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Old 07-16-2020, 09:02 PM   #61
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This is a conservative allocation - 40/60. Average over 10 yrs, abt. 5-6% ..
That sounds pretty awful. Your high end would be 1.06^10 = 1.79x. Starting with $100K, that's $179,085.

A 40/60 of VTI/BND, annual re-bal, gets you $210,388.

https://bit.ly/2DQsWZ0 << short link to portfoliovisualizer

And $223,879 w/o re-bal. (That's 8.32% CAGR)

$30K ~ $40K short of doing near nothing.

edit - ooops, cross posted with others....

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Old 07-17-2020, 04:57 AM   #62
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This is a conservative allocation - 40/60. Average over 10 yrs, abt. 5-6% ..
It is interesting that US Broad Index of equities returned 13.6% during this period.
https://dqydj.com/wilshire-5000-return-calculator/

I don't expect more than 6% in next decade and in your case not more than 2-3%.

Those are not inflation adjusted numbers. So after inflation and taxes you may be looking 0% returns before you pay 0.55% to FA.
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Old 07-17-2020, 07:35 AM   #63
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Yup. It's why I don't frequent bogelheads anymore. Something about financial planners. Everybody is a DIY expert. Seems to be more than any other profession. The reality is, in my opinion, financial planners (if good) do way more than select your fund diversification.

Agree. The truth is, everyone COULD be a DIY expert. However, not everyone is interested to read about investments, has the cast iron constitution required to do exactly nothing when their portfolio falls 40%, or a partner willing to leave 100% of money matters to the other.
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Old 07-17-2020, 08:05 AM   #64
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Agree. The truth is, everyone COULD be a DIY expert. However, not everyone is interested to read about investments, has the cast iron constitution required to do exactly nothing when their portfolio falls 40%, or a partner willing to leave 100% of money matters to the other.

Would be interesting poll to see for everyone on this forum who despises FA's, how many built their own house, service their home/car/appliances, mow their own lawn, self medicate, handle their own legal matters, grow their own food, homeschool their kids, etc. Certainly can DIY cheaper than paying the guy.

To be clear, I am not promoting FA's and happen to do many of the things I mentioned by myself. However, from time to time I pay for technical expertise or muscle.
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Old 07-17-2020, 08:06 AM   #65
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Tough crowd!
I need to double check that 10 year return. Looks like Schwab took away all but the taxable portfolio in my portfolio performance calculator so the 5-6% only applied to the taxable. I have a Roth and I-401k that weren't factored in.

I don't expect more than 6% in next decade and in your case not more than 2-3%.

Those are not inflation adjusted numbers. So after inflation and taxes you may be looking 0% returns before you pay 0.55% to FA.


Well with all due respect, terms such as "I don't expect" and "may be" are only speculation. : )
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Old 07-17-2020, 08:10 AM   #66
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Yup. It's why I don't frequent bogelheads anymore. Something about financial planners. Everybody is a DIY expert. Seems to be more than any other profession. The reality is, in my opinion, financial planners (if good) do way more than select your fund diversification.
edit/add: I missed this post, and my response applies as well -
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Would be interesting poll to see for everyone on this forum who despises FA's, how many built their own house, service their home/car/appliances, mow their own lawn, self medicate, handle their own legal matters, grow their own food, homeschool their kids, etc. Certainly can DIY cheaper than paying the guy.

To be clear, I am not promoting FA's and happen to do many of the things I mentioned by myself. However, from time to time I pay for technical expertise or muscle.
But when it comes to the investing part, it makes sense that a DIY would be an investing 'expert' more than in any other profession.

Other professions are generally dependent upon skill, experience, specialized tools, and sometimes just plain hard work. Hiring a pro versus DIY can be a very rational decision.

But when it comes to investing (not the other decision-making stuff), the data says that skill, experience, specialized tools, and hard work are not a factor. The only specialized tool that would help is a functioning crystal ball. Otherwise, you pick an AA, invest in a few broad based index funds/ETFs, and get on with your life. You are an expert, and probably better than an expert due to likely lower ER, simplicity, and no other fees.

