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fixed fee investment advisor
Old 05-09-2007, 09:37 PM   #1
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fixed fee investment advisor

http://www.evansonasset.com/

This company appears to offer investment advisory services for relatively low fixed fees.

Any thoughts on this company?
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Re: fixed fee investment advisor
Old 05-10-2007, 07:41 AM   #2
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Re: fixed fee investment advisor

There are many such companies that give you access to DFA funds with various low fees and services. Have you looked and compared it to www.cardiffpark.com www.altruistfa.com www.assetbuilder.com www.portfoliosolutions.com www.ifa.com et al.?
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Re: fixed fee investment advisor
Old 05-10-2007, 03:24 PM   #3
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Re: fixed fee investment advisor

How about Vanguard? They're even cheaper............
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Re: fixed fee investment advisor
Old 05-10-2007, 04:37 PM   #4
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Re: fixed fee investment advisor

He's a well educated guy who from what I hear runs a good practice

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Re: fixed fee investment advisor
Old 05-10-2007, 05:52 PM   #5
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Re: fixed fee investment advisor

I like the articles on the Evanson website. They cover the investment territory well without the IFA marching band attitude. One of the articles talks about the costs of professional services and that after set-up, the annual time and costs should be no more than what you would pay other professionals for their time. Note that only brokerages and advisors directly ask for a % of your assets for their services. How many other advisors talk like that? When someone is investing your money for market returns and not alpha, that seems reasonable to not ask for a % of the nest egg.
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Re: fixed fee investment advisor
Old 05-11-2007, 06:13 AM   #6
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Re: fixed fee investment advisor

Quote:
Originally Posted by heyyou
When someone is investing your money for market returns and not alpha, that seems reasonable to not ask for a % of the nest egg.

That gets a little more complicated in practice. What tends to happen is that as people get more money they expect more services. If you are only providing investment management services then what you say may be true, but not always. Even for just management the clients on the higher end want better reporting, more frequent meetings, more meetings with their other advisers, and more hand holding.
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Re: fixed fee investment advisor
Old 05-11-2007, 07:13 AM   #7
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Re: fixed fee investment advisor

Quote:
Originally Posted by saluki9

That gets a little more complicated in practice. What tends to happen is that as people get more money they expect more services. If you are only providing investment management services then what you say may be true, but not always. Even for just management the clients on the higher end want better reporting, more frequent meetings, more meetings with their other advisers, and more hand holding.
The people I've talked to don't seem to get much attention from their advisors no matter how much money they have in their accounts. My recent convert from having his money managed had well over $1MM in several accounts with a manager. He'd get a quarterly statement and an occasional note about portfolio changes. If he asked a question it would take a month or more before he'd get an answer. He could never reach the guy by phone. When he sent in the paperwork to move the account he did get a quick phone call.
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Re: fixed fee investment advisor
Old 05-11-2007, 09:30 AM   #8
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Re: fixed fee investment advisor

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2B
The people I've talked to don't seem to get much attention from their advisors no matter how much money they have in their accounts. My recent convert from having his money managed had well over $1MM in several accounts with a manager. He'd get a quarterly statement and an occasional note about portfolio changes. If he asked a question it would take a month or more before he'd get an answer. He could never reach the guy by phone. When he sent in the paperwork to move the account he did get a quick phone call.
What a shame. The people I work with and others I know in this business take it very seriously. At our firm if two weeks go by and somebody here doesn't talk to a client, then the client must be on vacation or doesn't want to be talked to.

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Re: fixed fee investment advisor
Old 05-11-2007, 09:34 AM   #9
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Re: fixed fee investment advisor

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2B
The people I've talked to don't seem to get much attention from their advisors no matter how much money they have in their accounts. My recent convert from having his money managed had well over $1MM in several accounts with a manager. He'd get a quarterly statement and an occasional note about portfolio changes. If he asked a question it would take a month or more before he'd get an answer. He could never reach the guy by phone. When he sent in the paperwork to move the account he did get a quick phone call.
A MONTH? :P :P :P

I guess I'm EXTREME then......I return all client calls within 24 hours unless I have a personal emergency or I am dead.
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Re: fixed fee investment advisor
Old 05-11-2007, 09:42 AM   #10
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Re: fixed fee investment advisor

Quote:
Originally Posted by FinanceDude
A MONTH? :P :P :P
... or I am dead.
That's going to give you a whole new chicken and egg conundrum as far as editing your U-4 won't it?

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Re: fixed fee investment advisor
Old 05-11-2007, 09:43 AM   #11
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Re: fixed fee investment advisor

While I now manage our own investments, my experience before was lukewarm. My advisor would meet with us annually, provide a pretty printed color report of our investments, and usually gloat about good performers (usually in part due to things only that firm foresaw) and explain why the lagging investments were lagging (always something no one on earth could have foreseen). The presentation felt more like a powerpoint show than a personal interactive exchange.

Fees were always included in the report but in my opinion were buried and confusing to tease out, so I would always ask and after some tap dancing I'd get the number. Rarely was I asked about our personal goals beyond "when to you want to retire" and "how much will you need." And as far as customized advice (for example, starting to shift gradually to larger cash holdings in anticipation of FIRE) there was little to none.

I came away thinking that there was a place for honest, fee-only financial advisors for that vast majority of folks who lack the interest, ability, or motivation to manage it themselves. But for those who are willing to make at least a modest effort to inform themselves (books, web, etc.) the added value may be small.

