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Old 12-10-2010, 10:32 AM   #41
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I have a feeling that the Edward Jones person Helen is going to would still want to talk to her and her partner even if she told him they already had a plan, rather than not see them at all. I tell business enterprises all the time that we are just looking, gathering information, etc., and reputable ones always say no problem. They know they might still make the sale if we look, but they surely won't if they tell us not to bother them.

A lot of people look at and test drive cars at one dealer and then buy them from another (we have never done that but we are notoriously poor car shoppers/negotiators--we drive it, we buy it). I think the dealers expect that.

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Old 12-10-2010, 11:03 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by FinanceDude View Post
How do you define a good job?
Low costs, diversification, and education would be a good start. I wasn't thinking of performance necessarily.

Just like buying a car or getting it repaired. Either you learn something about cars to make sure the sales/repair person isn't just making stuff up or you have to trust them quite a bit. Some times I'm OK with that, but not with my life savings.

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Old 12-10-2010, 11:09 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by kombat View Post

I'm not saying it's a bad thing, I'm just saying let's be realistic about it. I have a hard time believing that there are any financial advisors out there doing it "for the people." If they were really doing it "for the people," they'd be recommending low-fee index funds, instead of pushing whole life insurance policies and the high-fee actively-managed funds that generate the biggest trailing commissions for themselves.

I suppose you don't think it's possible for doctors to care about their patients, or attorneys to care about their clients either? The fact that you earn a living from somebody doesn't mean you don't care.

The sad thing is that I've seen a couple good advisors leave the business after the 2007-08 crash, simply because they couldn't stand the emotional toll of worrying about their clients anymore. It's much more common that you think.
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Old 12-10-2010, 11:12 AM   #44
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I can't remember the exact adage, but 'the problem with finding a good financial advisor is that by the time you know what a good advisor is, you know enough to do it yourself' always made sense to me.

I feel really sorry for the (many) folks who can do neither for whatever reason. And many who think they can, suffer from 'don't know what you don't know' syndrome. I know several at work who repeatedly sell at bottoms and buy at tops. I know others who rebalance weekly, to tenths-of-a-percent!
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Old 12-10-2010, 11:31 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by FinanceDude View Post
Kind of like car sales..........
Kinda, but the owners of the dealership pretty much took away any chance of making a living selling cars. Mostly all flats on all the cars and the packs are so high no one can hit them so the salespeople are mostly on the customers side at this point. Do you agree?
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Old 12-10-2010, 11:33 AM   #46
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My Dad had an account with Merrill Lynch (I think) for a long time, but got disgusted with the fact that his brokers could never do better than the average market performance. The final straw was when he asked them to give him some sort of statistics on something, and I think the problem was that they just didn't want to take the time to put the numbers together for him. My Dad now has an online investing account of some sort without any actual broker, and says he is doing better without the brokers.
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Old 12-10-2010, 03:40 PM   #47
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Value of a Money Adviser.... Hmmmmmmmmmm.

Oooh oooh! I know the answer.

Value of a Money Adviser = Their Fees * #ofClients

Some might even try to sell you a Whole Life Policy for good measure!

Which would mean

Value of a Insurance Agent Money Adviser = [Their Fees + Commissions] * #ofClients
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Old 12-12-2010, 10:11 AM   #48
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I suggest that you talk with Vanguard. I have used their FA unit a number of times and have found them to be informative and provide good advice. While their process is a bit cookbook and has trouble dealing with some of the intracacies of my personal situation, I have nonetheless been pleased overall. If you have a certain amount of investments with them the service is free and can be refreshed each year.

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