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Lowest cost Bogle investing style financial advisor?
Old 08-12-2013, 11:18 AM   #1
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Lowest cost Bogle investing style financial advisor?

Maybe I'll try an even more direct, though corollary approach than my last thread.

Aside from DIY, what firm provides the lowest cost/fee ongoing financial advice along the lines of Bogle style investing? Rick Ferri's firm is the closest I have found (I read the Community Rules, hopefully this is not outside their intent - certainly not meant to be). We probably all know people who for whatever reasons are not DIY candidates.

Again, please don't make a case for DIY or self managed target/lifetime funds, there are already plenty of threads/posts along those lines already. Actual ongoing advisors who attempt to provide discipline, not just methodology.
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Old 08-12-2013, 11:22 AM   #2
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If one has enough funds you could use VG financial planners once a year and they would recommend what to do and help you execute any changes and it is free. It would be sort of in-between DIY and FA.
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Old 08-12-2013, 11:38 AM   #3
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I just read an article about wealthfront. Has anyone looked into that? I believe the "advisor" fees were .25% of portfolio value.
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Old 08-12-2013, 01:06 PM   #4
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If one has enough funds you could use VG financial planners once a year and they would recommend what to do and help you execute any changes and it is free. It would be sort of in-between DIY and FA.
Thats what I am doing right now. I feel like its enough with that and an external tax guy.
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Old 08-12-2013, 01:27 PM   #5
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Midpack,
Great question. We had a low-cost online FA discussed here within the last year or so. I liked their investment approach (simple, index funds, mechanical rebalancing, etc), but don't remember their fee structure (or name). I'll keep looking.
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Old 08-12-2013, 02:41 PM   #6
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Post your (entire) situation along with any specuial factors over on the Boglehead forum.

They will give you some excellent advice for nada.
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Old 08-12-2013, 02:52 PM   #7
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Post your (entire) situation along with any specuial factors over on the Boglehead forum.

They will give you some excellent advice for nada.

+1
Bogleheads • View topic - Asking Portfolio Questions
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Old 08-12-2013, 02:52 PM   #8
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If some light hand holding was required, I would use a Vanguard financial planner.
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Old 08-12-2013, 03:06 PM   #9
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Post your (entire) situation along with any specuial factors over on the Boglehead forum.

They will give you some excellent advice for nada.
I suppose Midpack will put that in the DIY category, but really, what is the difference between getting your financial info together to review with an advisor, and getting your financial info together to review with a forum of specialists?

OK, the smart-aleck answer is: the fees!

But seriously, input from a group of specialists with no conflict of interest is probably better than getting input from a single, for-pay 'professional'.

I'll make an analogy from my hobby. If I have a home-brewing question, I have an excellent chance of getting great info from several different angles from a forum of home-brewers. If I go to my local home-brew store, I get one guy's opinion, and it is often off-base (but I wouldn't know that if I relied on the 'pro' only). I have brewing books from well regarded pros, and some of that info is off-base, or out of date.

OK, I know the purpose of the thread was to stick to recommendations for paid advisors. I think we are saying, a forum can be your advisor - you don't have to "DIY" alone. But Rick Ferri seems like one option (the one I had bookmarked). Maybe a newsletter is another? I learned a lot about low cost index funds and other basics from listening to Bob Brinker. I don't feel comfortable with his 'market timing' (though he only rarely moves in/out), but he has simple fund allocations for various risk profiles. $200/year?

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Old 08-12-2013, 04:04 PM   #10
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Steven Evanson. Evanson asset management. $2000 flat fee per year.

http://www.evansonasset.com/
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Old 08-12-2013, 04:24 PM   #11
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Midpack,
Great question. We had a low-cost online FA discussed here within the last year or so. I liked their investment approach (simple, index funds, mechanical rebalancing, etc), but don't remember their fee structure (or name). I'll keep looking.
I think it was Rick Ferri: Low Fee Investment Manager, Low Cost Investment Advisor | Portfolio Solutions
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Old 08-12-2013, 04:34 PM   #12
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Steven Evanson. Evanson asset management. $2000 flat fee per year.

Evanson Asset Management - Main Page
+1

That's what I'm using. Their fee for my 2.4M portfolio is 2500/yr and all invested in DFA funds.
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Old 08-12-2013, 04:58 PM   #13
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Some good ideas so far, thanks.

Evanston does look very Bogleish and low cost. I think I've seen them mentioned before, but I'd forgotten about them.

And I hadn't thought about using VG annually, though an investor could easily panic sell between contacts with VG, so no handholding (apologies as I may be modifying the question from post #1).

