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View Poll Results: Do You Currently Use an Advisor?
Advisor Dependent 10 4.61%
Advisor Assisted 19 8.76%
Life Event Investor 8 3.69%
Self-Directed Investor 180 82.95%
Voters: 217. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-10-2012, 12:45 PM   #21
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I have never seen a financial advisor. In fact, I have never even met a financial advisor socially. Friends and relatives almost never give me any financial advice at all, and if/when they do I thank them and ignore it. I did run my investment plan by the Bogleheads, reflected upon their comments, and acted on some. That's about it. I guess I am about as self-directed as a person could possibly be.

I really do not think that anyone cares about my nestegg and financial well being as much as I do. So, being an entirely self-directed investor is one risk that I am willing to take.
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Old 04-10-2012, 01:03 PM   #22
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I have TWO BILs who are insurance agents, but I have steered clear of their attempts to sell me. I made it clear very early on that I felt quite comfortable investing on my own.
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Old 04-10-2012, 01:43 PM   #23
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I met once with the rep for a company that was trying to sell me on their own funds. I didn't understand the investment at all. They were telling me that I was allowed to put in a certain amount each year, and after several years (something like 4 or 5) the entire amount would have tax-free gains "just like an IRA". I did find out that the fund manager had presided over a couple of funds in the past that had failed spectacularly, so steered well-clear of it.

A few weeks ago, I saw an ad on the Motley Fool site for Fisher Investments. In return for my e-mail address, phone number and street address, they promised to give me access to their latest outlook for the stock market. I hardly ever go for these things, but figured it would be interesting to read and I'd just have to put up with some inevitable sales pitches from them.

The report was an interesting read, and a couple of weeks later I did receive a package in the mail and a sales call from their local rep. I had already decided that their services would have to be stellar in order for me to be interested, as they charge a 1.25% fee for the amount that I have. I told the guy that unless they had a proven track record of consistently beating the benchmarks by a significant amount, it wouldn't be worth it to me. He gave me some figures over the phone. If I was interested, I'd have asked for further information in written form but I wasn't - and he could tell.

At this point, if I'd had the slightest bit of interest in his product, his final comment to me would have changed that anyway. He said he accepted that some investors like me prefer to manage their own money instead of turning over control to an investment firm. He also said that he knew there was little point in his trying to change my mind, as my way of thinking is a belief system rather than a financial decision.

It was the last phrase (in bold) that bugged me. If he'd told me that if I ever changed my mind, he'd be happy to help, and left it at that, that would have been the professional approach. With that comment, what he was saying was that my approach was based on dogma rather than sound reasoning. It was his way of ending the call by telling me that he was right and I was wrong. He just had to get his own smug dig in. I agreed with him just to shut him up and get him off the phone, but it just confirmed the fact that -

I HATE salesmen

I voted self-directed.
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Old 04-10-2012, 01:45 PM   #24
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I would just like to re-iterate the fact that I HATE salespeople.

Thanks. I think I've got it out of my system now
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Old 04-10-2012, 01:53 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarah in SC View Post
No one here is going to fess up to that response,Midpack
It's an annonymous poll, so just like in an election, you can say one thing and vote another.


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Originally Posted by scrabbler1 View Post
I have never paid for any advice, but I did meet informally with a FIDO rep (unpaid) back in the mid-1990s who (at my request) pointed me to a stock mutual fund I later invested in and have been in ever since.

I answered "self-directed."
Same here. I went through a free financial analysis with VG over the phone and internet.
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Old 04-10-2012, 02:04 PM   #26
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Self directed since 1987.

Lost money with advisers at a firm that I will prefer remain anonymous.
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Old 04-10-2012, 02:08 PM   #27
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I would just like to re-iterate the fact that I HATE salespeople.

Thanks. I think I've got it out of my system now
You got off easy! Those guys hounded my poor dad forever until he finally just quit answering the phone. Awful!
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Old 04-10-2012, 02:14 PM   #28
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You got off easy! Those guys hounded my poor dad forever until he finally just quit answering the phone. Awful!
It's only been a week or two since that phone call, so there's still time for more. I'm pretty sure that he pegged me as a hopeless case though, so let's hope so. Fingers crossed!

I feel for your Dad. I guess some salespeople figure they can get what they want if they bug someone for long enough, but not with me (and not with your Dad either!)
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Old 04-10-2012, 02:18 PM   #29
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Oh - just realized that I do subscribe to the Rule Breakers newsletter from The Motley Fool, which I like. I do use the info there for stock purchases with just 3% of my portfolio, but I don't think that's a big enough factor to change my original vote of self-directed.
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Old 04-10-2012, 02:25 PM   #30
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Major Tom, your story reminds me of an encounter I had with a FIDO rep (not the same one in my previous post) about 2 years ago (and one I may have told here in this forum). He was the latest of one of those "Account Executives" I was assigned to at my local FIDO office.

When I was working up my ER budget and greatly contemplating an ER in 2007-2008, I met with AE#1 in early 2008 and showed her what I had worked up in my spreadsheets. I had had some trouble using FIDO's Retirement Planning software in their website so she helped me input the rest of the data in there. Based on what we had entered, she told me I was in very good shape to "pull the trigger" (her exact words). She did not try to sell me anything.

