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Old 04-22-2016, 04:14 PM   #21
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Not being diligent and/or knowledgeable doesn't mean they are not DIYers. They are indeed doing it themselves.
We will agree to disagree or on a scale of 1-10, 10 being a true DIYer I would give the 401K crowd a 5. Unless they could meet the criteria above, knowing fund name, exp. ratio, managed or index.

I have seen too many people only contribute to a 401K because it was encouraged by their HR department and were absolutely clueless as to what they owned.
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Old 04-22-2016, 04:18 PM   #22
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My son is the only one I know other than myself for certain. I have two cousins I've pointed toward Vanguard to lower their expenses since they asked after receiving an inheritance, so maybe I know two more.


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Old 04-22-2016, 04:19 PM   #23
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I know a number of people who have self-managed brokerage accounts which certainly implies they're DIYing for those. But I don't know if they utilize some form of financial advise or assistance such as robo-advisors or on-line advise commonly available from 401k administrators and similar.

I know a number of them seek financial advise through books, periodicals, web sites, newsletters, discussion groups, adult-ed classes, etc. Not sure if that would impact their status as DIYers or not. For example, if someone followed a newsletter recommended portfolio of low cost index funds with an AA appropirate for their age and circumstances, would that be DIY or "getting advise?"

And I'm at an age where the interaction between investing, taxes and estate planning can sometimes get complicated. I'm buying some advise to get my estate plan and some tax planning in synch. So, I don't know if I can even count myself as a DIYer purist.
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Old 04-22-2016, 04:25 PM   #24
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We will agree to disagree or on a scale of 1-10, 10 being a true DIYer I would give the 401K crowd a 5.
OK, let's just disagree then. I say you are "doing it yourself" if you give it a try and even if you don't have a clue what you're doing. You seem to think some diligence, knowledge or skill must be involved.

Or, said another way, if you called the shots and didn't farm out the decision making to someone else, then you "did it yourself." Even if you were silly enough to do it totally uninformed, etc.
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Old 04-22-2016, 04:26 PM   #25
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I saw a financial advisor once (free consulting for my work's 403b), and that was it. I do DIY for everything else. I just do some rotation. Almost minimal small caps for me this year, and more blue chips and real estate. Most of my cash are in high interest muni bond funds. Muni bond funds I bought at the beginning of the year have appreciated a lot.
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Old 04-22-2016, 04:29 PM   #26
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My son is the only one I know other than myself for certain. I have two cousins I've pointed toward Vanguard to lower their expenses since they asked after receiving an inheritance, so maybe I know two more.


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Although Vanguard is now pushing offering FA services. Your cousins could be with Vanguard and getting advise from Vanguard.
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Old 04-22-2016, 04:57 PM   #27
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I don't know hardly anyone other than my parents that uses a financial adviser. Of course most people I know just stick money in a 401k/457/403b and call it a day. Pretty much anyone I talk to also knows about low cost index funds too.

Maybe it's an age thing (I'm 35; most peers are similar), or maybe I have a positive effect on educating friends and associates on investing. I have extricated at least one person from a 2%/yr fee Ameriprise leech and got them into 0.1x% vanguard ETFs/funds.
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Old 04-22-2016, 05:14 PM   #28
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About half of the people I know use a FA. Most think the FA is some sort of 'expert'. Even some of the stocks they have told me they are in, are no better than the S&P.

It's OK that a portfolio doesn't beat the S&P on the way up, as long as it doesn't beat it on the way down. But when the good stocks don't beat it, it's bad. They even had smaller dividends that the S&P.
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Old 04-22-2016, 05:33 PM   #29
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I know two former coworkers who for sure are DYI - even by Frayne's more rigid definition.... When our division was sold off - I had long discussions with them about the pros/cons/expense ratios/etc of the new 401k plan we were shoved into. You could tell they, like me, were already researching and making decisions - as soon as the info came out - a few weeks before we could start selecting investments...

I know most of my coworkers chose *not* to do the managed investing offered with this 401k... but many did come talk to me about the analysis I'd done on ERs. (I'd marked up the info with ERs, AA's of funds, etc... ) If they asked my advice I gave them canned answers - go with a target fund or split between the vanguard total stock (the only fund offered that had super low ER) and the stable value fund in some AA that made them feel good. (For must I suggested 60/40).

Of my family non-worktype friends... My sister and cousins use FAs. My 2 in laws that have assets to speak of use FAs (and one has bought too many annuities). Another has everything in CDs at the bank.

