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Old 04-23-2016, 10:24 AM   #41
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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?
When I worked for a megacorp everyone (including me) would hear about a fund or two and invest money there. No knowledge of investing at all. Word of mouth. Fidelity Magellan was the king back then.

Nobody in my family nor friends are involved in investing. Most of them are not interested in learning where to put their money.

I was told by a family member that I am obsessed with money. Maybe that is how DIY's are viewed by people who are not interested in saving or investing money wisely.
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Old 04-23-2016, 04:01 PM   #42
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I said I don't know any personally. I probably should have said - I am sure some of my friends/acquaintances are FI, but since I/we never talk money-investing, we'd never know...
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Old 04-23-2016, 04:47 PM   #43
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At least some of my former co-workers were DIY. I didn't know of any that used an FA, though it's harder to tell. Those of us that were DIY (core group of 4 or 5 in my work group) tended to find each other and discuss investments in hall talk. I don't know if others had an FA, didn't have money to invest, didn't want to be influenced by us, or just weren't interested in buying individual stocks like we mostly were.

From what I gather of ski friends and neighbors, I can think of at least 2 right off the bat who "have a guy", and 3 who seem to be DIY. Now I'm the guy who's not investing in individual stocks so I'm not really involved in their talks, but I do hear them talking about stocks. Could be they have an FA but they seem to be evaluating a lot rather than just talking about what they own. I seem to have brought one over to VG index funds.
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Old 04-23-2016, 05:10 PM   #44
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I seem to have brought one over to VG index funds.
I respect the strength of the Boglehead cult. But it seems many of the followers attach an importance to exclusively using the Vanguard brokerage that surpasses my common sense test. But that's just me.......

Do you think a DIYer can do OK using no load, low cost index funds while keeping his/her money at some other broker or does it have to be VG out of reverence for Bogle?
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Old 04-23-2016, 05:10 PM   #45
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I'm familiar with the FA status of 5 retired co-workers + me. It's 3 & 3.
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Old 04-23-2016, 05:29 PM   #46
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I respect the strength of the Boglehead cult. But it seems many of the followers attach an importance to exclusively using the Vanguard brokerage that surpasses my common sense test. But that's just me.......

Do you think a DIYer can do OK using no load, low cost index funds while keeping his/her money at some other broker or does it have to be VG out of reverence for Bogle?
Oh, I don't care, VG isn't the only game in town as far as I'm concerned, even though that's where I am with just about everything. I can't even recall if I said it was VG that I'm using. I just remember saying that I tracked my individual stocks against my index funds and found over a pretty good time period that I couldn't beat them, so I stopped trying and over time got out of all my stocks. He must've taken a look at his own returns and found the same because he told me a year or two later that he was pretty much doing the same.
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Old 04-23-2016, 05:54 PM   #47
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Other than people here I can't say I know of any for sure. One BIL (the brighter one) mentioned once that he invested in a target date fund so I don't know if that qualifies as "DIY". But at least he's not going to make any horribly bad mistakes that way. And he's retired federal CSRS so it's almost certainly in TSP and very low fees.

My younger sister I think handles it herself but we haven't discussed it so I don't know for sure. She's about the same as me on the frugalness scale and is pretty independent-minded so if I had to bet I'd think she handles it herself.
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Old 04-23-2016, 06:03 PM   #48
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+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.
I was impressed that when we were forced to roll our 401k funds from former employer to new employer (after an acquisition) the default fund was a target age fund based on your birth year. This turned out to be a decent default.


Unfortunately, not all 401(k)s are the same. DH's final employer had one of the crappiest I'd ever seen... Not only high ER's on the funds - but front and back loads. Not an index fund in sight. He contributed enough for the match - and that was it. I wrote about it here: WWYD- Husbands craptastic 401k plan
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Old 04-23-2016, 09:13 PM   #49
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I respect the strength of the Boglehead cult. But it seems many of the followers attach an importance to exclusively using the Vanguard brokerage that surpasses my common sense test. But that's just me.......

Do you think a DIYer can do OK using no load, low cost index funds while keeping his/her money at some other broker or does it have to be VG out of reverence for Bogle?
I think the reason for the Bogle cult is that not that long ago there weren't really any comparable low cost index funds. Twenty years ago Fidelity had fairly high costs, although definitely lower than EJ and LPL and others like that. VG was the firstest with the bestest, and developed quite a strong following.

Of course there are other options now, and anyone can choose to use whichever brokerage works best for them. But I don't think VG and the bogleheads can be dissed for being true believers. It's like all the denominations of the Protestant church. Pick your brand, but be aware that they wouldn't be there without the Catholics.
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Old 04-23-2016, 09:55 PM   #50
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I think the reason for the Bogle cult is that not that long ago there weren't really any comparable low cost index funds. Twenty years ago Fidelity had fairly high costs, although definitely lower than EJ and LPL and others like that. VG was the firstest with the bestest, and developed quite a strong following.

Of course there are other options now, and anyone can choose to use whichever brokerage works best for them. But I don't think VG and the bogleheads can be dissed for being true believers. It's like all the denominations of the Protestant church. Pick your brand, but be aware that they wouldn't be there without the Catholics.
+1
Bogle changed the good ole boy fund industry. I'm sure he has a lot peers at other funds that really tried to make him fail. I do hold Vanguard funds in my 401K, the money I manage is at Fidelity.