She left FIDO a few months later so I was assigned to AE#2. He was also very capable and did the most work with me later in 2008 when I actually ERed. He opened the IRA I would do a rollover of my tax-deferred 401(k) money and set up the big bond fund whose dividends I am now using to support my ER. He gave me some good things to consider in my AA and did not try to sell me anything. What was a rather complex transition went very well with him.

But in the middle of 2009 he left FIDO and I got assigned to AE#4. We spoke on the phone once or twice but never met in the next few months. Then, later in 2009 I got assigned to AE#5. He was rather pushy over the phone but in April of 2010 we met. He was just as pushy in person as he was over the phone, trying to get me to turn over control of my portfolio to him for a fee (I think it was 1%). I told him I was not interested and was just glad to get out of there after 2 hours. By the time I got to my car, I had already mentally written a letter of complaint to his boss.

I wrote the letter and explained to the office manager why I did not like having him as my AE and requested to get reassigned to someone else. A week or so later, I got a call from the office manager and he switched me back to AE#4 which was fine. But what puzzled the manager was how AE#5 became my AE, as the manager was never told about the switch. Seems like AE#5 secretly "poached" me from AE#4. I wonder if AE#5 would get into any trouble but it isn't really my business.

Meanwhile, AE#4 has been helpful with getting me some mutual fund information which can't be found through FIDO's website but actually has since become more available (I wonder if AE#4 had anything to do with that). AE#4 has not bothered me to meet with him which is also good although he has been like the earlier AEs, helpful without being pushy.
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Old 04-10-2012, 02:58 PM   #31
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Fido reps don't make much money, so some get pushy because they don't like the $40K a year they make. You are RIGHT to call them account executives because that's pretty much all they are.........
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Old 04-10-2012, 04:02 PM   #32
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I have had Vanguard review my financial portfolio twice . The first time was in 1999 . It cost $100 and was worth every penney .It included phone interviews and a printed plan with the reasons for the recommendations . The second time it was free and frankly that is all it was worth . It was mostly a sales pitch. Otherwise its just tight fisted me watching it .
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Old 04-10-2012, 04:05 PM   #33
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Voted self-directed since there is a 'currently' stipulation.

Until Aug 2010, Ameriprise lost...er "invested" my money for me.

Sept 2010, fired them and are now fully self-directed.
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Old 04-10-2012, 04:40 PM   #34
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Advisor-assited here as the decisisons are ultimately mine. However, I way most often agree with the choices.

Of course this site is self-directed oriented. Lots of self-confident, well-educated, smart folks here.
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Old 04-10-2012, 10:11 PM   #35
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Although we're 99% self-directed, I voted "life-event" as we did have an advisor do a comprehensive review and plan for us several years ago (fee-based). I'm glad I spent that money because it gave me the confidence that we were really FI and I could RE. We also decided in 2010 to have him manage a very small portion of our portfolio for a 0.5% fee. Because we do that, we get to spend an hour or two with him every year talking over what's going on in the markets, etc., and he updates our plan for no additional fee. So far, his part of the portfolio is doing OK and watching it has given me some ideas for the rest of our portfolio. But I'm not inclined to give him any more to manage based on what I've seen so far. To his credit, he knows we have a lot more out there and hasn't pushed us to put more under his management.
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Old 04-10-2012, 10:17 PM   #36
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What a surprise. 75% of us (so far) are self-directed.

I'm also directing my daughter's investments (for just a few more years) and my father's. Does that make the poll higher than 75%?
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Old 04-10-2012, 10:18 PM   #37
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What a surprise. 75% of us (so far) are self-directed.

I'm also directing my daughter's investments (for just a few more years) and my father's. Does that make the poll higher than 75%?
No, because THEY are not self-directed.......
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Old 04-11-2012, 08:05 AM   #38
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I had a financial adviser recommended by a cpa in 1995 and lost money with him. I did a free consultation with an edward jones rep and all he wanted to do was sell me insurance and annuities. I could almost see the commissions flowing from my account to his. So no to financial advisers.
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Old 04-11-2012, 11:06 AM   #39
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I expected DIY to prevail, but the results are even more lopsided than I would have predicted.

Part of my reason for the poll was on behalf of newer members who ask about using/selecting an advisor. "We" may be an especially bad place to ask that question. There is a place for any of the four approaches (investing/finance is truly anathema to some), and there are great financial advisors (among the sharks).

Also interesting though not surprising that early retirees (based on this membership) tend to be overwhelmingly self directed, though they may have started with some level of paid advice. Where are the early retirees who rely largely on advisors (...customers yachts)?

Thanks to everyone who voted and/or commented...
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Old 04-11-2012, 11:13 AM   #40
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I had a financial adviser recommended by a cpa in 1995 and lost money with him. I did a free consultation with an edward jones rep and all he wanted to do was sell me insurance and annuities. I could almost see the commissions flowing from my account to his. So no to financial advisers.
Man, if you lost money in 1995, that's pretty bad. Monkeys with darts were making double digit returns in the mid to late 90s.
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