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Old 08-25-2011, 08:22 AM   #41
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Here's the post. I tried to strike a balance between "DIY" and "flat fee".

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Old 08-25-2011, 08:41 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by Nords View Post
A lot of the topics I read on this board now turn into blog posts, and someone at Flat Fee Portfolios noticed that I mentioned them. Or maybe they have a Google Alert set for their company name.

A couple weeks ago I got an e-mail from the staff of Flat Fee Portfolios, and I ended up talking to the CEO for about 30 minutes. Good guy. Knows his stuff.

When I received the e-mail to schedule a phone call, I was initially concerned that it was a legal maneuver. It turns out that it's just business etiquette, something with which military veterans are notoriously unfamiliar.

Anyway Mark Cortazzo's revenue model is that he can serve customers who are currently being fleeced by Ameriprise, FirstCommand, and other high-priced "advisers". So he's reaching out to those who are paying 2% or more for their financial management. The challenge of that approach, however, is that a blissfully ignorant customer is unlikely to be checking the financial-adviser market for a better deal. They might only come to places like FFP after getting pissed off and perhaps finding this discussion board. So he's pursuing a publicity campaign in the media and hoping for word of mouth to reach the ones who are paying an obscenely high amount.

In the meantime he's accumulated a core of investors who see $199/month as a bargain for their seven-figure portfolios. But he's still trying to reach the smaller investors.

He thinks we DIY investors could do better if we were willing to work harder for it-- especially that buy&hold crowd who doesn't do something but just stands there. We agreed that DIYers are not the customers he's looking for.

We also agreed that FFP cannot compete with the Thrift Savings Plan, but that we can't put all our assets in the TSP. Not yet, anyway.

I'll put up a blog post about the details on the morning of Wed 24 Aug.
So he charges $2400 a year for folks, does he actively manage the portfolios? A thousand folks would be $2.4 million a year, not chump change.........

Consult with your own advisor or representative. My thoughts should not be construed as investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results (love that one).......:)

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