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Old 04-12-2017, 04:57 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by samclem View Post
Or, maybe the people who "aren't doing it right" are the people who believe the first list below takes less time than the second list:
1) Meet with an advisor, assure their desires are known to him/her, assure the advisor agrees and will act accordingly, and to monitor the account activity to assure no churning, questionable purchases or outright fraudulent activity is occurring. Take corrective actions when warranted, and when the advisor leaves/dies/gets transferred/gets arrested, etc--repeat the first steps.
2) Spend a couple of hours (or less) to sell shares for the coming year and rebalance their accounts.


And/or fans of using an FA can start their own sticky about the joys of active management. ("Why my FA is GREAT!" or "My FA is worth his $5k per hour," etc.). Then, when folks come through (happens frequently) who are paying exorbitant amounts for inept "assistance" by FAs/salesmen/new best friends, we can just direct them there so they can see how to pick the "right" person.

Peace to all.
You don't seem to get it: You do your own thing. I do my own thing.

But don't criticize what I do. And I won't criticize what you do.

The FA "people" are not trying to convert you DIYers to FAers, but it seems to be the other way around.

I promise not to try to convert you to my way of doing things.
In return, don't try to convert me to your way of doing things.

Is this so hard to understand?
Am I being unreasonable?
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Old 04-12-2017, 05:02 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by Rustward View Post
I promise not to try to convert you to my way of doing things.
In return, don't try to convert me to your way of doing things.

Is this so hard to understand?
Am I being unreasonable?
I think it is unreasonable to ask people not to communicate on this issue.
I'm not trying to convert you. We aren't PMing,right?
Everything here is for the benefit of everyone who reads it here. That's lots of folks.
Anyway, if you >were< trying to convince me to use an active manager, I sure wouldn't resent it, tell you to keep it to yourself, or take it personally. I'd figure you were trying to help me out and I'd appreciate it.
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Old 04-12-2017, 05:39 PM   #43
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The bias here is obvious. Very easy to see.

You wrote it yourself; "monitor the account activity to assure no churning, questionable purchases or outright fraudulent activity is occurring"

You default to the FA is a crook and needs to be watched.
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Old 04-12-2017, 05:49 PM   #44
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The bias here is obvious. Very easy to see.

You wrote it yourself; "monitor the account activity to assure no churning, questionable purchases or outright fraudulent activity is occurring"
Fraud happens--to credit card accounts, bank accounts, and investment accounts. It would be irresponsible for me to give another person trading authority on my account and then not monitor that account.

Inept, inappropriate action by FAs certainly happens more frequently than outright fraud. But it costs clients a lot of money (and makes a lot of money for "advisors"). "What are these "A" shares?" "This variable annuity with the big front end commmission that you've suggested for inclusion inside my IRA--that's a good idea, right?"

If they are doing a lot of trading (e.g 10 trades per month), then it's more work for me to determine if the activity is legit. If they are doing little trading (e.g 5 trades per year)--and they are sticking to my preferred very simple AA, then it is natural to ask what value I'm getting from the AUM charge.
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Old 04-12-2017, 06:07 PM   #45
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I don't worry about churning, I don't pay for trades.

I look at the monthly statements from the brokers just like I look at the bank statements and the credit cards.

There are only common stocks, no variable annuities, no commissions on anything.

I pay the fee as a % of AUM. The guy gets paid more when he makes me more dough. He has a financial interest to make ME money.

I'm not worried.
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Old 04-12-2017, 06:57 PM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rustward
If you think that choosing a financial professional is more work than DIY then maybe you aren't doing it right.


Or, maybe the people who "aren't doing it right" are the people who believe the first list below takes less time than the second list:
1) Meet with an advisor, assure their desires are known to him/her, assure the advisor agrees and will act accordingly, and to monitor the account activity to assure no churning, questionable purchases or outright fraudulent activity is occurring. Take corrective actions when warranted, and when the advisor leaves/dies/gets transferred/gets arrested, etc--repeat the first steps.
2) Spend a couple of hours (or less) to sell shares for the coming year and rebalance their accounts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rustward
OK. If it needs repetition, put it in one of those sticky posts and refer to it with a link so we don't have to read it over and over and over and over, again. Anyone who wants to can go back and read it as often as they like.


