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Anyone attend wealth manager free education events?
Old 07-29-2021, 08:57 AM   #1
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Anyone attend wealth manager free education events?

I periodically get a "come to a free dinner and learn about x" invitations. The latest is "How tax planning changes through four stages of retirement". I would be interested in learning more about this topic, but am concerned either 1) it turns into a hard sell like timeshare sales, or 2) you don't really learn anything and it's just an attempt to scare you that if you don't hire them your retirement is doomed.

Have you found these type of events worthwhile?
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Old 07-29-2021, 09:06 AM   #2
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I periodically get a "come to a free dinner and learn about x" invitations. The latest is "How tax planning changes through four stages of retirement". I would be interested in learning more about this topic, but am concerned either 1) it turns into a hard sell like timeshare sales, or 2) you don't really learn anything and it's just an attempt to scare you that if you don't hire them your retirement is doomed.

Have you found these type of events worthwhile?
I would not go to these places to learn anything. They are trawling for clients. I would maybe go for a free lunch if I were incredibly bored, as a lark, just to try once if it were a great restaurant.

But, listening to a blow hard for an hour, followed by a dinner stuck with a bunch of strangers, sounds like a horrible evening.
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Old 07-29-2021, 09:06 AM   #3
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Worthwhile....NO.

Yeah, it's usually all about selling you something....like a very expensive annuity that makes the seller some really big fee income. It's not about you at all.
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Old 07-29-2021, 09:25 AM   #4
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Worthwhile....NO.

Yeah, it's usually all about selling you something....like a very expensive annuity that makes the seller some really big fee income. It's not about you at all.
+1
Unless you're in the mood for a "free meal" they're a waste of time.
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Old 07-29-2021, 09:35 AM   #5
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Worthwhile....NO.

Yeah, it's usually all about selling you something....like a very expensive annuity that makes the seller some really big fee income. It's not about you at all.
+2

I have done a couple because I teach an Adult-Ed investing class and I wanted to see what na´ve people might be subjected to.

The first one was a hoot. The pitchman outright lied to the audience about investment returns. Looking at https://brokercheck.finra.org/ showed he had 21 customer complaints, all resolved in the customers' favor and many in six figures. His last employer canned him a few days after the last listed complaint was filed, so he is now out on his own defrauding innocents.

A good investment person has ample referrals and does not need to recruit in this fashion.
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Old 07-29-2021, 09:44 AM   #6
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The year I retired DW attended 2 of these, one hosted by Fidelity and one hosted by Edelman Financial Engines. Since Fidelity is where my 401K and one taxable account is, and Rick Edelman is one advisor whose information I have found useful over the years, I knew what I was walking into. Both were on topics that I wanted to here their perspectives on. There was no sell, it seemed more like building up their mailing lists . The food was very good. The presentations I probably knew 90% of the info, but some new tidbits were found. DW, who is not a financial person, found the presentation very helpful.

Interestingly, I somehow got hold of a presentation on "follow up strategy" at the Edelman session that I do not think was meant for the audience. It described the actions and techniques to follow up with the attendees. There was nothing "sinister" in it, it reminded me of my early Megacorp sales training .

We get a lot of mailings from smaller, local firms, but I doubt I would go to one of those. I imagine that is where the real hard sell is.
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Old 07-29-2021, 09:50 AM   #7
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Only if it is a good restaurant and you want a free meal.

We have only gone to one, had an excellent meal and while I normally do not drink, their wine was fabulous.
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Old 07-29-2021, 09:54 AM   #8
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Only if it is a good restaurant and you want a free meal.

We have only gone to one, had an excellent meal and while I normally do not drink, their wine was fabulous.
It is a steakhouse - that was part of the draw
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Old 07-29-2021, 09:57 AM   #9
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Yes, but only when the restaurant they chose was a reputable one. Not Red Lobster, Applebee's, Outback or sub par places like that.

But not recently with the progression of Covid in Florida....
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Old 07-29-2021, 10:01 AM   #10
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It is a steakhouse - that was part of the draw
As long as you can resist buying whatever they are selling then go for it, bearing masking/COVID risk in mind. They would typically give out a form or something to sign up with your contact information for follow-up, in which you would decline.
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Old 07-29-2021, 10:09 AM   #11
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I found some dinners to be worth my investment of time. The advice was mostly sales crap. Even when a simple truth about returns comes up, you can be sure that including it is part of a scheme to separate you from your investments in a way that doesn't kill you.
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Old 07-29-2021, 10:11 AM   #12
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Always remember "there is no such thing as a free lunch"

And "if you are getting a product or service for free you are the product"
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Old 07-29-2021, 10:12 AM   #13
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It is a steakhouse - that was part of the draw
Steakhouses were usually the better meals. At the end you may feel a little guilty if you don't agree to a followup. That's your defining moment!
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Old 07-29-2021, 10:36 AM   #14
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If you have been thru some timeshare presentations and walked away without buying, then I think you'll have the fortitude to know when to stop. I've been to a couple of financial presentations over dinner. The dinners were so-so. The information was about the same. More can be learned here than you will pickup at one of these presentations. They usually just give a 10,000 ft overview and if you are interested in finding out more about how it affects your personal situation, then they have you...... a free 1hr sit down with a few more general ideas. Then the sell comes in.

I did attend a presentation put on by a FA at a local college that was very good. It was more like a 2 night class. No dinners involved. This is where I found the FA (for a fixed fee) who did a complete financial analysis with 20 year projections. It was worth my money to get a fresh look. The resultant report helped me build my own spreadsheet too. I did not hire him as my FA to his dismay.
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Old 07-29-2021, 10:44 AM   #15
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We use both Schwab and Fidelity. Our Schwab guy called and invited us to a cooking event with Wolfgang Puck. They are sending a box to our house and we will log into a virtual event. Can you say free dinner? Pretty cool way to keep clients happy without sales pitch. Those "free" dinner events from others typically have lousy food, no wine service, and really lame sales pitches for those who are way too susceptible. We attended one too many and got hooked on the old bucket system. After nearly a year of "free" meetings, building trust, they laid on the old "you need annuities" which is the furthest from the truth for us. We had to run......
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Old 07-29-2021, 10:47 AM   #16
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We use both Schwab and Fidelity. Our Schwab guy called and invited us to a cooking event with Wolfgang Puck.
Yes, I've been to a few great events put on by my local Fidelity office. Terrific food and good information was presented, with no selling involved. But I believe the OP is talking about those invitations that generally come in the mail from local independents, which is very different. I've been to a couple of those, long ago, and thought they were dreadful.
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Old 07-29-2021, 10:50 AM   #17
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With over 7 figures at Fidelity, I've never been invited to an "event". What am I doing wrong? Maybe my annual free TurboTax WAS my "event".
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Old 07-29-2021, 10:50 AM   #18
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I went to several before I retired.... Some really nice lunches and dinners.

Same message from all of them. Give us your money to manage, for a fee, and we offer no guarantees... There's a reason why these guys are still working for a living.... Validated my beliefs anyway.
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Old 07-29-2021, 11:07 AM   #19
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Yes, but only when the restaurant they chose was a reputable one. Not Red Lobster, Applebee's, Outback or sub par places like that.

But not recently with the progression of Covid in Florida....

Hey, they are not Ruth's Chris or Fogo de Chao, but I have enjoyed very nice meals at Red Lobster and Outback .
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Old 07-29-2021, 11:10 AM   #20
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Hey, they are not Ruth's Chris or Fogo de Chao, but I have enjoyed very nice meals at Red Lobster and Outback .
Unfortunately we have not, and probably will never go again to find out.
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