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Thoughts on Scott Burns....
Old 03-25-2008, 10:02 AM   #1
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Thoughts on Scott Burns....

I know many enjoy reading that financial guru known as Scott Burns (I read him regularly myself), but how in the world can he now justify his relationship with an investment firm who charges an annual fee just to put you into his "couch potato" portfolios?
If they are so easy you can do it while sitting on the couch, then why would you pay someone to watch it for you? And how can he with a straight face now declare that the only investment advisors worth working with just charge an annual fee, AFTER he makes this relationship with a fee type advisor? Isn't his entire view of not needing a financial advisor now become moot?
Am I the only one who sees a huge conflict of interest here?
All JMO, of course.
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Old 03-25-2008, 10:03 AM   #2
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Dude's gotta eat and has decided to sell out. I suppose it could be worse: he could be flogging annuities.
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Old 03-25-2008, 10:06 AM   #3
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Or hedge funds!
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Old 03-25-2008, 10:07 AM   #4
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Maybe for the same reasons people will pay Vanguard, Fidelity et al a little extra juice to use a "lifecycle" fund instead of rebalancing an asset allocation themselves with the underlying lower-fee funds. Some people don't want to be bothered with rolling their own.
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Old 03-25-2008, 10:08 AM   #5
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Or hedge funds!
Can't flog those to the general public per SEC rules. With his readership, retail insurance and investment products are a batter match.

If you're gonna sell out, gotta know your target market.
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Old 03-25-2008, 10:14 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Art G View Post
I know many enjoy reading that financial guru known as Scott Burns (I read him regularly myself), but how in the world can he now justify his relationship with an investment firm who charges an annual fee just to put you into his "couch potato" portfolios?
If they are so easy you can do it while sitting on the couch, then why would you pay someone to watch it for you? And how can he with a straight face now declare that the only investment advisors worth working with just charge an annual fee, AFTER he makes this relationship with a fee type advisor? Isn't his entire view of not needing a financial advisor now become moot?
Am I the only one who sees a huge conflict of interest here?
All JMO, of course.
I can't imagine that anyone would take what any columnist or guru would say without considerable skepticism. To my way of thinking, that would be unbelievably naive. Most or all of them seem have substantial financial interests that prevent them from being entirely objective.

I choose to read a number of viewpoints that I feel make me think, and while I may choose to omit the totally ridiculous, still I do not swallow any of the rest whole. The point is to use my best judgment to form my own opinions.

You probably do the same!
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Old 03-25-2008, 10:29 AM   #7
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I just ask here.
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Old 03-25-2008, 10:36 AM   #8
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I can't imagine that anyone would take what any columnist or guru would say without considerable skepticism. To my way of thinking, that would be unbelievably naive. Most or all of them seem have substantial financial interests that prevent them from being entirely objective.

I choose to read a number of viewpoints that I feel make me think, and while I may choose to omit the totally ridiculous, still I do not swallow any of the rest whole. The point is to use my best judgment to form my own opinions.

You probably do the same!
want2...you are right. However, everything you read, be it internet, newspaper, or in book, was written by someone. You are accepting someones' opinion as being correct. I am a firm believer in read everything, ask lots of questions, then go with your gut, but again, investing is so much guesswork and hypotheticals based on past performance, and yet that's the major disclaimer.
In regard to investing styles, it is totally dependent on the individual. Are you a gambler, or one who feels safer with money under the mattress? One product does definitely NOT fit all, and yet Scott Burns makes a living of stating how simple investing is for everyone. I can't help but crack up laughing when he does his reviews and he'll state, "well, the couch potato portfolio earned X, but if you had just added in Y fund or Z fund, it would have earned this!" Well, then he himself is recommending NOT doing his own couch potato fund. And now he's suggesting hiring someone to move around your portfolio, well what's couch potato about that
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Old 03-25-2008, 10:45 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by brewer12345 View Post
Dude's gotta eat and has decided to sell out. I suppose it could be worse: he could be flogging annuities.
He'll get around to them.........
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Old 03-25-2008, 10:46 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Art G View Post
I know many enjoy reading that financial guru known as Scott Burns (I read him regularly myself), but how in the world can he now justify his relationship with an investment firm who charges an annual fee just to put you into his "couch potato" portfolios?
If they are so easy you can do it while sitting on the couch, then why would you pay someone to watch it for you? And how can he with a straight face now declare that the only investment advisors worth working with just charge an annual fee, AFTER he makes this relationship with a fee type advisor? Isn't his entire view of not needing a financial advisor now become moot?
Am I the only one who sees a huge conflict of interest here?
All JMO, of course.
He's a smart guy, but he's got bills to pay........ain't America great??
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Old 03-25-2008, 11:09 AM   #11
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I never cease to be amazed by the strength of the written media. Too many times I've seen or heard people quote someone they've read as an authority. I've seen stuff written on the internet by Joe Blow, and people later quoting it as fact. It must be true, it's in print!!
I recall one time my father quoting me back some information he read as fact. What made it funny was he was quoting an article I had written! Of course, he refused to believe it came from me. It must have been written by an "expert" somewhere.
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Old 03-25-2008, 11:10 AM   #12
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Heh, now look at how much TV controls the crowd, given the lack of fondness for the written word exhibited by many of my fellow Merkins. CNBC, anyone?
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Old 03-25-2008, 11:56 AM   #13
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I commend Scott Burns for what he is doing. It is very likely that he sees a different side of investing that most of us do here on this forum. You see a hint of it in some of the letters from readers. We see a hint from some of the newbie posts here.