And/or fans of using an FA can start their own sticky about the joys of active management. ("Why my FA is GREAT!" or "My FA is worth his $5k per hour," etc.). Then, when folks come through (happens frequently) who are paying exorbitant amounts for inept "assistance" by FAs/salesmen/new best friends, we can just direct them there so they can see how to pick the "right" person.

Peace to all.
--------------------------------------
No needling here, so move on.......

If that has been your personal experience with an FA, it is regrettable. It has not been mine, and I don't think I'm any luckier or smarter than the average bear on this forum

What many people here are, is experienced and educated over many years. That experience gives us confidence in our decisions that many people do not have. In my case that education came from doing it both wrong and right, substantial reading and a lot of conversation and listening to both winners and losers in the savings/investment game.

I disagree with unsupported, flat assertions on principle, and the claims in this thread that DIY "takes less time", is "better" have not been supported by anything other than one person's experience/opinion. And that is likely to NOT be the same as someone else's situation.

I acknowledge that the lowest cost way to invest is on your own using index funds from the cheapest providers. Considering the acquisition of knowledge it takes to make those decisions confidently and successfully over a market cycle, saying it takes less time to DIY ignores the learning curve. Selecting a quality FA is a topic for another thread (if we really need another one ).

If the objective of participating here is to learn and help others do the same, IMO it would be more helpful to avoid assertions and provide some info as to why a given approach worked for you.
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Old 04-12-2017, 07:06 PM   #47
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Sorry, I don't intend to offend you, but some of your posts are needling. ...
I'm not offended. I asked for feedback, I got it, and I appreciate it.

I certainly don't intend for my posts to be 'needling' or offensive. But I do tell it like I see it. And I've learned that some people don't appreciate that. But if I'm being open and straight about it and trying to be helpful, I see that as their problem, not mine. They can ignore my information if they choose.


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Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
I get it that some people "like" using an FA. Fine, to each their own.
Well, then walk the walk -- to each their own.

But then you contradict yourself by saying that you will speak your mind. You can't have it both ways. Pick one or the other.
It's not a contradiction. I can speak my mind and share my ideas, that's what we do in a forum like this. You are free to speak your mind, and act opposite from where my information might lead you.

As far as the rest of this, I think samclem already covered it better than I could...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rustward View Post
...

I promise not to try to convert you to my way of doing things.
In return, don't try to convert me to your way of doing things.

Is this so hard to understand?
Am I being unreasonable?
OK, OK, NO, and YES.

I'm not trying to convert anyone. I'm providing information, people can do with it what they want.

Easy to understand.

Yes, I do think it is unreasonable to think that people won't present their thoughts about personal finance on a forum dedicated to early retirement. After all, this forum is not called "The Early Retirement Forum exclusively for those people with no savings and such large COLA'd pensions that they don't need to care one wit about managing or investing their money, their cash flow covers all conceivable expenses". The acronym would be unmanageable, and it would be a teeny-weensy-small subset of the population. What would they talk about, whether their checks arrive on the 1st or the 15th?

-ERD50
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Old 04-15-2017, 08:03 AM   #48
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I managed our portfolio for years and did reasonably well. However I managed it for growth, not income. Decided to hire an FA 3 years before FIRE for two reasons:
1. Transition portfolio to produce enough income for ER while still investing for growth as much as possible.
2. Confirm that we were ready for ER by running multiple scenarios and demonstrating to DH and me that we had enough to fully fund our desired cash flow needs after ER. We had run our own scenarios but definitely took comfort in having a pro do it for us and discuss different AA and investment strategies.

We pay 0.7% for about 60% of our assets. The other assets are tied up in employer deferred comp plans that cannot be rolled over or are in income producing real estate investments.