That said, maybe I've missed it, but it seems to me people have had trouble finding an FA to do a real professional analysis on those other things, like optimizing Roth conversions, SS timing, and other subjects that get tossed around here regularly.

another add: Also, language like "for everyone on this forum who despises FA's," is not helpful Many/most of us are presenting facts about what an FA can/cannot do, and their likely negative effect on your portfolio. That's not "hating" it's facts. Challenge the assertion, not the motivation. That kind of language gets the thread heated and sometimes shut down (like the recent Tesla thread, where anyone presenting certain facts is labeled a "hater" or "anti-Tesla")

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Old 07-17-2020, 08:20 AM   #67
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Tough crowd!
I need to double check that 10 year return. Looks like Schwab took away all but the taxable portfolio in my portfolio performance calculator so the 5-6% only applied to the taxable. I have a Roth and I-401k that weren't factored in.

I don't expect more than 6% in next decade and in your case not more than 2-3%.

Those are not inflation adjusted numbers. So after inflation and taxes you may be looking 0% returns before you pay 0.55% to FA.


Well with all due respect, terms such as "I don't expect" and "may be" are only speculation. : )
Yup it is speculation. Given that we have highest public debt since 1945 (and skyrocketing) , that Fed rate is hitting 0, highest unemployment since Great Depression, populism, Trade Wars, City and State pensions running low, Fed printing money at never seen numbers, etc. Next decade does not look very good.

Everybody speculates so they can prepare for a future.
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Old 07-17-2020, 08:22 AM   #68
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Tough crowd! ...
Facts are facts. Ignore them at your own peril. IMO, the "tough" thing is to ignore facts. That can really hurt a person.

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Old 07-17-2020, 08:28 AM   #69
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Yup it is speculation. Given that we have highest public debt since 1945 (and skyrocketing) , that Fed rate is hitting 0, highest unemployment since Great Depression, populism, Trade Wars, City and State pensions running low, Fed printing money at never seen numbers, etc.

Everybody speculates so they can prepare for a future.
I've been cleaning out my files lately, I found some notes from 2005 regarding Bernstein's "Four Pillars" book (2002 edition).

I noted that he felt that while stocks have historically outpaced bonds, he wasn't expecting that over the next 2 decades. Well, he was pretty correct for the next 10 years, but from 2013 to present, stocks climbed way ahead.

CAGR of 4.48% for VBMFX-Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Inv vs 7.54% for VFINX-Vanguard 500 Index Investor. JAN 2002 to present JUN2020.

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Old 07-17-2020, 08:59 AM   #70
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Anyone can go back and view the 10-year predictions of major institutions. For example, search "vanguard prediction next ten years" without quotes, and you can see the modifications of forecast as 2019 progressed. Even though we'd like to believe these are static predictors, they are not. Sh*t happens and the crystal ball gets cloudier.

My guess is that seasoned investors know this, and refer to future returns being lower in the next ten. It's a better way to think of the future than taking a stab at the returns of last ten years (maybe it was 5-6%) and thinking an advisor can add 2-3% to that, justifying their fee(s) going forward.

1) We prefer to stick with DIY and an asset allocation we can live with.

2) If anyone wants to pay an advisor, it is probably ok with most on the forum. At times the comments get more passionate, but that is how everyone is on a forum.
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Old 07-17-2020, 09:07 AM   #71
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Facts are facts. Ignore them at your own peril. IMO, the "tough" thing is to ignore facts. That can really hurt a person.
@ERD50, you are correct in your posts advising how to optimize total investment return. That is a fact.

But let me offer you another fact that, IMHO, you are ignoring: Not everyone is interested in optimizing investment return at the expense of other life optimizations, like not worrying about their investments. I know many smart people who know that they do not get and cannot get optimum total returns because they are using an FA. I'd suggest that you not ignore this fact. Life is a multivariable optimization problem and the best we can do is the best we can do.