To summarize: Many people are simply terrified of managing their own money. They do not wish to learn anything about how to do it. They assume that a professional will do a good job for them. They also often want to sit down with someone face-to-face. They have no idea what the costs of that would be.

So if Scott Burns sees his readership getting ripped off by insurance reps, advisor reps, and other rip-off artists, what should he do? He cannot force folks to do it on their own. He cannot force folks to read and learn. He sees folks that want to --at most-- read 5 minutes on the internet and then have everything magically taken care of for them.

I think his solution of getting connected with a DFA house is perfect. They are not the lowest fee, but they are not the highest. They will service smaller accounts as well. The clients still have to forego face time, but maybe that can be left to Scott Burns Version 3.0.
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Old 03-25-2008, 12:36 PM   #14
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I commend Scott Burns for what he is doing. It is very likely that he sees a different side of investing that most of us do here on this forum. You see a hint of it in some of the letters from readers. We see a hint from some of the newbie posts here.
Most folks on here know about 95% more than the average American..........

Quote:
To summarize: Many people are simply terrified of managing their own money. They do not wish to learn anything about how to do it. They assume that a professional will do a good job for them. They also often want to sit down with someone face-to-face. They have no idea what the costs of that would be.
So they are a victim of wanting human contact.........

Quote:
So if Scott Burns sees his readership getting ripped off by insurance reps, advisor reps, and other rip-off artists, what should he do? He cannot force folks to do it on their own. He cannot force folks to read and learn. He sees folks that want to --at most-- read 5 minutes on the internet and then have everything magically taken care of for them.

I think his solution of getting connected with a DFA house is perfect. They are not the lowest fee, but they are not the highest. They will service smaller accounts as well. The clients still have to forego face time, but maybe that can be left to Scott Burns Version 3.0.
Yes, but he has lost his objectivity in the name of capitalism, so why does everyone think he walks on water??

Guess what? I'm not the lowest or highest fee either...........
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Old 03-25-2008, 12:43 PM   #15
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I commend Scott Burns for what he is doing. It is very likely that he sees a different side of investing that most of us do here on this forum. You see a hint of it in some of the letters from readers. We see a hint from some of the newbie posts here.
My only concern here is a conflict of interest. It's one thing to be paid for financial advice. It's another to get paid even *more* to steer you to specific investment products and services.
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Old 03-25-2008, 01:03 PM   #16
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My only concern here is a conflict of interest. It's one thing to be paid for financial advice. It's another to get paid even *more* to steer you to specific investment products and services.
So, I guess Scott Burns is now an FA, there's nothing more to see folks, time to move on............
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Old 03-25-2008, 01:15 PM   #17
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Yes, but he has lost his objectivity in the name of capitalism, so why does everyone think he walks on water??
You guys aren't cynical enough. He used an ostensible objectivity at an earlier stage to gain credibility, and is now cashing in.

Not an unknown technique in politics as well.
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Old 03-25-2008, 01:22 PM   #18
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I commend Scott Burns for what he is doing. It is very likely that he sees a different side of investing that most of us do here on this forum. You see a hint of it in some of the letters from readers. We see a hint from some of the newbie posts here.

To summarize: Many people are simply terrified of managing their own money. They do not wish to learn anything about how to do it. They assume that a professional will do a good job for them. They also often want to sit down with someone face-to-face. They have no idea what the costs of that would be.

So if Scott Burns sees his readership getting ripped off by insurance reps, advisor reps, and other rip-off artists, what should he do? He cannot force folks to do it on their own. He cannot force folks to read and learn. He sees folks that want to --at most-- read 5 minutes on the internet and then have everything magically taken care of for them.

I think his solution of getting connected with a DFA house is perfect. They are not the lowest fee, but they are not the highest. They will service smaller accounts as well. The clients still have to forego face time, but maybe that can be left to Scott Burns Version 3.0.
So basically you're saying, assume everyone is a crook and you'll be ok. How do you ever find a medical doctor?
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Old 03-25-2008, 02:05 PM   #19
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So basically you're saying, assume everyone is a crook and you'll be ok. How do you ever find a medical doctor?
Yep, everyone is a crook until proven otherwise.

BTW, I worked in a hospital for awhile. I know many physicians as personal friends. A few of my very close relatives are physicians. Many physicians are also incompetent, but you can call them crooks if you want.
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Old 03-25-2008, 02:07 PM   #20
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Yep, everyone is a crook until proven otherwise.

BTW, I worked in a hospital for awhile. I know many physicians as personal friends. A few of my very close relatives are physicians. Many physicians are also incompetent, but you can call them crooks if you want.
I just use Rich-In-Tampa to keep my FEMALE MD on her toes.......
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