At some point, I may resume management of our portfolio, but I may not. I measure the FA's performance by comparing to a weighted average benchmark of the relevant indices based on AA. For 2016 we underperformed but the 3-year average was better than the indices. I agree with others that it is difficult for FA's to exceed index performance over the longer term. However, we may decide to stick with our FA because:
1. Time has value to me and I enjoy not having to spend as much time as I used to on managing our portfolio.
2. Our portfolio is almost exclusively individual stocks & bonds, not mutual funds or ETF's. It does take more time to manage this type of portfolio vs a few funds, but it is more tax-efficient and the finance geek in me likes owning individual companies vs broad indices.
3. Our FA doesn't sell any products such as insurance, annuities, etc. Simply manages the money for a fee. When I have questions, she answers them and I have been impressed by her thought process and sometimes different perspective than mine.

I also generally like having a professional to help me with life in general. I hire a doctor when I have a health issue. I hire an auto mechanic to maintain or repair my car. I hired a general contractor to manage our remodel. We have a housekeeper. And I hire a CPA to do our taxes, even though I'm also a CPA (I've never done tax work professionally).

Maybe others don't agree, but I think an FA who has been successfully managing portfolios for decades through multiple market cycles might be able to do it better than I could, even though I have substantial financial expertise.

Just like any other profession, there are good and bad FA's out there. Even people who are smart and theoretically could manage their own money may have other reasons to hire and get value from an FA.
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Old 04-15-2017, 09:23 AM   #49
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Not sure if this was discussed here before but a recent article in the WSJ shows that 82% of actively managed US mutual funds trailed index funds for the last 15 years.

http://www.early-retirement.org/foru...te=1&p=1868196

You may need a subscription to access the article. For those who are unable to access the article try these two links:

http://online.wsj.com/public/resourc...1-20170413.pdf
http://online.wsj.com/public/resourc...8-20170413.pdf


From the article:
"Over the 15 years ended in December 2016, 82% of all U.S. funds trailed their respective benchmarks, according to the latest S&P Indices Versus Active funds scorecard. This was the first year that the analysis included 15 years of data, helping smooth out periods of volatility that can affect the performance of active managers."
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Old 04-15-2017, 10:57 AM   #50
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Not sure if this was discussed here before but a recent article in the WSJ shows that 82% of actively managed US mutual funds trailed index funds for the last 15 years.
And yet, despite the persistence of articles and studies like this, active management continues. Many people believe their MF is in that lucky 18%, or that they or their FA is skilled enough to jump to the good funds just in time, etc. Or, they believe their FA, working from a storefront, can pick winning individual stocks with less volatility than a well diversified AA with holdings of thousands of stocks (no explanation on why these expert stock-pickers aren't just using leverage/options to become fabulously wealthy without needing to flog services to retail investors.)

It takes many years of data and a good knowledge of statistics to know if an advisor is outperforming the market on a risk-adjusted basis. By then, the investor's money is gone (and the guru has a plausible explanation, anyway).
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Old 04-15-2017, 11:18 AM   #51
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I managed our portfolio for years and did reasonably well. However I managed it for growth, not income. Decided to hire an FA 3 years before FIRE for two reasons:
1. Transition portfolio to produce enough income for ER while still investing for growth as much as possible.
I'm going to play the Devil's Advocate here.

Why manage for income vs. growth? I don't see the point. Money is fungible. Manage for total return and take whatever you have calculated is your SWR to live on. Who cares if the dollars came from growth, dividends, or interest?

Okay, time to kick the devil to the curb.

OTOH, if an income oriented approach works for you and you can sleep at night, by all means continue. Who am I to think I know better about what's good for you than you do? There's a lot to be said for having peace of mind. I'm sure many here could pick apart my AA and mutual find choices, but I do sleep well at night.
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Old 04-15-2017, 11:19 AM   #52
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Is it too early in this discussion to mention, refer to, Taylor's 3 fund portfolio?


