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Overall good meeting with Vanguard FA
Old 09-18-2015, 10:57 AM   #1
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Overall good meeting with Vanguard FA

I've always adhered to the philosophy of "I don't know what I don't know." So, to play safe I scheduled my free FA consultant "check-up" just to see if any changes need to be made.
Good news is he verified that all looks solid. In line with my generally conservative approach - and my wife's even more risk-averse mentality - he suggested I reduce my current 60-40 allocation to 50-50, which I'll likely do.

I did get a pitch for a fee-based consultant (i.e., the gentleman I was talking with). Fee is 0.3%. But in my case the only meaningful service I would get would be quarterly rebalancing; this was one of our topics of discussion and my stated concern that I wanted a lazy man's portfolio, as long as I remembered to rebalance.
On a million bucks, that .3% = $3000. I think I'll put a yellow stickie on my refrigerator that simply says "0.3%" and that should be sufficient reminder to me without having to pay someone.
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Old 09-18-2015, 02:22 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mystang52 View Post
I've always adhered to the philosophy of "I don't know what I don't know." So, to play safe I scheduled my free FA consultant "check-up" just to see if any changes need to be made.
Agree 100% with this philosophy. Before I retired, I had three different FA's take a look at my situation and offer their opinions. Didn't agree with everything they said/recommended but certainly learned a lot by keeping an open mind. End result was I was much more comfortable with my own analysis that I was able to retire and not worry too much about the financial side. Also probably avoided a pitfall or two based on my learnings. I am now retired and don't use a FA but certainly follow discussions of interest on this board and listen to occasional podcasts of interest to keep learning.
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Old 09-18-2015, 03:08 PM   #3
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I'm also firmly of the opinion that this is not rocket science. I scheduled a meeting with my Fidelity guy for a thorough review a little over a year ago (first time I had ever sought such feedback), and was very pleased with it. He basically said, "Well, I know you're a DIY kind of person, and you're obviously doing fine. I don't have any strong recommendations, and in fact I wish I had told my other clients to get into biotech back when you did!"
[For the record, that was a little more than two years ago.]

That made me feel good. He asked what my concerns were and I told him I just wanted to be sure I was sufficiently diversified and had a good AA. He confirmed that I was OK on both counts.

By reading posts on this forum regularly, I think I have a much better idea than most retirees about what are the best approaches to investing. I'm quite grateful to you all!
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Old 09-18-2015, 03:38 PM   #4
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Good move to save the .3%.

John Greaney wrote an excellent post about just how much this "low cost" service can cost over time. I love Vanguard but IMHO charging a percentage of assets instead of a fixed fee is robbery no matter who's doing it.

Vanguard's new "low-cost" financial advice service.
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Old 09-18-2015, 03:49 PM   #5
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In fairness to Vanguard, the sales pitch was not a hard-sell and after I said I would think about it he did not bring it up again. There's a fancy-shmantzy bicycle I want to buy - it costs about $9000. DW already put the kibosh on it. But when I realize that saving the fee would pay for that bike in 2 years or so certainly makes DIY rebalancing a lot more appealing!
[but even then DW won't allow the bike purchase anyway ]
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Old 09-18-2015, 03:52 PM   #6
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There's a fancy-shmantzy bicycle I want to buy - it costs about $9000. DW already put the kibosh on it.
Find something even more expensive. Start talking about how great it would be and how much you would enjoy it. At some point, you should be able to find a way to slip in a proposal to give up your new dream and "settle" for the bike instead.
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Old 09-18-2015, 04:29 PM   #7
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Find something even more expensive. Start talking about how great it would be and how much you would enjoy it. At some point, you should be able to find a way to slip in a proposal to give up your new dream and "settle" for the bike instead.
Thanks for the tip; it's worth a try!
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