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Old 09-20-2008, 09:07 AM   #21
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i'm also detecting he(she) was looking to do a "back of the envelope" assessment prior to "the sales pitch".
the list of documents was definitely in line with a FULL assessment of your net worth and for fiancial/estate/retirement planning. one that you and the FP negotiated and DOCUMENTED a fixed fee price for and both parties understood the services and product (report, recommendations) delivered.
maybe you could find a reputable CFP in your area and do the whole enchilada. CFPs don't sell investment products, only their time and expertise.
you can save yourself a ton of money by having your data already well organized and use some of those free online templates for net worth and spreadsheets delatiling assets and liabilities ahead of time. Microsoft template library is an excellent source, as well as the major fund family websites. or make up your own in Excel.
good for you for protecting your personal data by blackening out...
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Old 09-20-2008, 12:41 PM   #22
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At my local community college I expected, and got, an excellent retirement planning seminar provided by representatives of my public employees union and private financial advisors for about the same price that OFO paid for a lousy one.

In addition, for free, one of the financial advisors prepared a comprehensive financial plan using data I supplied (not including the deed to my house or the title to my car.) I didn't supply any actual paperwork, hence no account numbers or social security numbers; I just supplied account balances for the relevant accounts, the value of my house and other property, etc. I told the planner up front I had no intention of buying any products. I received a very useful document worth the money I spent and more.

The guy you talked to was a scammer and you should definitely tell the community college that you expect much better when you attend one of their seminars.
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Old 09-20-2008, 08:18 PM   #23
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Determining how a client's major assets are titled (Cars, house, etc.) are an important input during the estate planning process.

In this instance, it sounded kind of shady.
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Old 09-21-2008, 11:43 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by ohfrugalone View Post
So I went to this continuing education class on Retirement Planning
You could have done much better by attending a free dinner/seminar at the local Outback that many of these guys put on regularly. The meals are generally excellent.

Those CE classes are no more than an occasion for the "planner" to add more names to his list of future potential clients. Surely you did not believe that he would take all of that time speaking to a group of folks for the few bucks that the school district pays him did you?
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Old 09-21-2008, 07:09 PM   #25
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As CFB pointed out, this is a real insult to folks who actually do real financial planning. Here's the best tip I can provide: these "classes" are just ways for a salesperson to get you to come in for a pitch.

If he/she were actually wanting to do a comprehensive plan, there would be an initial meeting where you could provide a snapshot of your financial picture/net worth/etc and then you would provide additional documentation as needed (like info about trusts/wills/guardianships for minor children). I can't imagine asking a client for a copy of the title to a car or deed to a house. And no way would you ask for the SSN until you were actually opening new accounts for them.

I've been to a couple of these classes in years past, just out of curiosity. Most have been just sales programs like yours. Anything with a title like live 5 years for free reeks of a scam. No real planner would call it that and good planners usually have enough clients that they wouldn't go out cattle calling for new ones.
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Old 09-21-2008, 08:25 PM   #26
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Well he didn't ask for my social security number, but since he wanted my last two years of tax returns....and since he was clearly surprised by my blacking out items on the few documents he did look at... And he didn't say he wanted the deed to the house or title to car - but said ownership documents related to real estate and vehicles - so I assumed that was what he meant. As far as I was concerned, if he didn't believe I owned my house and car, I didn't care. He didn't look for them anyway. I didn't bring them anyway. He didn't even ask me if I owned my home until I was walking out the door, and didn't ask about my car at all.

Honestly, the only free classes I get invited to are during the day from those traveling people, held at hotels, and usually involve option trading or real estate and since I know they are sales pitches I have never bitten. Not the way I want to use my leave time.

This class has been offered through the Continuing Ed Program 2x per semester for years, along with another one offered by a woman on the topic of Real Estate Planning. I really did believe it would be a normal class and that I could get a free assessment - I guess dumb on my part. I wanted to take one of the retirement classes because of my more recent obsession being eligible for the pension at work in a tad over a year. It was "Live 5 Years for Free" that tipped the hat as to which one I chose. I would figure by the number of people there that he makes about $100/hr teaching the class - so well it may not be massive to some - doesn't seem like a bad take to me.

The week before I had taken a class on how to choose a scanner - and I thought that class was very good - didn't have to pay extra for the handouts and the teacher gave us his website and phone number if we had any questions later. He doesn't sell scanners and wasn't pushing any particular brand - just specifications.
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Old 09-21-2008, 10:00 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by ohfrugalone View Post
He doesn't sell scanners and wasn't pushing any particular brand - just specifications.
There you are.

Dont feel bad for having been fooled. It happens to lots of people all the time.

I'm sorry it didnt go well for you. You had reasonable expectations. Communicate the failure of expectations to someone in charge. It may not make a difference, but you'll git 'er done.

That having been said, I made a ton of hay by speaking at community events and trade shows about stuff while only talking about specifications and why they were crucial. Specifications that could only be effectilvely met by my products and services.

Although I wicked screwed up the last time I did because there was a really hot chick in the front row that I kept "selling" to. She knew it, her friend knew it, and so did everyone else...its dang embarrassing when you're making an obvious sales move and 3000 people are watching and making commentary...
Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful. Just another form of "buy low, sell high" for those who have trouble with things. This rule is not universal. Do not buy a 1973 Pinto because everyone else is afraid of it.
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Old 09-21-2008, 10:04 PM   #28
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You know, the local community college runs an 8 week class on getting ready for retirement. The instructor -- a financial planner for Raymond James. BUT! It is not a sales pitch, it does provide basic education to each couple enrolled on the various components to consider when planning for retirement, and there is a free consultation and financial plan available from the instructor, if you want to divulge details.

I took the class, and provided financial details and met with the instructor. Of course, this part of the 'class' was after the sessions were over and was a way to garner clients for the firm. But, I found the canned financial plan fairly comprehensive and for $100 (the cost of the classes), well you couldn't beat an hour with a FP who was only discussing your finances and not what to invest in, or why his firm was the best and only firm that could help you.

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