One friend was totally DIY - but when he got a large settlement (mega million?) he decided to go with a FI at that point.
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Old 04-22-2016, 05:37 PM   #30
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Old 04-22-2016, 05:42 PM   #31
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We will agree to disagree or on a scale of 1-10, 10 being a true DIYer I would give the 401K crowd a 5. Unless they could meet the criteria above, knowing fund name, exp. ratio, managed or index.

I have seen too many people only contribute to a 401K because it was encouraged by their HR department and were absolutely clueless as to what they owned.
By these criteria, I think most of us were once 5s, and are now 10s or close to it. For years, I contributed a lot of money to my 401k, but it was not until I was about 40 years old that I took an interest in investing and learned about concepts that now seem very basic to me like asset allocation, risk tolerance, fees, and rebalancing.

What I'm getting out of this thread is that we don't know very many informed DIYers, but we know a lot of uninformed DIYers and a lot of people who pay financial advisors. Personally, I have no idea how the vast majority of my acquintances handle their investments. I can occasionally infer something when somebody makes an offhand comment, but I never have deep discussions with one or two exceptions.
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Old 04-22-2016, 05:50 PM   #32
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We grow our own, always have. We B&H. We started buying stocks in 1975. We held, held and held some more. Through ups and downs. Never sold until after retirement when we started taking out small amounts to supplement a pension and SS. Our very hard work through the years and our buy and hold approach to investment turned this poor couple, from the wrong side of the tracks, into multi millionaires. Anything we needed to know about managing money, investments and taxes we learned from books ourselfs. And, we are very proud of it thank you.
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Old 04-22-2016, 05:53 PM   #33
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We actually have fairly decent risk-based asset allocation fund options in our 457 (Conservative, Moderate, Aggressive; ER 0.3-0.4%). Those are pretty much what most of my co-workers invest in.
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Old 04-22-2016, 06:00 PM   #34
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I had a FA for part of my investments for 10 years. The money that I managed did better than what he did so I took it all back myself.
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Old 04-22-2016, 06:19 PM   #35
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Virtually everyone I know uses a FA. Generally they are smart folks that either know very little about finances or just prefer to spend time doing other things and are happy to pay someone to handle their finances.

I'm the odd one out since I don't use one. But I like fiddling around with finances as well as saving the money for fees so DIY makes sense to me.

Different strokes for different folks.
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Old 04-22-2016, 06:42 PM   #36
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I don't know any in person, just a bunch here anonymously. Thank goodness for this place!
Same here. I don't talk to my friends about investing. Well except for one and he's an early retiree as well. But that's it.
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Old 04-22-2016, 10:20 PM   #37
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Only if they know the name of the fund, exp. ratio and if it is an actively managed fund or and index fund.
Hell, I don't know my fund names or expense ratios, and especially not the ticker symbols, and I'm definitely a DIYer. I can look them up if I want the exact name or ratio, just like I look up anything else I want to know. I have too few working memory cells to waste them on things like that. Luckily I can still remember the passwords to sign on and look them up. Of course I have a password keeper for when those cells give up the ghost.
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Old 04-23-2016, 07:17 AM   #38
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I'm not sure because the subject doesn't come up very often.

Little sis and BIL recently sold their business and I was encouraging them to DIY or at least avoid a bad FA but they ultimately went with an FA they claim is good. I have a friend who was considering retiring who I was talking with and I recall her mentioning having an FA as do a couple of my golf buddies for whom it came up in conversation.

Other than DD because I steered her that way, DS and DM because I do it, no DIYers come to mind but there but i just don't know one way or the other. Actually, I think my uncle is DIY as well, so there is at least 1.
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Old 04-23-2016, 09:09 AM   #39
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Pretty much everybody at every megacorp. They pick something for their 401k funds and let it ride. Wouldn't that count?
+1. That is the reality of it. Most people just go with some early suggestions and wake up in their mid 50s when retirement looms. That is why we could use some much better defaults on these plans, opt out full participation, coupled with lifestyle funds are possible defaults that could help. There may be better approaches.

As to the original question, like several others the only conscious DIYers I know are on this forum. The rest are either unthinking 401Kers or woke up at some point and went with an FA -- maybe that would be more accurately half woke up. I did the later in my 40s and the full DIY after stumbling on this forum.
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Old 04-23-2016, 09:47 AM   #40
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All of my brothers and sister do not use FA. They all did very well.


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