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Old 06-20-2012, 01:05 PM   #21
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rdjrd, you may not be getting the responses you expected, but some of them offer good advice.
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Old 06-20-2012, 01:26 PM   #22
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Some people just want to hear what they want to hear.

Here you go, go with ML they will rip you off just as good as EJ. Now go get ready to give your money away.
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Old 06-20-2012, 01:31 PM   #23
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rdjrn, you got a strong reaction from forum members which a bit of perusal of past threads probably would not have come as a surprise. EJ, ML and all the rest of the alphabet soup of advisors generally do not add much value despite their hefty fees. I think you would be better off DIYing. If you aren't comfortable doing so, I would suggest hiring a fee-only planner when you need them. A place to start looking for one of these folks is Fee-Only Financial Advisors Home - NAPFA - The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors.
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Old 06-20-2012, 01:50 PM   #24
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You have to ask yourself some questions before you decide. Do you want to be active with your money? Are you willing to do homework and worry about re-allocating funds when you have growth above your target %'s? Is your plan to be diversified enough that your "milk cows" will continue to give enough "milk" for your lifestyle? I retired... I don't worry about my money. I worry about my attitude and doing things... like having fun. I retired at 53 three years ago and our entire retirement is from savings. It has grown over 35% above our monthly draw in those 3-1/2 years.

I am very pleased with my Edward Jones adviser. There are multiple reasons for this. First, she is ranked eleventh. Second, I don't pay any further fees to trade within any of the vast number of financial instruments available to me when I get a good bump up in the value of my account. Third, if I so choose, she will take care of paying all my bills. Fourth, I have all of my assets in Trust so that I won't have Estate taxes or after my spouse or I pass away the assets are protected from lawsuits against the trust. It is set up with Edward Jones as corporate trustee with specific ways to operate the finances. This costs me nothing extra and my heirs don't have any say in how they get what they get.

These folks take too much pleasure saving pennies, but I never read anything about how much growth they are experiencing.
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Old 06-20-2012, 01:51 PM   #25
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I officially notified my employer of my intent to retire on August 31st (at age 55!). I have been working with both Merrill Lynch and Edward Jones, and both have come up with almost identical plans, both of which are acceptable to me.

How do I choose? Does anyone have any bad or good experiences with either of these firms?

Thanks in advance for any help.
What are your goals? What kind of assets are we talking? ML specializes in HNW and UHNW folks. Their service for folks having under $500K is nothing to write home about. Ed Jones is the "hometown broker" guy/gal, they love American Funds and are told to sell them before anything else............
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Old 06-20-2012, 01:54 PM   #26
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Thank you for the response. This is the first mature response to my question that I've received, and I appreciate it!
Confirmation bias (also called confirmatory bias or myside bias) is a tendency of people to favor information that confirms their beliefs.

This is why the OP liked that one answer from 67, because it was favorable to the position they'd already adopted.
Trouble with confirmation bias is that when you so very want to believe something, it is hard to hear anything else as anything but noise.
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Old 06-20-2012, 01:58 PM   #27
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These folks take too much pleasure saving pennies, but I never read anything about how much growth they are experiencing.

EJ and all the others don't have access to any special investments that nobody else can get: this stuff is all a commodity. So using ML, EJ, etc. is a significant additional drag on your portfolio (due to their cost) without the addition of anything to offset it in the way of return. If you want to pay up for additional services, have at it. But you will be poorer over time than if you had DIY, without a doubt.
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Old 06-20-2012, 02:17 PM   #28
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As I said, saving pennies. I clearly stated that my net value has grown over 35% in the last 3-1/2 years. That is above what we draw monthly to live on. I should also mention that because of the way my draw is done I haven't had to pay any income taxes. That alone pays for my Edward Jones advisory fees. When some of you offer advise I pay heed and listen. Now when I post I'm a heathen without a brain.
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Old 06-20-2012, 02:29 PM   #29
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One thing to consider: if you have more than $25K in combined Bank Of America checking and/or saving accounts, Merrill Lynch offers 30 (thirty) $0 trades per month. I have a few ETF's in my ML account and have paid literally NOTHING when it comes to fees. That is the only reason why I have an account with them (on top of other accounts with different companies and banks). You can also buy Vanguard funds through them. I love Vanguard like the saver next door, but in SOME instances, ML could be convenient and even free (I'm talking about the transaction costs only, of course). Am I missing something here?
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Old 06-20-2012, 02:43 PM   #30
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As I said, saving pennies. I clearly stated that my net value has grown over 35% in the last 3-1/2 years. That is above what we draw monthly to live on. I should also mention that because of the way my draw is done I haven't had to pay any income taxes. That alone pays for my Edward Jones advisory fees. When some of you offer advise I pay heed and listen. Now when I post I'm a heathen without a brain.
I am glad you are happy. You might compare your net worth growth to an indexed equivalent with the same asset allocation before you get too happy.
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Old 06-20-2012, 03:30 PM   #31
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. Now when I post I'm a heathen without a brain.
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Old 06-20-2012, 04:10 PM   #32
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I officially notified my employer of my intent to retire on August 31st (at age 55!). I have been working with both Merrill Lynch and Edward Jones, and both have come up with almost identical plans, both of which are acceptable to me.