Speaking personally, we do not use an FA because for me running the money and participating here is a nice hobby and for DW, running the money is simply an extension of what she did professionally. So no big deal for us. But if we made the tradeoff the other way and used an FA, the impact on our lifestyle and ability to spend would be zero. No "hurt" IOW. To the extent this suboptimal approach had any impact at all it would be on our heirs. But if we did that, you might also be excoriating us for ignoring facts.
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Old 07-17-2020, 09:18 AM   #72
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What I tried to say is do not expect 4% withdrawal rate in next 10 years. Expect maybe 3%, even less with FA managed accounts (since those underperform)

If you can afford to give 1/6th to 1/3rd of that money to FA and it makes you feel safer/better then go for it.
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Old 07-17-2020, 09:55 AM   #73
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Yup it is speculation. Given that we have highest public debt since 1945 (and skyrocketing) , that Fed rate is hitting 0, highest unemployment since Great Depression, populism, Trade Wars, City and State pensions running low, Fed printing money at never seen numbers, etc. Next decade does not look very good.

Everybody speculates so they can prepare for a future.


Ok, kinda relates to my apprehension about being completely on my own specifically within the next year or so and the impulsive choice to ask to become an AUM client so I could have more active oversight of my portfolio. Extraordinary uncertainty and confluence of once-in-a-century/lifetime events, a thorougly unpredicatable and unstable (not political, simply observational) 'leader' and myriad other variables at the very point at which I want to transition from work to retirement.

So ok, I've already resolved that I'll do this AUM thing for maybe a year - maybe less - and then revert to either the hourly advice model or DIY. The change of arrangement was exclusively mine and without any provocation by the adviser whatsoever. As i also said i never proclaimed support for the AUM mgt approach for all reasons already presented.

I've established a rapport with this guy over 11 years, strictly on an hourly rate basis. Few advisors - in this case a former fund manager - are willing to go this route. Ergo his advice is objective - albeit underperforming similar portfolio models.. I'm not even sure those return figures are really accurate because there are underlying variables with use of a number of closed-end funds, dividend income of 55-60k /year and other aspects that aren't necessarily reflected in a general 3-5-10 year performance calculation. Alot of that was my own risk-aversion. My bad. Tho preservation when you're approaching retirement becomes an important consideration.

I am a fan of hourly planning vs AUM. I see no great harm when we're talking at most, a few grand, vs even a discounted .55/year of assets. Switching was an impulsive move. I am virtually certain I'll convert back to the original deal or move elsewhere and get an initial and maybe periodic consult after revamping a 'mostly' DIY plan built on a simple well diversified vs needlessly micro-diversified (read, too many funds with small positions) PF composition. Telling the advisor i want to change back will be a little awkward but obviously in ten years time i've favored the hourly model and now that i have more time to devote to DIY, it should be understandable if i want to go that route.
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Old 07-17-2020, 09:59 AM   #74
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I use Vanguard Advisory for half of my portfolio, which essentially provides me access at half price. They still coach me on the other half in broad strokes I can easily apply.

The main reason I stick with it is that I enjoy the “behavioral coaching” and can get sound advice any time I want. I’m also about to quit working and plan to have them vet my withdrawal strategy.

It sounds like you enjoy a little hand holding. If that makes you feel better I’d say it’s worth the peace of mind.
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Old 07-17-2020, 10:22 AM   #75
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I use Vanguard Advisory for half of my portfolio, which essentially provides me access at half price. They still coach me on the other half in broad strokes I can easily apply.

The main reason I stick with it is that I enjoy the “behavioral coaching” and can get sound advice any time I want. I’m also about to quit working and plan to have them vet my withdrawal strategy.

It sounds like you enjoy a little hand holding. If that makes you feel better I’d say it’s worth the peace of mind.
Yes, that's true..and I think that is a very reasonable approach. Interesting that you can tailor their advisory to just a certain fraction vs the whole portfolio and still get general guidance on the rest of your holdings, particularly if includes ongoing rebalancing advice.

I planned on arranging a Vanguard review some time in the future. I do favor the user-friendliness of my Schwab vs Vanguard's interface so that'd take some getting used to.
I'm assuming if I were to do a total conversion from Schwab, VG would advise on the most tax-efficient strategy. Do they also allow use of managed funds if i
have a preference over index funds in some categories? (I guess if I insist, they'd be obligated to go along with me in any event).
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Old 07-17-2020, 12:00 PM   #76
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edit/add: I missed this post, and my response applies as well -


But when it comes to the investing part, it makes sense that a DIY would be an investing 'expert' more than in any other profession.

