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Yet another FA story
Old 02-27-2016, 12:49 PM   #1
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Yet another FA story

I didn't want to hijack the other FA thread. Last Thursday I went to a "free" talk at my local library. Subject was Social Security and how to optimize benefits by determining right time to file, etc.
I knew there would be a sales pitch at some point, but since it was at the library I felt it would be "safer." Good news was the talk, as far as it went, was not a sales pitch per se but of course they offered a free detailed analysis to be put together later.
What the heck, I completed the questionnaire and gave it to the speaker. He's a local FA, and I told him I would meet with him but I was happy with my current - Vanguard - allocations. But I do have a few genuine questions regarding when I should start collecting SS.
I'm writing this on Saturday, 1:45 PM. He has called me FOUR times already. On the first call, I told him I would call him when I was ready to fix an appointment time. Thanks to caller ID I've avoided the other 3 calls. I'm not rich, but definitely am comfortable, so I guess he's "smelling a live one." His persistence - or should I say, nagging - doesn't necessarily surprise me but I've decided to forego that individualized SS analysis.
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Old 02-27-2016, 12:55 PM   #2
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His persistence - or should I say, nagging - doesn't necessarily surprise me but I've decided to forego that individualized SS analysis.
Probably a wise decision unless you want to toy with him as some do with telephone scammers.
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Old 02-27-2016, 05:34 PM   #3
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Yes, he sounds desperate, pushy, needs a client.

I've been to about a dozen dinners. At least we were full after the pitch.

One FA gave the "optimise your SS" decisions pitch. I took spouse for the followup discussion, as I wanted her to be more knowledgeable about the sales pitch, and how persuasive it could be. The discussion was entirely one sided. There was a serious tilt to the assumptions. How could we turn them down?

If you're strong willed, take it to the next level, but if you're short on time, don't waste any of it.
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Old 02-27-2016, 06:48 PM   #4
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Block the FA'S calls and google "social security solutions" think you will be happier that way.
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Old 02-27-2016, 07:31 PM   #5
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One FA gave the "optimise your SS" decisions pitch. . . . The discussion was entirely one sided. There was a serious tilt to the assumptions. How could we turn them down?
I've heard from several retiring military folks who let an FA talk them into refusing the government spousal retirement benefit annuity and instead buying insurance (through the FA) and loaded investments (through the FA). I don't doubt that there are some cases where suitable alternative investments make sense, but none of these folks fit that description and none of these investments were low cost. Usually the sales job disregarded the impact of inflation entirely or gave it only passing mention, along with very rosy depiction of future investment returns, The spouse had to sign off, but usually that wasn't a problem--everyone else was pushing the spouse to agree, and just look at those numbers in the projection! It's a shame, and I'm sure some sad stories resulted. No better than sharks . . .
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Old 02-27-2016, 10:30 PM   #6
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I'm in the same boat as you with respect to FA's. But, in fairness, the questionnaire was filled out by you with the hopes of getting additional time with him for personalized attention. I'm not on his side but I do think there are contributing factors on your part with respect to this posting.
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Old 02-27-2016, 10:44 PM   #7
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Yes, he sounds desperate, pushy, needs a client.
He is being a salesman, as that is what he is. Don't take it wrong, he is doing what it takes to get business.
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Old 02-28-2016, 10:46 AM   #8
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I'm in the same boat as you with respect to FA's. But, in fairness, the questionnaire was filled out by you with the hopes of getting additional time with him for personalized attention. I'm not on his side but I do think there are contributing factors on your part with respect to this posting.
I agree, in part. I did complete the form in good faith. But when I gave it to him I told him I was happy with my current investment set-up, was only interested in the SS analysis, and point-blank told him to not do any hard-sell on other products.
My point in my original post was just that I had told him, when he called me that first time, I would call him once I knew my schedule. After that he continued to call, which leads me to believe he didn't hear a word I said or chose to ignore it. That pushiness pretty much confirms I will get that hard sell after all. But if I change my mind and see him I remain curious what he has to show regarding SS filing - I can always just walk out. I have no compunction about being "politely rude."
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Old 02-28-2016, 12:17 PM   #9
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You could certainly expect a hard sell. Don't fault him too much, though. It's how he makes his income. You don't have to be one of the payers of that income though.
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Old 02-28-2016, 03:16 PM   #10
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I was curious about the SS analysis too. It was a big disappointment since there was no analysis. I ended up with a printout that showed how much better off I'd be after turning over our stash.
- wait til 70 for SS.
- we'll put you in many marvelous stocks that will pay you fantastic dividends.
- we have access to the best products around (annuities, preferreds)
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Old 02-28-2016, 04:20 PM   #11
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A quote from Investor's Manifesto by William Bernstein that comes to mind " If you act on the assumption that every broker, insurance salesman, mutual fund salesperson and financial advisor you encounter is a hardened criminal, you will do just fine."
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Old 02-28-2016, 04:52 PM   #12
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............ that is what he is. Don't take it wrong, he is doing what it takes to get business.
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.......... It's how he makes his income. ...........
One could say the same of a pickpocket.
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Old 02-29-2016, 01:41 AM   #13
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Don't give your number out or fill out a form if you don't want to be called. His job is to prospect clients. He is doing his job. Can't fault him for that. It's what the job entails.

I'm sure OP that he would rather not waste his time on you either if you have no intention of working with him and are just playing with his time.

