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Old 12-05-2012, 09:05 AM   #41
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I don't think Vanguard offers a PAS account. Looks like what he says is true of FIDO:

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Net annual advisory fee : Between 0.25% and 1.7% of your eligible assets invested
But why would anyone who posts here (and reads!) really need a Portfolio Advisory Service®?

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Sounds like kind of an expensive balanced mutual fund with no track record you can pin down.
Right - do we have any evidence that they outperform a simple index AA B&H, after fees?

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Old 12-05-2012, 09:08 AM   #42
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Old 12-05-2012, 10:46 AM   #43
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But why would anyone who posts here (and reads!) really need a Portfolio Advisory Service®?
...
Right - do we have any evidence that they outperform a simple index AA B&H, after fees?

-ERD50
Two reasons come quickly to mind:
1) Diversification of strategies. Clever as we all think we are, it's quite possible that we'll screw up. Having somebody else manage part (stress: part) of your money in a completely different way protects against that.
2) At some point in time, it's possible that you won't be able to manage your investments. Could be as slow as onset of memory loss & energy. Could be as silent as Alzheimer's -- we always thought Mom was okay until one day she couldn't balance her checkbook.
Could be as fast & unforseen as a drunk driver running a red-light.

Y'know, it irks me every quarter when I write the check to Fisher. But I still do it -- for the same reason I keep fire insurance on the house.
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Old 12-05-2012, 10:50 AM   #44
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Simple truth...any company that stalks people in the way that Fisher does is automatically suspicious. If they are so great, why are they calling you 5x a week like they did my Dad? Or mailing reams of paper. In active management of portfolios, the names of the best ones are hard to find, because they don't solicit for business.
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Old 12-05-2012, 11:25 AM   #45
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Two reasons come quickly to mind:
1) Diversification of strategies. Clever as we all think we are, it's quite possible that we'll screw up. Having somebody else manage part (stress: part) of your money in a completely different way protects against that.
2) At some point in time, it's possible that you won't be able to manage your investments. Could be as slow as onset of memory loss & energy. Could be as silent as Alzheimer's -- we always thought Mom was okay until one day she couldn't balance her checkbook.
Could be as fast & unforseen as a drunk driver running a red-light.

Y'know, it irks me every quarter when I write the check to Fisher. But I still do it -- for the same reason I keep fire insurance on the house.
#1 - it is incredibly easy to be very diversified with a few index funds. It might actually be more difficult to determine if any 'adviser' has you properly diversified. We can 'trust' the adviser, but I like 'trust, but verify'. If I can verify, I can DIY.

#2 - OK, but I think this can be done for much less (fewer?) $.

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Old 12-05-2012, 12:42 PM   #46
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Y'know, it irks me every quarter when I write the check to Fisher. But I still do it -- for the same reason I keep fire insurance on the house.
If your house burns down, your fire insurance company will help you get a new one.

If your portfolio burns down, what will Fisher do?

I think your portfolio-advisor metaphor is more appropriate as a vampire squid wrapped around your face...
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Old 12-05-2012, 01:39 PM   #47
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There's a time & place for hating "financial advisors", but that time & place isn't "all the time & everywhere." Y'all might occasionally look up "hubris" in the dictionary and ask yourself if you are falling prone to it. Bogleheads, too, should do this.

Mull over the concept of diverifying among strategies as well as among asset classes.

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If I can verify, I can DIY.
We had a neighbor who was doing very well --- until the day that he was driving to work and got hit by an uninsured non-documented hit-and-run driver. He was in a coma for 2 weeks and when he came out of the hospital he was unable to perform his (professionsl, white-collar) job. Kinda hard to DIY when your brain doesn't work.

Risk management, Risk management, Risk management, is the name of the game. Lower your risk by having somebody else managing part of your money. BTW, I also have part of my money in Fidelity ContraFund (FCNTX).

As far as the Fisher performance, last year I computed that data for my account (including fees & dividends):
Oct'06 thru Mar'11
FCNTX +23%
Fisher +10%
SPY +5%

Jan'09 thru Mar'11
FCNTX +81%
Fisher +105%
SPY +87%

Oct'06 thru Jan'09
FCNTX -33%
Fisher -46%
SPY -44%
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Old 12-05-2012, 01:55 PM   #48
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Mull over the concept of diverifying among strategies as well as among asset classes.