Yea probably so.


Continue the discussion...
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Old 04-15-2017, 12:19 PM   #53
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The type of people who benefit from FAs are also the sort of people that see it as sensible to pay 1% for something they can get for free.



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Old 04-16-2017, 03:22 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by Corporateburnout View Post
Not sure if this was discussed here before but a recent article in the WSJ shows that 82% of actively managed US mutual funds trailed index funds for the last 15 years.

http://www.early-retirement.org/foru...te=1&p=1868196

You may need a subscription to access the article. For those who are unable to access the article try these two links:

http://online.wsj.com/public/resourc...1-20170413.pdf
http://online.wsj.com/public/resourc...8-20170413.pdf


From the article:
"Over the 15 years ended in December 2016, 82% of all U.S. funds trailed their respective benchmarks, according to the latest S&P Indices Versus Active funds scorecard. This was the first year that the analysis included 15 years of data, helping smooth out periods of volatility that can affect the performance of active managers."
many times just using a pretty cheap newsletter is all it takes to get very good performance , hand holding and guidance .

i have always used managed funds over most of my investor life but in a dynamic portfolio using the fidelity insight newsletter . . it never mattered to me how funds did year to year as all the funds i have used have sweet spots where the big picture is obviously better at times than others for them .

while fund managers have to stick to the funds bylaws and objectives day in and day out i do not and can tilt a portfolio slightly one way or another .

so it is easy for the sum of the parts to do better than any fund individually does . you do not even have to be right all the time . just being right more than wrong pays off .

so the performance is extracted when the bigger picture favors a particular fund's weighting when it has its day in the sun and when the big picture changes the fund is swapped .

as an example , last year about 20% of my portfolio was in high yield . it was a no brainier the way markets priced the high yield market like 1/2 of the bonds were going to default . it just made little sense . so there was a pretty good value there that ended up producing better than 16% returns yet had a beta of almost 1/2 the s&p 500 .

today the spread between quality and high yield is to the point it is no longer worth owning those funds anymore so they are swapped .

a high yield fund has to stay in high yield but i as an investor we do not and that makes a big difference in portfolio outcomes vs just performance on individual funds year over year .

another example might be small cap value has had a huge run up , today it is a good idea to scale back or even move to other areas of the market as the risk is likely greater than the reward may be , but even if you scale back and are wrong it will not hurt things much as it is only one fund in a portfolio that is swapped .


most of the fidelity and vanguard newsletters that utilize their funds have very good track records over the long term and they all do just that .

i use fidelity insight's newsletter and have been using it since 1987 with excellent results from managed funds .

a 100k investment when i started in the growth model is over 2.3 million today eclipsing the s&p 500 by just over 470k including those slightly higher expenses on fidelity managed funds .. just look at the difference in performance between fidelity's managed total bond fund vs vanguards unmanaged index , it is night and day over every time frame .

i can put portfolio's together in my sleep yet i use the the newsletter for many reasons .

i do it because i am never happy at being average at anything so left to my own devices i am always plotting my next move and 2nd guessing the last one trying to outsmart things .

i do it because i devote all of 30 seconds a week reading an update on friday's . usually funds stay in place for quite a while but when they outlived their usefulness they are swapped .

it makes it very simple for my wife to handle things if i am not here .

so performance has been good , the fact i don't have to think about things is good and the portfolio is nicely balanced because you can buy even index funds and end up with so much stock over lap without knowing just what is held .

it can be bad in index funds when putting different ones together and it gets worse buying managed funds where you can get lots of over lap from the same fund family .

