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Investment advice wanted
Old 09-04-2018, 05:50 PM   #1
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Investment advice wanted

I'm 57, single, retired last year and have the majority of my funds in the Thrift Savings Plan. My new FA (I decided to get one since I'm nervous about this market and not sure what's the best thing to do for investing) wants me to move all my money out of the TSP and put it into Ameritrade funds. I'd told them I just wanted advice, didn't want them to have hands-on to my cash, but they've sent up an Advisery account at Ameritrade for me and want me to move the funds, and they'll arrange it all... (Sounds pretty hands-on to me.)

I'm leery (I know; paranoid much?); it's a small firm; don't know how good the adviser is. I'd tried Vanguard but didn't have a good experience with the two guys I talked to there. Hadn't gotten around to trying Fidelity yet. I have a beneficiary IRA being handled by another small firm my parents used, but they tell me they can't advise on the TSP. I don't think the TSP offers a broad enough selection - no Large Cap funds for one - and I'm not very knowledgeable on investing overall. Wish the darned crystal ball worked!

Any suggestions? Try Vanguard again?
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Old 09-04-2018, 05:59 PM   #2
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Fire the FA! And run away from Ameritrade too.

I haven't had any difficulty with Vanguard but my requirements are pretty simple. If you're reluctant to try Vaunguard again, others here have good opinions of Schwab and Fidelity although I don't have any experience with them myself.
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Old 09-04-2018, 06:06 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KimL View Post
..I'd told them I just wanted advice, didn't want them to have hands-on to my cash, but they've sent up an Advisery account at Ameritrade for me and want me to move the funds, and they'll arrange it all... (Sounds pretty hands-on to me.)...
If they did not listen to you, how are you going to trust them?
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Old 09-04-2018, 06:24 PM   #4
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It has been said many times here that nobody will ever care as much about your money as you do, and learning to manage it yourself is nowhere near as hard as most people think it is.

Why not just dip your toe into the water and start reading a book or two on the subject?

One of my favorites for beginners is Millionaire Teacher by Andrew Hallam.
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Old 09-04-2018, 06:27 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by KimL View Post
My new FA (I decided to get one since I'm nervous about this market and not sure what's the best thing to do for investing) wants me to move all my money out of the TSP and put it into Ameritrade funds.


Quote:
Any suggestions? Try Vanguard again?
Spend a few hours with a fee-only fiduciary financial planner.
Then, if you like them you can continue working with them. If not, move on to another. Repeat until you are comfortable.
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Old 09-04-2018, 06:37 PM   #6
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Don’t do anything until you get a firm grip on your situation (except maybe rite BOTH FAs). The beneficiary IRA firm should be able to give you an overview of TSP but since they can’t benefit they don’t want to spend the time. TSP has everything a typical index investor needs including the C Fund which is indeed a large cap US stock fund. You don’t seem to be inclined to invest in individual stocks or anything too exotic. I do think the TSP bond fund options are light...no high quality corporate bond fund. How is the IRA invested? You should look for a fee only planner that is knowledgeable about TSP.
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Old 09-04-2018, 06:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KimL View Post
I'm 57, single, retired last year and have the majority of my funds in the Thrift Savings Plan. My new FA (I decided to get one since I'm nervous about this market and not sure what's the best thing to do for investing) wants me to move all my money out of the TSP and put it into Ameritrade funds. I'd told them I just wanted advice, didn't want them to have hands-on to my cash, but they've sent up an Advisery account at Ameritrade for me and want me to move the funds, and they'll arrange it all... (Sounds pretty hands-on to me.)

I'm leery (I know; paranoid much?); it's a small firm; don't know how good the adviser is. I'd tried Vanguard but didn't have a good experience with the two guys I talked to there. Hadn't gotten around to trying Fidelity yet. I have a beneficiary IRA being handled by another small firm my parents used, but they tell me they can't advise on the TSP. I don't think the TSP offers a broad enough selection - no Large Cap funds for one - and I'm not very knowledgeable on investing overall. Wish the darned crystal ball worked!

