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Independent Financial Advisor in NJ
Old 03-23-2013, 10:52 AM   #1
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Independent Financial Advisor in NJ

Dear ERs,
Has anyone used or know an honest and unbiased Financial Planner/Advisor in NJ which they would like to recommend? I'm in the process of rebalancing my portfolio and would like to build a long term relationship with some Financial Planner who I can trust and rely on. I would like to meet someone personally and go over my portfolio now and in future. I looked at Low Fee Investment Manager, Low Cost Investment Advisor | Portfolio Solutions but they're far away. Has anyone used them? Any recommendation?
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Old 03-23-2013, 11:46 AM   #2
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Evanson asset management.


http://www.evansonasset.com/
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Old 03-23-2013, 01:42 PM   #3
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Thanks Reattempt. It looks very attractive. Are you using them to manage your portfolio?
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Old 03-23-2013, 02:05 PM   #4
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Plug in your zip code:

Fee-Only Financial Advisors Home - NAPFA - The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors

This is how we found ours. She's fee only. If she makes investment suggestions, they are usually for Vanguard funds.
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Old 03-24-2013, 02:24 PM   #5
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The first thing I would do if I were looking for a new advisor would be to ask my best friends, colleagues, etc., who they use AND recommend.

Then do research on them using LinkedIn and putting their name in quotes in your favorite search engine to make sure that you don't "see" at first glance any problems with the FA. Also see Check Out Brokers and Investment Advisers

You might also want to look at the type of advisor you want...
Types of financial advisors | Economy Watch

Then consider things like...
small or big company name, what the FA specializes in (who is their ideal client and is that you), AUM (assets under management that they take on as clients) independent or not, fee based/commission/etc.

Know what your short term and long term (as best you can) needs might be in hiring someone. This way the person you hire is someone you can stay with for a long time.


Here are some websites to visit...

Fee-Only Financial Advisors Home - NAPFA - The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (as SumDay mentioned)
www.fpanet.org

There are also websites that advisors use such as
WiserAdvisor
WealthVisor
Paladin Registry


<mod edit>
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Old 03-24-2013, 02:54 PM   #6
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As you probably know, "By the time you know enough to select a good financial advisor, you don't need one, you can do it yourself." YMMV

Asking people you don't even know online? You might note # of posts from each reply too. Don't misunderstand, we hope for the best for you, but it's a little chancy...
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Old 03-24-2013, 05:34 PM   #7
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Thanks Midpack. I very well hear you! I've also been doing lots of reading on this forum, boglehead and getting myself educated. There is lot to learn and have this fear about DIY that I may mess it up again and at this age(48) can not afford to any more.
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Old 03-26-2013, 03:09 AM   #8
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The first thing I would do if I were looking for a new advisor would be to ask my best friends, colleagues, etc., who they use AND recommend.
Except for the above, the rest of the post was informative. Unfortunately, one's best friends, colleagues, church members, family members, et al. are often the worst folks to get recommendations from. The reason is that most advisors are pretty bad and chances that someone close to you would recommend a bad advisor are very high.

When I ask colleagues who they use and recommend, they invariably talk about "their guy" who charges 1% and puts them in front-end load American funds. Ugh!
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Old 03-26-2013, 08:50 AM   #9
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The first thing I would do if I were looking for a new advisor would be to ask my best friends, colleagues, etc., who they use AND recommend.
Quote:
Originally Posted by LOL! View Post
Except for the above, the rest of the post was informative. Unfortunately, one's best friends, colleagues, church members, family members, et al. are often the worst folks to get recommendations from. The reason is that most advisors are pretty bad and chances that someone close to you would recommend a bad advisor are very high.

When I ask colleagues who they use and recommend, they invariably talk about "their guy" who charges 1% and puts them in front-end load American funds. Ugh!
Agreed. I had an almost identical reply typed, I must have gotten distracted and never hit 'submit'.

-ERD50
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Old 03-26-2013, 10:51 AM   #10
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Wasn't Bernie Madoff one of those advisors recommended by friends and connected to people through synagogs?
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Old 03-26-2013, 11:01 AM   #11
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Except for the above, the rest of the post was informative. Unfortunately, one's best friends, colleagues, church members, family members, et al. are often the worst folks to get recommendations from. The reason is that most advisors are pretty bad and chances that someone close to you would recommend a bad advisor are very high.