Other professions are generally dependent upon skill, experience, specialized tools, and sometimes just plain hard work. Hiring a pro versus DIY can be a very rational decision.

But when it comes to investing (not the other decision-making stuff), the data says that skill, experience, specialized tools, and hard work are not a factor. The only specialized tool that would help is a functioning crystal ball. Otherwise, you pick an AA, invest in a few broad based index funds/ETFs, and get on with your life. You are an expert, and probably better than an expert due to likely lower ER, simplicity, and no other fees.

That said, maybe I've missed it, but it seems to me people have had trouble finding an FA to do a real professional analysis on those other things, like optimizing Roth conversions, SS timing, and other subjects that get tossed around here regularly.

another add: Also, language like "for everyone on this forum who despises FA's," is not helpful Many/most of us are presenting facts about what an FA can/cannot do, and their likely negative effect on your portfolio. That's not "hating" it's facts. Challenge the assertion, not the motivation. That kind of language gets the thread heated and sometimes shut down (like the recent Tesla thread, where anyone presenting certain facts is labeled a "hater" or "anti-Tesla")

-ERD50

My issue is how the “certain facts” are universally applied regardless and without knowing what an individual has in their portfolio that could evolve from 401k plans, ESOP’s, ESPP, inheritance, and other causes. Many folks accumulate significant wealth through concentrated holdings that can be circumstantial. These all have tax implications for example, that can also take strategy/expertise/knowledge to navigate wisely over time based on plans and goals. Thus, I’m coming from point of view that not everyone can easily get majority of holdings to 3 funds. That would have delayed my FIRE.

I do respect and appreciate your insightful posts.

I rest my case and will accept (and try to remember!) deliberate and unconscious bias (mine included) is part of life and forums.
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Old 07-19-2020, 11:11 AM   #77
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@ERD50, you are correct in your posts advising how to optimize total investment return. That is a fact.

But let me offer you another fact that, IMHO, you are ignoring: Not everyone is interested in optimizing investment return at the expense of other life optimizations, like not worrying about their investments. I know many smart people who know that they do not get and cannot get optimum total returns because they are using an FA. I'd suggest that you not ignore this fact. Life is a multivariable optimization problem and the best we can do is the best we can do. ...
I don't think it's a matter of me ignoring any facts, I'm just stating them.

OK, we can say it is a fact that " Not everyone is interested in optimizing investment return at the expense of other life optimizations, like not worrying about their investments. ", but I don't think that's a very useful way to state it, because it is based on some misconceptions. While it might be true for some, my point is, they could/should educate themselves (it's not hard), and they likely are in a stage of false sense of security with their advisor.

The first misconception is that "optimizing" your investments (and I'm talking investments here, not tax planning) involves compromising other areas of your life, or adding worry. It's probably less work to set up a 2-3 ETF portfolio than it is to deal with an FA. As we often say, once you have enough knowledge to know if your FA is doing the right things, you have the knowledge to do it yourself. I just don't see how an FA relieves worry - now I have to worry about my investments and my FA! If people understood that the FA has no investment magic, they'd realize they haven't really accomplished anything, they just added a layer of bureaucracy, cost, and opacity, and very likely made it worse.

So an FA might be like a placebo for some, but at the usual 1% AUM (and likely under-performance from high fee funds to make it look impressive), that's an expensive placebo.

If I try for an analogy - Let's say you know someone who swears a certain expensive gas/oil additive improves his MPG, but we know that is not true, in fact it hurts his MPG, and might damage his car over the long run. Sure, we can say it's a "fact" that he believes it, but what good is that doing him? Shouldn't we try to educate him to the actual facts?

