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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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Poll: Do You Use A Financial Advisor? Definitions in post #1.
Old 04-10-2012, 09:47 AM   #1
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Poll: Do You Use A Financial Advisor? Definitions in post #1.

This comes up here often, but when I did a search I couldn't find anything newer than 2008. Though many of us may have used paid advisors years ago, I expect the % of DIY investors here is higher than the general population. I've attached a breakdown that I found online and here are the definitions they used (better than I could do on my own). There is nothing wrong with being in any category. I read another article that suggested that 73% of those who used an advisor, felt the advisor was value-added (some pride bias of course).

Just out of curiousity to see where this group falls. Definitions, specifically paid advisors, not free advice like here for example:
  • An Advisor Dependent person relies on a Financial Advisor to make most of his or her investment decisions.
  • An Advisor Assisted person relies upon the Financial Advisor for advice but feels that he or she ultimately makes the investment decision.
  • A Life Event Driven assisted investor will reach out to use a Financial Advisor when he or she is making investments about significant life decisions (i.e. Retirement, divorce, etc.).
  • Clearly a Self-Directed investor is someone who, for the most part, makes his or her own investment decisions without the help of a Financial Advisor.
How Much Do Investors Rely Upon The Financial Advisor? Or What Their Financial Advisor Might Be Missing though I was more interested in the definitions & graph than the article content.
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Old 04-10-2012, 09:49 AM   #2
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100% self directed my whole life and loving it.
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Old 04-10-2012, 09:55 AM   #3
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Self-directed and this forum helps a lot!
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Old 04-10-2012, 10:16 AM   #4
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I subscribe to a couple of investment-oriented financial newsletters. Do you count them as paid advisors?
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Old 04-10-2012, 10:21 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
  • An Advisor Dependent person relies on a Financial Advisor to make most of his or her investment decisions.
.
No one here is going to fess up to that response,Midpack
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Old 04-10-2012, 10:22 AM   #6
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I consider myself a self-directed investor, though when I FIRE'd I did hire a fee-only advisor to go through my numbers with me.

To rephrase, I say I'm self-directed, but leave the door cracked open and never say never. Similar to taxes. I'm been a Turbotax user for years, but if my taxes get too complicated, I keep the option open to hiring a "professional."
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Old 04-10-2012, 10:33 AM   #7
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Self directed. Let FIDO propose a few months ago, while some of their approach (well, picks) made sense, others did not. So I made a few changes on basis of their approach and moved on. They hold all my investments so I felt no guilt about slightly picking their brains for free.

As an aside, I DID pay a CPA $225 to do our taxes. What a bargain. Submittal was 1/4" thick, had a bunch of foreign tax credits on mf's I had no clue on what he was doing. So I'll pick where the money grows (and save ~1%) and pay a measly $225 for well done taxes and the ability to give the guy a call anytime with questions on things tax/financial.
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Old 04-10-2012, 10:55 AM   #8
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I said self-directed, relying on that "for the most part" clause. I did a one-time consult when I got started with retirement planning. I'll probably need some help handling my mom's estate when the time comes. Other than that, once you know enough to know your advisor is doing a good job, you can do it yourself.
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Old 04-10-2012, 10:55 AM   #9
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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
May be not, though there's no tracking on this poll so no one would ever know. I actually know someone (with a degree in accounting) who is Advisor Dependent with Mass Mutual. He's a few years younger than me, still working at my former employer, and he tells me he expects to work at least 10 more years. Something to consider for anyone considering using an advisor.

And my MIL is Advisor Dependent and should be - though the FA is a carefully chosen attorney monitored by a BIL. And she's better off with the arrangement - her VCR blinks 12:00 for years now...
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Old 04-10-2012, 10:56 AM   #10
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I'm not sure how to respond. I consider myself "self-directed" but did pay a USAA advisor for a one-time consultation a couple of years prior to retiring. Not sure I'd consider the $500 as well spent, but he did agree I was nearing the point I could pull the plug.

So, does that put me in the "life-event driven" category?
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Old 04-10-2012, 11:02 AM   #11
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I didn't author the definitions but I'd go with whatever fits best. If you've used a financial advisor once or twice for something unusual and are otherwise DIY, I'd call that DIY. Beyond that, the definitions are probably better than I could have done.
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Old 04-10-2012, 11:05 AM   #12
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I selected self-directed in the poll, however, we did see a sales guy at one of the major investment firms very early into our retirement accumulation phase. We listened, read the prospectus that he gave us (which was totally inappropriate for our income/net worth) and never looked back.
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Old 04-10-2012, 11:06 AM   #13
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OK, then I'm voting self-directed...
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Old 04-10-2012, 11:08 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by misty57 View Post
I selected self-directed in the poll, however, we did see a sales guy at one of the major investment firms very early into our retirement accumulation phase. We listened, read the prospectus that he gave us (which was totally inappropriate for our income/net worth) and never looked back.
I added the word currently hoping to help with that call...
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Old 04-10-2012, 11:28 AM   #15
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It sounds to me that a lot of people are voting self directed when that is not what they write...

"A Life Event Driven assisted investor will reach out to use a Financial Advisor when he or she is making investments about significant life decisions (i.e. Retirement, divorce, etc.). "


So, if you did reach out to a financial advisor when you made your 'significant life decision', I think you fall in this category...

It does say that you paid for the advice... so I do not think a seminar or other similar vein where the guy is up front talking about options would fall here, but someone who actually looked at your numbers and gave advice would (again IMO).... Not that you followed that advice, buy you did use his assistance to figure out 'that guy is a dufus, why did I waste my money'....
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Old 04-10-2012, 11:31 AM   #16
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No one here is going to fess up to that response,Midpack
You should.
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Old 04-10-2012, 11:31 AM   #17
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Don't need no stinkin financial advice (stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night )...
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Old 04-10-2012, 11:33 AM   #18
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You should.
LOL! Oh, wait, the FA is me? Dang it, I answered wrong, too!
I only occasionally consult myself, the rest of the time I use the Magic 8 Ball or the Ouija board.
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Old 04-10-2012, 11:33 AM   #19
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Went from advisor-dependent (pre-2003) to advisor-assisted (2003-2007) to self-directed (post-2007).
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Old 04-10-2012, 12:24 PM   #20
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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."
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