When I ask colleagues who they use and recommend, they invariably talk about "their guy" who charges 1% and puts them in front-end load American funds. Ugh!
+1. Everyone thinks their financial advisor is providing a value added service, or they wouldn't continue to employee them. Unfortunately most, but not all, of these customers are wrong - and they realize it much later and many unnecessary $ fees/commissions later.

Just Google "bad financial planners" and read the horror stories for yourself...

If you check polls and threads here, you find that most people here are DIY investors, and the percentage who are prepared for retirement are far higher than the mainstream population. If you must use a financial planner, choose very carefully, unfortunately asking friends and even family is no guarantee.
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Old 03-26-2013, 11:55 AM   #12
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We've been with Bill Schultheis and his team at Soundmark Wealth Management for a year now. My wife and I have been very pleased!
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Old 03-26-2013, 12:14 PM   #13
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+1.
If you check polls and threads here, you find that most people here are DIY investors, and the percentage who are prepared for retirement are far higher than the mainstream population. If you must use a financial planner, choose very carefully, unfortunately asking friends and even family is no guarantee.
And the congregation said "Amen".

At the height of the internet boom, I went to a financial planner, who was recommended by a friend at work. He gathered my information into a really pretty leather notebook, and then tried to sell me a 3% loaded fund. I already understood how much money I had before I went to him. So I left his office with $800 removed from my wallet, and with the resolve to never be so stupid again.
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Old 03-26-2013, 12:31 PM   #14
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The reason is that most advisors are pretty bad and chances that someone close to you would recommend a bad advisor are very high.
I am waiting on empirical data that supports your statement............
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Old 03-26-2013, 12:34 PM   #15
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We've been with Bill Schultheis and his team at Soundmark Wealth Management for a year now. My wife and I have been very pleased!
And what is your measurement criteria for being 'very pleased', 'pleased', or 'displeased'?

-ERD50
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Old 03-26-2013, 01:07 PM   #16
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"And what is your measurement criteria for being 'very pleased', 'pleased', or 'displeased'" Value for our money.

My wife and I see planning for life beyond traditional work to be the 2nd highest priority behind where we'll spend eternity. Therefor, we place quite a bit of importance on the subject.
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Old 03-26-2013, 02:21 PM   #17
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"And what is your measurement criteria for being 'very pleased', 'pleased', or 'displeased'" Value for our money.

My wife and I see planning for life beyond traditional work to be the 2nd highest priority behind where we'll spend eternity. Therefor, we place quite a bit of importance on the subject.
Well, that certainly begs the question:

How did you determine that this advisor gave you 'Value for your money'?

No question that it is an important subject, but that has nothing to do with whether this advisor is good/bad/indifferent.


-ERD50
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Old 03-26-2013, 02:27 PM   #18
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"How did you determine that this advisor gave you 'Value for your money'?

No question that it is an important subject, but that has nothing to do with whether this advisor is good/bad/indifferent."


ERD, all inclusive, but would say the simple monetary measure is against the S&P and BRK.A.
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Old 03-26-2013, 03:42 PM   #19
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I really shouldn't do this, but if I was taking my last breaths and DW asked me for a financial advisor, I'd recommend Rick Ferri first (last time I looked he charged 0.25% and uses low cost indexes, rebalancing & mainstream AA's) or maybe Scott Burns.

But almost anyone can DIY, it's not rocket science even though most brokers work hard to make the public think so.

Caveat emptor...
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Old 03-26-2013, 03:51 PM   #20
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I really shouldn't do this, but if I was taking my last breaths and DW asked me for a financial advisor, I'd recommend Rick Ferri first (last time I looked he charged 0.25% and uses low cost indexes, rebalancing & mainstream AA's) or maybe Scott Burns.

But almost anyone can DIY, it's not rocket science even though most brokers work hard to make the public think so.

Caveat emptor...
I looked into Rick Ferri - His fee went up by 50%. He currently charges .37% for three millions and then .20% for remaining. Also, he requires you to move 100% of your investment to Schwab which I do not want to do - I want to keep my investment where it's now - 90% at Fidelity and 10% with Schwab.

Midpack: What do you think about Evanson? I'm leaning towards him as it'll be 2K/yr and I'll have some help looking after my portfolio. I think his charges are fair and I do not have to change my broker/s firm.
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