40% of our assets are in index and etf funds in the golden butterfly which can react upward even in a stock plunge , the rest are in the fidelity insight models which i have followed for 30 years . are the models the winner every year ? nope . they just have to be more right than wrong and evidently that has not been hard to do at all over the decades .

so there is a big difference between a fund manager being locked in to the funds rules and objectives vs how you do as an investor when utilizing those funds in a comprehensive portfolio and the funds interact with each other and are not bound by rules and bylaws nor are you required to sit with the fund when the big picture changes for that fund . .

the insight growth model has averaged almost 11% cagr the last 30 years vs a bit over 10 for the s&p 500. that extra 1% which is after the slightly higher expenses grew a whole lot more money over the long term and the important thing is for most of it the beta was lower than the s&p 500..
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Vanguard report on the value of financial advice
Old 04-16-2017, 05:08 AM   #55
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Vanguard report on the value of financial advice

I have had very good success with a portfolio of diversified low cost mutual funds. Ive been investing for a long long time. I've never seen any reason to pay someone to pick a couple of funds for me. Once I had a couple years expenses in cash like instrument there is no rebalancing. It becomes set it and forget it. Oh yeah I buy some more every now and then when the cash builds up. If you take the time to read this forum you can read all you need to know.

Ask your self does vanguard publish these 2 numbers?
1. Average portfolio earnings all our customers not being managed
2. Average portfolio earnings after fees all our customers being managed

Say for the last 5, 7, 10 years. Oh you say that does account for... Me I really don't care I'm in it for the money. I have read on numerous occasions:

The average money manger never beats the market over time.
The impact of those fees over time can be dramatic. I've seen the numbers they are..
The number of people who put their faith in a fa who robbed them. The stories are never ending and heart breaking.

If your really need the fa they use one who charges by the hour and doesn't sell anything. And unless your JP Morgan it should take more then a couple hours. Oh if he/she shows up in a new car -ditch em and run like mad..
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Old 04-16-2017, 05:13 AM   #56
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the reason folks seek help is rarely picking the investments . the reason folks seek advice and hand holding is they lack the discipline to stay in them .

it is always not a bad idea to seek out knowledgeable advice . even those who index can benefit from a newsletter .

a classic error i see frequently is using the popular trinity from vanguard VOO-VO-VB by indexers . .

which is s&p 500-midcap-small cap

the over lap in holdings is pretty bad . the problem is the index's they follow .

on the other hand buying IVV-IJH-IJR from i-shares has no overlap because of different index's . so just buying index funds blindly is not the answer either .

someone on another forum looked under the hood at some popular combo's .


VOO vs. VO = 229 overlapping constituents (45% of VOO's holdings, 67% of VO's holdings)
VO vs. VB = 20 overlapping constituents (6% of VO's holdings, 1% of VB's holdings)
VOO vs. VB = 28 overlapping constituents (6% of VOO's holdings, 2% of VB's holdings)

IVV vs. IJH = 0 overlapping constituents
IJH vs. IJR = 0 overlapping constituents
IVV vs. IJR = 0 overlapping constituents
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Old 04-17-2017, 06:21 AM   #57
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I'm going to play the Devil's Advocate here.

Why manage for income vs. growth? I don't see the point. Money is fungible. Manage for total return and take whatever you have calculated is your SWR to live on. Who cares if the dollars came from growth, dividends, or interest?

Okay, time to kick the devil to the curb.

OTOH, if an income oriented approach works for you and you can sleep at night, by all means continue. Who am I to think I know better about what's good for you than you do? There's a lot to be said for having peace of mind. I'm sure many here could pick apart my AA and mutual find choices, but I do sleep well at night.


I agree total return is most important. However before we moved our portfolio to the FA, it was much less predictable. While annual or even multi-year performance numbers had been generally good, I sleep better having a more predictable stream of dividends and income coming from a chunk of our assets. Would not want to sell assets in a declining market if I can avoid it.

I'm not saying one can't create this DIY. I just didn't feel confident in my ability to do so and wanted the help of a pro. So far, so good.
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Old 04-18-2017, 07:54 AM   #58
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Money is fungible, but tax time, I find taxes are not fungible. Dividends create a tax burden immediately. Depending on location in my portfolio, this could be income, ltcg, or nothing.

I strive to get finances that simple place where it doesn't matter, but that will take years.
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