Any suggestions? Try Vanguard again?
Be very careful with Advisory accounts at TDA. The fees are high and so are the losses. They were trying to push me into an account managed by some clowns called Sheaff Brock back in 2015. This is a loser firm where many of their clients lost a lot of money and there are multiple arbitration suits pending against Sheaf Brock and TDA. They bribed me with a $500 cash bonus to have a free lunch with representatives from Sheaff Brock and that lunch ended in 24 minutes after I realized I was talking to a total loser. I just had the salad and told the guy to eat my entree. He looked like he was on a 5000 calorie per day diet. I complained to my assigned TDA representative for wasting my time. They upped my cash bonsus to $750 and promised not to do it again.

Here is some information on the arbitration:

https://www.businesswire.com/news/ho...COUNTS-MANAGED


If you are unsure of what to do with your money, just ladder CDs or corporate bonds yourself.
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What to do
Old 09-04-2018, 06:57 PM   #8
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What to do

Here are some simple options:
1. Just invest in something like a “balanced” fund which uses your age to retirement.
2. Alternately, use something like a “Bogleheads” strategy... this requires almost no work and should perform very well.
3. If you want to do a little more work, use either a “Dogs of the Dow” or other dividend investing strategy, with reinvesting dividends.

All of these should do well, IMO. None of them run as much risk of being misled or sold something that only benefits the FA.
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Old 09-04-2018, 08:28 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by BoodaGazelle View Post
Here are some simple options:
1. Just invest in something like a “balanced” fund which uses your age to retirement.
2. Alternately, use something like a “Bogleheads” strategy... this requires almost no work and should perform very well.

All of these should do well, IMO. None of them run as much risk of being misled or sold something that only benefits the FA.
+1 on #1, and +1 on #2.
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Old 09-04-2018, 08:40 PM   #10
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The TSP offers some of the cheapest funds out there. You are fine where you are. Moving money out of the TSP to what this slimy salesman is pushing would be a huge mistake. If you feel you need a more balanced portfolio, roll a small portion over to Vanguard and buy some of the well-managed Wellesley fund or something similar.

Run from this jerk. I don't know where you found this guy, but he clearly is not a fiduciary, acting in your best interest. He is trying to get your money under his management. You don't need or want him or the funds he suggested.
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TSP is hard to beat
Old 09-04-2018, 08:50 PM   #11
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TSP is hard to beat

I know they don't have as many options as others, but the TSP funds have extremely low costs.

Commercial bond g funds are losing value this year because of rising interest rates yet the G fund can't lose money and is currently paying 3%, and will rise as interest rates rise.

Stay with TSP until you are really sure you have found something better.

Even then you may move only part of your money
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Old 09-04-2018, 08:50 PM   #12
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Run far, run fast.

I paid for 5 hrs worth of time with a fiduciary financial planner. I felt it was money well spent.

I do the bogleheads 3 fund now. As was mentioned you could always use a lifestrategy, or balanced fund. Either would work. However, if you are worried about being able to stick to your plan during volatility a lifestrategy might be better.
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Old 09-04-2018, 08:53 PM   #13
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Thanks! I appreciate the advice. I know the TSP has the lowest fees, so I'll probably leave it in the TSP a while longer and read up more on TSP investment advice and the Boglehead strategy. I've heard the Lifecycle funds in the TSP are on the conservative side, so may split between the 2030 and 2040 funds, with maybe 20% in the G Fund (unless the rumor I'd heard of the govt cutting its interest rates pans out). I'm not planning to touch the money for another 10 to 15 years anyway.