Having said that, I do plan on meeting with a fee only advisor as FIRE approaches, mostly to do a sanity check, make sure I am not doing anything tax-foolish, etc. I'll share up front with him or her that I wasn't planning on major changes in my investments or allocation unless they could point out some major gaffes in the plan (i.e. I'm not gonna start tweaking to [maybe] eke out another 10 basis points).
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Re: fixed fee investment advisor
Old 05-11-2007, 09:44 AM   #12
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Re: fixed fee investment advisor

Quote:
Originally Posted by saluki9
That's going to give you a whole new chicken and egg conundrum as far as editing your U-4 won't it?
That's why they call it "Uphoria".............
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Re: fixed fee investment advisor
Old 05-11-2007, 09:47 AM   #13
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Re: fixed fee investment advisor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa


I came away thinking that there was a place for honest, fee-only financial advisors for that vast majority of folks who lack the interest, ability, or motivation to manage it themselves. But for those who are willing to make at least a modest effort to inform themselves (books, web, etc.) the added value may be small.
Many of the client's we work with have a very high level of financial sophistication. There is still a lot of value to be had in a good advisor, something that you can't replicate on an internet forum or by reading a few books.

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Re: fixed fee investment advisor
Old 05-11-2007, 09:58 AM   #14
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Re: fixed fee investment advisor

I assume it is sorta a vicious self-fulfilling cycle.

If you find a good one, you start recommending him/her to others and others get word. They get more business. More business gives them less time to do all the previous things that drew you to them in the first place...
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Re: fixed fee investment advisor
Old 05-11-2007, 10:00 AM   #15
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Re: fixed fee investment advisor

Quote:
Originally Posted by saluki9
Many of the client's we work with have a very high level of financial sophistication. There is still a lot of value to be had in a good advisor, something that you can't replicate on an internet forum or by reading a few books.
It's not scientific, but FWIW, I have only met 3 people with an investable portfolio over $2 million that go it alone. However, I have met MANY MANY people with a portfolio under $1 million that go it alone..................

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Re: fixed fee investment advisor
Old 05-11-2007, 10:00 AM   #16
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Re: fixed fee investment advisor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Olav23
I assume it is sorta a vicious self-fulfilling cycle.

If you find a good one, you start recommending him/her to others and others get word. They get more business. More business gives them less time to do all the previous things that drew you to them in the first place...
Much like good active managers many good advisors have closed practices

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Re: fixed fee investment advisor
Old 05-11-2007, 10:03 AM   #17
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Re: fixed fee investment advisor

Quote:
Originally Posted by FinanceDude
It's not scientific, but FWIW, I have only met 3 people with an investable portfolio over $2 million that go it alone. However, I have met MANY MANY people with a portfolio under $1 million that go it alone..................

Oh I've met plenty of HNW folks who are do it yourselfers. I was called into a sales presentation the other day (they usually don't let me near potential clients) to do a quick and dirty evaluation of a prospects portfolio. The guy have 4.0M+ in liquid assets. From his derivative positions we estimated his value at risk was far in excess of $2M in any 30 day period. The 75 year old guy didn't have too much of a problem with that.

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Re: fixed fee investment advisor
Old 05-11-2007, 10:07 AM   #18
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Re: fixed fee investment advisor

Quote:
Originally Posted by saluki9
Many of the client's we work with have a very high level of financial sophistication. There is still a lot of value to be had in a good advisor, something that you can't replicate on an internet forum or by reading a few books.
My gut tells me that what you say is true, but could it be that there is another "value peak" for those who are very financially sophisticated or wealthy, and whose investment goals are highly sophisticated?

I wonder if there might be a large group of naive investors truly in need of good advice and guidance on the one hand, and a small but affluent group with complex financial goals or circumstances on the other hand. Both derive net value from cost of a good financial advisor.

Then you have that third group which I and perhaps others identify with, who are well-to-do but not slam-dunk multimillionaires; seek a sound plan recognizing the importance of the basic issues of diversification, SWR, minimal distributions; use mostly low cost index or managed mutual funds, etc.

Do you think there is net value for this type of investor in using a financial advisor charging 1 to 1.5% percent-of-assets? Fee-for-service may be a different story. I'm not asking in a cynical or challenging way, just curious and open-minded about it.
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Re: fixed fee investment advisor
Old 05-11-2007, 10:28 AM   #19
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Re: fixed fee investment advisor

It's an interesting question Rich. It's really two questions

1. Do I need the advisor
2. How should I pay for it?

I think part of the problem people here have is that they assume that all people are like them. I see a lot of people's statements. I can't tell you how many do it yourself folks went all cash in 2001 and didn't think about climbing out until last year. Would they have been better off paying 1% to a pro who would keep them focused? I think so.

In your case you probably are better off with a hourly or project fee based advisor. The problem I have is that many fee based guys don't do it as 100% of their business and the fee clients get shafted as far as attention. The really good fee based guys I know are VERY expensive.

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Re: fixed fee investment advisor
Old 05-11-2007, 11:22 AM   #20
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Re: fixed fee investment advisor

Quote:
Originally Posted by saluki9
It's an interesting question Rich. It's really two questions

1. Do I need the advisor
2. How should I pay for it?

I think part of the problem people here have is that they assume that all people are like them. I see a lot of people's statements. I can't tell you how many do it yourself folks went all cash in 2001 and didn't think about climbing out until last year. Would they have been better off paying 1% to a pro who would keep them focused? I think so.

In your case you probably are better off with a hourly or project fee based advisor. The problem I have is that many fee based guys don't do it as 100% of their business and the fee clients get shafted as far as attention. The really good fee based guys I know are VERY expensive.
Makes sense to me.............I think people on here and in general confuse a true fee-based advisor with the 'average" insuranceplanner/financial rep/mutualfundspecialist/stockbrokerthatdabblesineverything/stocktrader, etc
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