We had a neighbor who was doing very well --- until the day that he was driving to work and got hit by an uninsured non-documented hit-and-run driver. He was in a coma for 2 weeks and when he came out of the hospital he was unable to perform his (professionsl, white-collar) job. Kinda hard to DIY when your brain doesn't work.
That's what my "Read this if I'm dead" letter to DW is for. And if we're both dead, then there's a will. I don't see how having Fisher or anyone else managing a sub-portion of my portfolio helps in a meaningful way. And I am sure that letting them run everything and thereby reducing my effective available annual spending money by 25%-35% is darn costly insurance.
Regarding diversification of strategies: Wouldn't this mean I'd have to assess and deliberately diverge from whatever strategy Fisher is using? If we both decide, independently, to go heavy into beaver cheese futures I'm not sure my portfolio will have much diversification.
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Old 12-05-2012, 02:29 PM   #49
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There's a time & place for hating "financial advisors", but that time & place isn't "all the time & everywhere." Y'all might occasionally look up "hubris" in the dictionary and ask yourself if you are falling prone to it. Bogleheads, too, should do this.
Um, I won't deny the occasional attack of hubris, but I'm pretty darn sure I'm not in the "hater club for financial advisors".

Glad you are happy with them, but I'll stick with Nords' vampire squid description for describing Fisher. If I get hit by a bus, I think well enough of my spouse to be able to manage without me, though I doubt he'll ever really "get" how to load the dishwasher without my constant supervision.
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Old 12-05-2012, 02:54 PM   #50
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There's a time & place for hating "financial advisors", but that time & place isn't "all the time & everywhere." Y'all might occasionally look up "hubris" in the dictionary and ask yourself if you are falling prone to it. Bogleheads, too, should do this.
Oh please.

I see little evidence here than anyone here "hates" financial advisors. What I do see is a belief that a FA is usually an unnecessary expense standing between us and FIRE.

For those who lack the confidence, skill or willpower for DIY investing, a financial advisor can be a perfect solution - provided you can find one that truly has your best interest at heart. Fisher Investments heavy marketing practices don't give me the indication they fit in that category.
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Old 12-05-2012, 03:24 PM   #51
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I'll never forget Ken Fisher saying in a Forbes column in early 2008 that there was NO CREDIT CRISIS! And to load up on stocks!

Guess he got that wrong.

I've bought a few stocks from his recommendations in Forbes (not alot of $$) and none of them has been a good investment.

Stay away from them.
Exactly! Fisher got killed in the financial collapse and so did his investors minus an additional 1.5%.
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Old 12-05-2012, 03:28 PM   #52
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I believe Fisher has a 'one size fits all' portfolio of 80% equities. How's that allocation when you're 80?
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Old 12-05-2012, 04:26 PM   #53
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I see little evidence here than anyone here "hates" financial advisors. What I do see is a belief that a FA is usually an unnecessary expense standing between us and FIRE.
Maybe that is your observation, but there seems to be an awful lot of effort spent here trashing them. Is this accomplishing anything? Well, at least we know what some of us do all day. Why not just ignore the subject?
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Old 12-05-2012, 04:27 PM   #54
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My former boss (company's CEO) was suckered into thinking Fisher Investments was awesome. I sat on the investment management committee for our employee stock ownership plan where we managed a smallish seven figure investment portfolio of mostly equities (generally held in mutual funds during my tenure). The guy from Fisher drove down from the other side of the state to meet with us. I can echo the comments by many others here - light on details, unable to show any good actual performance results, provide references, describe with particularity their strategy, compare their results with similarly risky and similarly allocated portfolios, etc. His performance was so poor, I don't think he could sell to a 90 year old widow, let alone our investment committee. Even my idiot boss didn't fall for his crap. And he falls for every sucker that cold calls him (I wish I was exaggerating!). I remember hearing a lot of buzz words, and I think they had some kind of superduper awesome system (the "Vortex" or "Whirlwind" or something??) that was supposed to produce more return with less risk and limited downside potential. Always a good indicator of BS or outright fraud.