I do think Vanguard is a good place for the average person with little investment knowledge to get a descent value for cost. I've seen some pitches from Fidelity that feature high fee funds, no index funds. Other than missing FE loads and 12B1 fees the cost would make old ed jones happy.
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Old 04-23-2016, 11:09 PM   #51
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anyone can choose to use whichever brokerage works best for them.
+1
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Old 04-24-2016, 12:34 AM   #52
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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.
I knew of three, not counting my wife or daughter.

I tried repeatedly to get information on expense ratios for my 401k. I was stonewalled on every attempt. I finally found out a few years ago, but then was told that my employer paid all expenses. I never saw anything withheld for expenses. By the time I found out, I was moving money to an IRA, anyway.
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Old 04-24-2016, 12:46 AM   #53
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I know of at least 4 friends that are DIY's. And with 3 of them, I exchange ideas about specific stocks and ETF's to invest in. But we don't discuss specific numbers or the value of our portfolios.
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Old 04-24-2016, 01:01 AM   #54
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I've seen some pitches from Fidelity that feature high fee funds, no index funds. Other than missing FE loads and 12B1 fees the cost would make old ed jones happy.
Agreed, Fido offers a wide array of funds, many of them quite spendy er-wise.

To the question, I know of three folks in-person who I'd consider informed DIY investors. I guess add a fourth, for my FA mom...

401k workers have to pick out their funds, so in a sense they could be considered DIY; but I think the spirit of the OP's post doesn't consider a 401k zombie as a true DIY'er.
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Old 04-24-2016, 06:09 AM   #55
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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?
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When I worked for a megacorp everyone (including me) would hear about a fund or two and invest money there. No knowledge of investing at all. Word of mouth.
My megacorp links their 401k to Financial Engines (FE). According to megacorp promotional material, 35% of the employees pay fees to FE to invest their 401k and I should join them. From what I've seen, they invest in a balanced mix of high cost active funds to replicate our low cost target date fund options. Their literature says they beat the average investor but they cannot say they beat index funds or our target date funds. When I ask why they are using FE instead of a target date fund, they usually say they want to be diversified and not have all their eggs in one fund.

Within my group, several people invested in the 401k funds recommended by their Edward Jones advisors and were happy to share the information. I would say the advisors had at least some influence over the majority of the group due to word of mouth.
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Old 04-24-2016, 07:18 AM   #56
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Maybe none. I make all of the investment decisions myself, but use my friend/advisor as a sounding board. He gets the transaction fee (discounted since I use the online service), but he makes no trades himself. Does that mean I am not a DIYer? I know some others who act in a similar way to greater or lesser degrees.


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Old 04-24-2016, 11:12 AM   #57
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I was reading an conversation on how to find a good FA. One of the posters mentioned that with a little time a person could do it himself and avoid the fees. The original poster immediately replied that she was 'not good at math' and therefore needed the advisor.
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Old 04-24-2016, 11:59 AM   #58
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Maybe none. I make all of the investment decisions myself, but use my friend/advisor as a sounding board. He gets the transaction fee (discounted since I use the online service), but he makes no trades himself. Does that mean I am not a DIYer? I know some others who act in a similar way to greater or lesser degrees.


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I'm sure there will be a variety of opinions on this. I'd say you are not a DIYer since you pay a fee to a FA.

But, it's a continuum ranging from folks who pay a committee of CPA's, FA's and attorney's to literally "take care of everything" to folks who use absolutely zero outside resources (true, purist DIYers). You, like me, are somewhere in the middle.

The whole discussion of trying to force every person and situation into DIY or not is kind of silly since everybody and every situation is a bit different.
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Old 04-24-2016, 01:39 PM   #59
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I know one friend (former co-worker) who does his own DIY with a lot of slice/dice although he only does index/mutual funds in his 401K and in his Roth IRA. I know other former co-workers do their own 401K's, but I don't now how well. I knew one guy said his 401K total went up by 40% many years ago, but I believe he had 100% of his 401K in the energy sector, and I don't know if I can call that sane DIY investing. I have one old co-worker (PhD) who invests in one target fund for her 401K because (her words) she has no idea how to invest.

So most of the DIY investors I know are DIY investors, but without knowing how to do a good job at it.

I am a DIY investor and my feeling is I am a mediocre one at best, but when I saw the report by VG consultation years ago, theirs was quite simple with only a handful of funds, and I feel I could do that. I would like a little more tilt here and there, and that might get me in trouble, but ignorance could be a bliss in some ways??
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Old 04-24-2016, 01:41 PM   #60
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I was reading an conversation on how to find a good FA. One of the posters mentioned that with a little time a person could do it himself and avoid the fees. The original poster immediately replied that she was 'not good at math' and therefore needed the advisor.
Remember that we on this forum set the bar pretty high with regard to math skills. We are mostly well-educated introverts, and introverts tend to think math is actually interesting. Most of us have skills well beyond those needed to understand a statement like "If I allocate 40% to bonds and 60% to stocks, my portfolio has an X% chance of surviving 40 years", but I bet that the majority of the population does not have the math skills to really understand what that means, much less to do the legwork, e.g., FireCalc, needed to figure that out.
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