha
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Old 01-28-2012, 03:17 PM   #135
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When I tell an advisor that I want to make money and I haven’t, what part didn’t they understand?
Oh, they understand you just fine. But they don't have your best interests at heart.

To answer another one of your questions: Yes, your way of thinking is flawed. Now change what you're thinking about.

I think you're way too focused on finding an adviser, or at least holding someone else accountable, than you are on educating yourself. Maybe you should stop trying to find an adviser and start trying to learn what your ideal portfolio would look like.

You've been given plenty of suggestions and advice, and you keep jerking the subject back around to advisers. Perhaps before you continue this thread any further you should indicate that you've at least read the Bogleheads Wiki.

Start here: Getting Started - Bogleheads
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Old 01-28-2012, 04:00 PM   #136
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Do it yourself is not that difficult. One fellow who offers a financial management service mentioned that a simple portfolio of index funds, rebalanced once a year would have earned about 6% during the so-called lost decade of the 21st century. He compared that figure with the results of various public pension managers who did not do as well as the index fund portfolio.
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Old 01-29-2012, 12:06 PM   #137
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Oh, they understand you just fine. But they don't have your best interests at heart.
But it is a lot more satisfying to rant about advisors than to start doing something yourself...

It is like asking whether politicians will start caring about who elected them rather than who the powerful people are.
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Old 01-30-2012, 12:15 PM   #138
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Oh, they understand you just fine. But they don't have your best interests at heart.
Define "they"..........
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