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Old 07-19-2020, 11:18 AM   #78
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... If I try for an analogy - Let's say you know someone who swears a certain expensive gas/oil additive improves his MPG, but we know that is not true, in fact it hurts his MPG, and might damage his car over the long run. Sure, we can say it's a "fact" that he believes it, but what good is that doing him? Shouldn't we try to educate him to the actual facts?
Sure, but not to the point of browbeating him. IMO once you've made your point several times, you are no longer "educating," you are browbeating. Also BTW, wasting your time.
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Old 07-19-2020, 01:03 PM   #79
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"Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
... If I try for an analogy - Let's say you know someone who swears a certain expensive gas/oil additive improves his MPG, but we know that is not true, in fact it hurts his MPG, and might damage his car over the long run. Sure, we can say it's a "fact" that he believes it, but what good is that doing him? Shouldn't we try to educate him to the actual facts?
Sure, but not to the point of browbeating him. IMO once you've made your point several times, you are no longer "educating," you are browbeating. Also BTW, wasting your time.
"

Hey from OP Mike. Look, I've not disagreed at all that an FA, for an educated investor - and I think I am- is a drag on a portfolio, and am down with the whole historical argument for the simplicity and savings of DIY. What's gotten lost was the point about how an hourly fee model offers a significant advantage vs the AUM model.

I said like, five times now, that I made an impulsive choice and want to revert to the hourly arrangement OR self management entirely. However I don't see major collateral damage in paying a FA hourly to go over things, a few times a year for a 2nd opinion. Over a decade that cost comes to a small fraction of the AUM approach--and its also why only a fraction of FAs go that route. The guy was doing me a favor in that respect, since the majority of his 90 or so clients are AUM.

Now I know that in your eyes I shouldn't even pay a penny to an FA, hourly or otherwise. I know you think I 'don't get' that concept. The 'deal' in this case was that I felt i needed some active oversight with the prospect of an extraordinary year ahead - and yeah, it IS - i don't care what anybody says. We're in some dire straits on multiple levels that none of you or I have seen in a lifetime. There is no precedent for this confluence of chaos. So that being said, I'll reiterate I have no problem having some added perspective from a CFP/former fund manager during this period. Yes, after some sense of stabilization is on the horizon, I'll ask him to switch back to hourly or otherwise go it on my own. Also, there actually are some benefits of having someone to assist with rebalancing and helping with principal preservation when transitioning into more reliance on dividend vs work income and other retirement planning assistance.

As far as DIY, If Vanguard's website wasn't so un-user-friendly and primitive compared to Schwab, I'd be more motivated to move my accounts there. Presumably I'd get some guidance from them for tax-efficiently downsizing and converting this PF to a simpler smaller # of funds in a moderate- conservative allocation that would likely provide equivalent or better return. I also never disputed that performance advantage. To be clear, on an hourly basis I spent like,less than 3 grand a year - if that prior to this. I never favored the AUM model, I said I don't like it, and there are way more hourly FAs today than ten years ago, for the very reasons you've mentioned.

So, I've only been on the AUM agreement for a couple of months. Like I also said, it's not easy to just turn on this guy and say I want to switch back this quickly. It's not like he's some predator. I respect the rapport we've had over 11 years and would at least like to be diplomatic about things.
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Old 07-19-2020, 02:22 PM   #80
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"Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
... If I try for an analogy - Let's say you know someone who swears a certain expensive gas/oil additive improves his MPG, but we know that is not true, in fact it hurts his MPG, and might damage his car over the long run. Sure, we can say it's a "fact" that he believes it, but what good is that doing him? Shouldn't we try to educate him to the actual facts?
Sure, but not to the point of browbeating him. IMO once you've made your point several times, you are no longer "educating," you are browbeating. Also BTW, wasting your time.
"

Hey from OP Mike. ....

Now I know that in your eyes I shouldn't even pay a penny to an FA, hourly or otherwise. I know you think I 'don't get' that concept. ....
I think only 2 of my posts were directly to you, the one responding to "tough crowd", just my view that it was fact based, no reason to view it as tough or not. The 2nd was about how it appeared your managed portfolio under-performed significantly.

The rest were of a more general nature to some of the general comments about investing. I think you may be reading too much into them. I never said never spend a penny on an FA - if you can find one to give good advice where you need it, why not (though as I've said, when it comes to the investing part, I just don't see any value added opportunity)?

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Sure, but not to the point of browbeating him. IMO once you've made your point several times, you are no longer "educating," you are browbeating. Also BTW, wasting your time.

Well, one man's 'browbeating' is just another man's dedication and persistence!

Seriously, I've found this forum to be a wealth of knowledge, and I hate to see questionable information go unchallenged, as some may assume that means acceptance.

-ERD50
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