Rather than being antisocial and not picking up the phone, take 20 seconds to let him know you're not interested and to take you off of his call list. Both he and you will appreciate and benefit from that effort.

He won't bother you with calls and you won't waste his valuable time on a cold lead. He spent valuable time giving the seminar. He is trying to earn a living. Can not fault him for that.

Bear in mind this forum is of higher financial intelligence than most. Some people do benefit from an FA, the same way some people benefit from going to counseling. Some need the hand holding.
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Old 02-29-2016, 05:04 AM   #14
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As I retire, right now, one of my assignments is to process the termination of my company's pension plan, which consists of 5 participants. 2 of them are DW and I, and the other 3 are long term employees of mine. 2 of those 3 are married.
I primed them 6 months ago that this day was coming, and talked with them about how I had managed the investments myself, but once the distributions were made, I would not be doing this. Along with this talk, and a few other conversations, I gave each a copy of "4 Pillars".
2 claim to have read the book, but don't seem to have understood much (which makes me doubt they really read it) and one said "I couldn't read it. Too boring"...I told her, "well, if you can't read ONE book on your financial security, I guess you DO need an advisor",,

We can't all be carpenters, and we can't all manage our own money. Clearly there is a need for FAs...trouble is, finding an honest one who really will put your interests ahead of his/hers.
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Old 02-29-2016, 07:39 AM   #15
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Don't give your number out or fill out a form if you don't want to be called. His job is to prospect clients. He is doing his job. Can't fault him for that. It's what the job entails.

I'm sure OP that he would rather not waste his time on you either if you have no intention of working with him and are just playing with his time.

Rather than being antisocial and not picking up the phone, take 20 seconds to let him know you're not interested and to take you off of his call list. Both he and you will appreciate and benefit from that effort.

He won't bother you with calls and you won't waste his valuable time on a cold lead. He spent valuable time giving the seminar. He is trying to earn a living. Can not fault him for that.

Bear in mind this forum is of higher financial intelligence than most. Some people do benefit from an FA, the same way some people benefit from going to counseling. Some need the hand holding.
In the interest of preserving my "reputation," I was sincere in giving him my completed questionnaire and intending to meet with him. My issue is the 4 calls over 2 days, when in the first call I had told him I would call him when I knew my schedule for the week. I help my 2 married adult children with occasional childcare, house-sit when they need a contractor to visit, etc. So I never know what "chores" they might assign to me.
Purpose of my original post was to point out that the apparent high pressure is a BIG turn-off to me, and my knee-jerk reaction is to resist that heavy ongoing pressure. I haven't yet decided, but yes if I plan to not follow thru I will let him know.
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Old 02-29-2016, 09:44 AM   #16
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In the interest of preserving my "reputation," I was sincere in giving him my completed questionnaire and intending to meet with him. My issue is the 4 calls over 2 days, when in the first call I had told him I would call him when I knew my schedule for the week. I help my 2 married adult children with occasional childcare, house-sit when they need a contractor to visit, etc. So I never know what "chores" they might assign to me.
Purpose of my original post was to point out that the apparent high pressure is a BIG turn-off to me, and my knee-jerk reaction is to resist that heavy ongoing pressure. I haven't yet decided, but yes if I plan to not follow thru I will let him know.

I'm sure he is busy too. He is likely trying to schedule multiple appointments with clients and doesn't want to blow you off and instead trying to prioritize you given your seemingly sincere intent. He is calling to give you pick of his schedule. Not high pressure at all. Courteous. Yes.

Many times people claim to "call you back " and get busy and never do so.
That's lost business for him and probably happens half the time so he NEEDs to be persistent. It's the nature of the role and the job.

I'd bet he also gives up his weekends and off hours to meet with people cutting into HIS time to spend with his own kids and family. Just tell him no thanks and move on... Or call him back as promised and set a time a few weeks out. You can always reschedule.

Be kind. Rewind. I think your view is a bit arrogant, as if your family time is more valuable - he already gave you a free seminar. Be decent enough to return his call and maybe even give him the feedback. He would probably appreciate that too and would definitely wait 2 weeks to call you back. I'm sure he is not intending to upset you ..

Better to go it alone. Tell him kindly that you enjoyed his free seminar (if you did enjoy it).
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Old 02-29-2016, 10:00 AM   #17
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papadad, what type of commissioned sales work did you do before you retired?
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Old 02-29-2016, 10:23 AM   #18
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Purpose of my original post was to point out that the apparent high pressure is a BIG turn-off to me, and my knee-jerk reaction is to resist that heavy ongoing pressure. I haven't yet decided, but yes if I plan to not follow thru I will let him know.
Is there any chance he has thought of something he forgot to mention in the first call and isn't trying to push? Could it also be possible that he got his notes mixed up and doesn't realize you have already talked? I can't imagine trying to get back to 25-50 people to schedule a followup and imagine it could be chaotic.
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Old 02-29-2016, 10:52 AM   #19
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Arrogant? You gotta be kidding me. Maybe I'll further update this thread, maybe I won't. This is getting too serious and personal for my taste.
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Old 02-29-2016, 10:56 AM   #20
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Arrogant? You gotta be kidding me. Maybe I'll further update this thread, maybe I won't. This is getting too serious and personal for my taste.
No, please don't do that, most of us here appreciate your situation and want to see how it evolves.
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