Unfortunately right after I resigned from the employer, they went with a similar investment manager from a local bank. 1.75% fee for managing what was basically a S&P 100 basket of stocks, minus the bad ones ( ). 4 more years till I get the rest of my money from these fools. 4 more years. Just 4 more years...

By the way, I think rayvt is suffering a little cognitive dissonance here. Not liking what he's hearing because it just may be true partly or wholly.
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Old 12-05-2012, 04:35 PM   #55
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Why not just ignore the subject?
Are you saying we shouldn't respond to the OP's question? That would be rude...
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Old 12-05-2012, 08:42 PM   #56
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Ha! I guarantee that Fisher doesn't use the same strategies for my money he manages as I use in my money I manage myself. And Fidelity Contra uses a completely different strategy in the money they manage.

In any case, a 1.25% fee for managing an equity portfolio is not out of line. Sure, it's more than the 0.1% than the index funds cost, but it's not outrageous.

And, um, everybody got crushed in the financial collapse. In the words of Jim Cramer, anybody who says he didn't is a liar. Heck, the S&P lost 50%.

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I believe Fisher has a 'one size fits all' portfolio of 80% equities.
In this you are wrong. This is what I remarked upon in my first post in this thread -- people spouting false information about Fisher. If you don't like them, fine, but throwing around completely incorrect information just reflects poorly on you.

Actually, Fisher will allocate your portfolio with them however you want. Mine is 100% equities, because, hell, why should I pay somebody 1.25% to invest in bonds that are only paying a little more? Fixed income is easy -- just buy BND and IEF and sit on them.
About once a year I get a call from them expressing concern that my account with them is 100% equities. I assure them that they are only seeing a part of my overall portfolio, and that I have plenty of assets in other classes, that the money I have with them is for them to invest in stocks. They always (low key, BTW) ask if I would consider letting them manage all my portfolio, and I always decline.

Youse guys are still not getting my point. No one strategy is guaranteed to be best. All those folks who did buy-and-hold of an S&P500 index fund got that lesson rubbed in their face. And as clever as we all think we are, never forget that you might be wrong, and the super-duper strategy that you think is the cat's meow might just be headed for the ditch.

That's why it's good to have some portion of your investments managed by different people, using different strategies. Risk mitigation.

Na, not cognitive dissonance on my part. I'm not using Fisher because I bought the BS and thinks they walk on water, or that they have some super crystal ball. I'm using them to guard asainst the off chance that my own investment strategies go pear-shaped. Wall Street is littered with the bones of those who "knew" that their strategy was a sure-fired one, and is littered with the bodies of people who misunderstood the risks they were taking on. I small fee on part of my total portfolio is a small price to pay to help ensure that I won't be one of them.
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Old 12-05-2012, 09:26 PM   #57
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Maybe that is your observation, but there seems to be an awful lot of effort spent here trashing them. Is this accomplishing anything? Well, at least we know what some of us do all day. Why not just ignore the subject?
Rust, I've given up on old Ray, but can I try you instead? What I do all day is financial planning. But I still think that the DIYers around here are ok. And even managed to hold on to my high opinion of myself despite the occasional broad brush of ill will that some of my less credentialed and less scrupulous brethren rightfully deserve. Like say, Fisher.
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Old 12-05-2012, 10:39 PM   #58
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There's a time & place for hating "financial advisors", but that time & place isn't "all the time & everywhere."
Only the ones who charge more than Rick Ferri. Maybe you could ask him or Jeff Rose or Eric Haas* for their opinions on Fisher's management.

Now if you can show me someone who's outperformed (after fees, trading costs, and taxes) for 20+ years then I'd be willing to go as high as 0.50%. But one of those guys is Buffett, and he manages my money for just the cost of buying shares of Berkshire Hathaway.

* [Trivia question: Besides being cheap fee-only financial advisors and guys, can you guess what other qualification these three share?]
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Old 12-06-2012, 12:36 PM   #59
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Oh please.
I see little evidence here than anyone here "hates" financial advisors.
Well there are a few, but I won't name names........
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Old 12-06-2012, 12:44 PM   #60
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I don't think it is a matter of "hating" financial advisors. It's a matter of chosing a FA-Free lifestyle and not wanting constant reminders from friends, family, the FA industry and others that you're not chosing the traditional path and need to get on board.
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