How do I choose? Does anyone have any bad or good experiences with either of these firms?

Thanks in advance for any help.

Either company will be glad to take your money, charge you an annual fee, put you into managed funds with loads & high expense ratios and send you pretty print outs showing how well your investments are doing.

Or you could invest for yourself with a company like Vanguard or Fidelity and stick pretty much to no load index funds and beat by one or two percentage points on average what you would have made with EJ or ML. Somebody has to pay for the brick and mortar store and sales force salaries.

I know an EJ employee and yes, he is a good person, has a decent understanding of investing and finance but first and foremost he is a retail salesperson. That is how he earns his money.

My advice is educate yourself and take responsibilty for your financial future. It is not nearly as hard or as difficult as the financial industry would lead yo to believe.
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Old 06-20-2012, 04:51 PM   #33
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.... I retired at 53 three years ago and our entire retirement is from savings. It has grown over 35% above our monthly draw in those 3-1/2 years. ....
35% is kinda out of context. That could be a bad number or it could be a good number. The 3.5 year return of the S&P500 is about 81%. The 3 year return is 56%. Numbers for a small-cap value index fund are 94% and 65%. Presumably your number comes from a portfolio of stock and bond funds which along with the high fees of Edward Jones would help explain such low performance.
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Old 06-20-2012, 05:15 PM   #34
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Either company will be glad to take your money, charge you an annual fee, put you into managed funds with loads & high expense ratios and send you pretty print outs showing how well your investments are doing.........
And birthday cards. Don't forget about birthday cards.
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Old 06-20-2012, 06:28 PM   #35
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Thank you for the response. This is the first mature response to my question that I've received, and I appreciate it!
Haven't had to say this for a while, but you've earned it:

You have a nice life now.
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Old 06-20-2012, 07:25 PM   #36
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... I have been working with both Merrill Lynch and Edward Jones, and both have come up with almost identical plans, both of which are acceptable to me.

How do I choose? Does anyone have any bad or good experiences with either of these firms?
I don't have experience with either one. I do have experience with JP Morgan/Chase and Ameriprise. If ML and EJ is similar to JPM or Ameriprise I would stay away... but that's just my opinion. I'm a do-it-yourself guy. When I am ready for a financial planner it will be the NAPFA (fee-only) type. But be careful - I called one person listed on NAPFA and later found they were an Ameriprise rep - when I spoke to the rep on the phone she insisted she only made money on fees - yeah I know but that's not the kind of fee I was talking about!

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...I clearly stated that my net value has grown over 35% in the last 3-1/2 years...
Portions of my portfolio track the Dow - those accounts have grown well over 100% in approximately the last 3-1/2 years depending on which dates I choose to look at. In the past 4 years it's worth nearly the same now as it was then. Those numbers don't tell the real story though - I've been using the dividends to live my life. That makes sense to me although that may not be the right formula for everyone.
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Old 06-21-2012, 09:31 AM   #37
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...I clearly stated that my net value has grown over 35% in the last 3-1/2 years...
35% is kinda out of context. That could be a bad number or it could be a good number. The 3.5 year return of the S&P500 is about 81%. The 3 year return is 56%. Numbers for a small-cap value index fund are 94% and 65%. Presumably your number comes from a portfolio of stock and bond funds which along with the high fees of Edward Jones would help explain such low performance.
And something of a more balanced nature, pssst Wellesley, also available to anyone w/o any help from an FA, returned ~44% and 55% in the 3.5 and 3 year periods.

So depending what those withdrawals were, shooter might be doing poorly. But like the OP, I suspect he will want to believe this is good.

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Old 06-21-2012, 09:50 AM   #38
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Thank you for the response. This is the first mature response to my question that I've received, and I appreciate it!
Ok, let's reframe this..........you posted on a DIY forum, and asked ML or EJ?, and you had people telling you neither? The big question is do you want someone else to take responsibiltiy for your own investments or not? Once that question is answered, the next steps are pretty easy.
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Old 06-21-2012, 09:58 AM   #39
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Thank you for the response. This is the first mature response to my question that I've received, and I appreciate it!
Hi rdjrn, I think you may be falling into the "conformation bias" trap.

Here is a link: Confirmation bias - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The posters here really want to help you. May have been a bit of snarkiness that crept into some posts, but this is the internet.
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Old 06-21-2012, 10:12 AM   #40
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Confirmation bias (also called confirmatory bias or myside bias) is a tendency of people to favor information that confirms their beliefs.

This is why the OP liked that one answer from 67, because it was favorable to the position they'd already adopted.
Trouble with confirmation bias is that when you so very want to believe something, it is hard to hear anything else as anything but noise.
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Hi rdjrn, I think you may be falling into the "conformation bias" trap.

Here is a link: Confirmation bias - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The posters here really want to help you. May have been a bit of snarkiness that crept into some posts, but this is the internet.


Is there an echo in here?
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