And I've referred to VG Portolio Analyzer online periodically, but it's been many years since I requested a formal analysis from VG, maybe it's time...
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Old 08-12-2013, 05:07 PM   #14
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Midpack,
Great question. We had a low-cost online FA discussed here within the last year or so. I liked their investment approach (simple, index funds, mechanical rebalancing, etc), but don't remember their fee structure (or name). I'll keep looking.
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I think it was this outfit: Wealthfront Advisors
Here's their whitepaper on what they do: Wealthfront Whitepaper
They use index-based ETFs, charge 0.25% (zero on the first $10K), do tax loss harvesting, etc. Burton Malkiel leads the investment team, so they are MPF-based. Their online tools, questionnaire, etc. look pretty good. They don't provide tax advice.

Another outfit doing something similar is Betterment.com. Their web site looks a bit "thinner".

I haven't done any real research on either of these companies. I don't have investments with either of them.
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Old 08-12-2013, 05:31 PM   #15
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Steven Evanson. Evanson asset management. $2000 flat fee per year.

Evanson Asset Management - Main Page
Though I am not looking for an adviser, I went on their Web site and found some good reading material. Thanks for posting.
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Old 08-12-2013, 06:59 PM   #16
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I would suggest checking out Rick Ferri's Portfolio Solutions company. They charge a low portfolio management fee of .25% and use low cost Vanguard funds to build your portfolio. I looked into them and liked what I read but still was not ready to let go of doing it all by myself. I use mostly Vanguard Index funds as it is, along with some individual stocks.Good Luck
Tom
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Old 08-12-2013, 07:16 PM   #17
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Just a heads-up: Portfolio Solutions recently changed their fee structure.

Here's the current information from the website:
"Our management fee at Portfolio Solutions® is only 0.37% per year for your first $3 million in assets under management, and decreases even further to just 0.20% for assets over $3 million.*

[snip]

*A total relationship value below $1 million is subject to a $925 minimum quarterly fee in lieu of the 0.37% annual management fee."

The Low Fee Advantage | Portfolio Solutions
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Old 08-12-2013, 09:55 PM   #18
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All of these suggestions sound like they're for investing advice only. That's only a small part of an FA's job. Insurance, estate planning, spending and retirement readiness, Roth conversion timing, tax efficiency beyond just tax managed funds, and college savings are a few things I can think of that Rick Ferri and Vanguard aren't going to help you with. Someone could leave a lot on the table by just getting investment advice.
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Old 08-12-2013, 10:12 PM   #19
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I use Vanguard for financial planning. I have a dedicated financial advisor who does a pretty good job staying in touch with me. You can schedule an appointment online via their web site. I believe you get different levels of service depending on your account balance, so YMMV. However, I've found their advice to be good, and I never feel like I'm being sold products I don't need. And it's always free.

I asked them if they thought I should cash in my CD's earning 3.5% and put some of the money in the stock market, and they told me not to rush since I already have good exposure to equitiies. They could have easily encouraged me to take my money out of the bank and hand it over to them, but they did not.

Fidelity, OTOH, was a completely different experience for me. The first thing my FA did was try to pitch me their Portfolio Advisory services, where they would charge me about 1.25% to manage my money. When I asked them what they did to earn that fee, they told me how frequently they would buy and sell stocks and funds to earn a bigger return. When i asked them how tax efficient this strategy was, they quickly backed down and pitched an alternate strategy. The guy sounded like a used car salesmen. That was the main reason I opened an account at Vanguard and began moving most of my money over there.

Fidelity's basic FA services were also free to me, btw, but essentially worthless. The guy would talk to me for an hour at a time and barely ask me any questions. He was just really long winded but never said anything particularly useful.
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Old 08-13-2013, 11:05 AM   #20
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"Our management fee at Portfolio Solutions® is only 0.37% per year for your first $3 million in assets under management, and decreases even further to just 0.20% for assets over $3 million.*

[snip]

*A total relationship value below $1 million is subject to a $925 minimum quarterly fee in lieu of the 0.37% annual management fee."

The Low Fee Advantage | Portfolio Solutions
Thanks--that's quite an increase in costs. Too bad, because I like Rick Ferri's approach. He's been very honest, too, that you can do all of this yourself (and he's written books on how to do it). From that perspective it's very above board: Do it yourself as I've shown you, but if you choose you can pay us .37% and we'll take care of it."

One thing I found interesting about the Wealthfront site was that their service is free for the first $10K in investments. You could just invest $10K with them, pay nothing, and then mirror their moves for the rest of your portfolio above that. They specifically mention this in their FAQs, but then note that they think most customers will probably just choose to pay the .25% fee on their entire account to avoid the hassle of making the trades/moves.
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