The FA didn't tell me what funds they plan to put my money in; and I just received a Thank You from Ameritrade for choosing to get all my notifications electronically. I've never even logged in to Ameritrade - my comfort level with this whole idea has been exceeded...
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Old 09-04-2018, 09:07 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KimL View Post
I'm 57, single, retired last year and have the majority of my funds in the Thrift Savings Plan. My new FA (I decided to get one since I'm nervous about this market and not sure what's the best thing to do for investing) wants me to move all my money out of the TSP and put it into Ameritrade funds. I'd told them I just wanted advice, didn't want them to have hands-on to my cash, but they've sent up an Advisery account at Ameritrade for me and want me to move the funds, and they'll arrange it all... (Sounds pretty hands-on to me.)

I'm leery (I know; paranoid much?); it's a small firm; don't know how good the adviser is. I'd tried Vanguard but didn't have a good experience with the two guys I talked to there. Hadn't gotten around to trying Fidelity yet. I have a beneficiary IRA being handled by another small firm my parents used, but they tell me they can't advise on the TSP. I don't think the TSP offers a broad enough selection - no Large Cap funds for one - and I'm not very knowledgeable on investing overall. Wish the darned crystal ball worked!

Any suggestions? Try Vanguard again?
first of all LEARN !!!
( regardless of if you hire an adviser or not )

next have some sort of idea where you want to be in 10 years ( and beyond )

i took the bull by the horns and went , do it yourself , realizing i would make mistakes and some lucky guesses and well as sound judgment calls

there is no 'one size fits all solution ' you will have to understand which differences will suit you best ( and use them )

good luck

take a DEEP breath this will be a big adventure , no doubt about that
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Old 09-04-2018, 09:12 PM   #15
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It sounds like this guy opened accounts without your permission. Unless you authorized him to do this, that's not allowed. Read anything you signed carefully. In your shoes, I would e-mail him and tell him you will not be using his services and to close any accounts he set up on your behalf immediately. You do not want them moving the money, as it would likely be impossible to move it back.
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Old 09-04-2018, 09:19 PM   #16
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Thanks, I'm still figuring it all out. I retired early because I had the good luck to put all my money into the most aggressive (C and S) funds several years ago, plus my mom left me a little. Now I'm just trying to make sure I don't lose it all again when the market does drop.

Not sure where I'll be in 10 years - I'm on my own, retired and the only thing tying me down at this point is my Stuff (condo & everything in it).
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Old 09-04-2018, 09:27 PM   #17
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Thanks, I'm still figuring it all out. I retired early because I had the good luck to put all my money into the most aggressive (C and S) funds several years ago, plus my mom left me a little. Now I'm just trying to make sure I don't lose it all again when the market does drop.

Not sure where I'll be in 10 years - I'm on my own, retired and the only thing tying me down at this point is my Stuff (condo & everything in it).
make sure your plan is flexible then

the EASY part is to lose it again , keeping it and growing it is a little harder but not impossible .

also find yourself a reliable calculator ( to always double check the numbers )

PS paranoid is not a totally bad thing in finance even Uncle Sam is out to get some .

you CAN do it , you have started asking questions before all the cash is gone ( well done )
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Old 09-05-2018, 05:03 AM   #18
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No to the FA.
No to Ameritrade.
Yes to books. I always recommend Your Money and Your Brain by Jason Zweig.
Yes to one session with a fee only planner if you like.
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Old 09-05-2018, 06:04 AM   #19
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I think in this case the FA does not work for Ameritrade (TDAmeritrade), but just uses them as a place to hold clients investments. Fidelity, Schwab, and TDAmeritrade all have these kinds of custodial arrangements.

Of course, the FA wants to get their hands on your money. Don't do that.

Take your time. You can even take 2 or 3 years to sort this all out. There is no rush. The TSP is one of the BEST places to have your money.

And the TSP has every investment that you will ever need. When the OP wrote "I don't think the TSP offers a broad enough selection - no Large Cap funds for one - and I'm not very knowledgeable on investing overall." I have to agree with the second part of that, but the TSP has a number of Large Cap funds: At least one for US stocks and one for International stocks. And that's all the large cap funds that one needs.
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Old 09-05-2018, 07:22 AM   #20
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Run don't walk. Such good advice from the others in this post, I won't repeat.
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