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Stifel vs. Raymond James
Old 06-15-2022, 08:35 AM   #1
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Stifel vs. Raymond James

We have one two many financial advisors (inherited one with the money).
Anyone have thoughts about the difference between these two firms. Raymond James fees are higher. Trying to get to the bottom of exactly how much higher.
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Old 06-15-2022, 09:50 AM   #2
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Learn to be a DYI investor. Both firms are crooks.
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Old 06-15-2022, 10:23 AM   #3
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Most of the people on here are into self directed investments. So many of us are retired and have plenty of time to research stocks, bonds and equity funds.

Most preach using one of the big three cut rate investment fund companies. I'm a Fidelity guy, for example.
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Old 06-15-2022, 11:02 AM   #4
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I have some money with Stifel. During the '08 crash my 401k didn't have any fixed income investments, so I withdrew $100k and called Stifel instead. The guy I worked with has done me good, we purchased many investment bonds at substantial discounts to par. As they matured, redeemed or called, I self directed them to under par preferreds, then reinvest the divvies in that issue unless they go above par. On a self directed trade, he charges $50, which I know is high, but it doesn't happen often. I have not paid many commissions in over 14 years, as the account is on autopilot. The account was over $250k a few weeks ago, so I'm happy as a fixed income account. I call him every once in a while to pick his brain or get Stifel's opinion on the market. I am satisfied with my account's performance over those years, and is about 6% of my investable assets. Not everybody's cup of tea, but I can talk to someone when the market is serving crumpets. If I get hit with a meteor, DW at least has someone to guide her.
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Old 06-15-2022, 11:22 AM   #5
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Are you sure you don't have two too many advisory firms?

If you simplify your portfolio to hold index funds like Vanguard's VTI (Total Stock Market), BND (Total Bond Market) and VXUS (Vanguard Total International Stocks), you will still get market returns and you get to keep all the fees, almost all of the fund expenses and probably be more tax efficient too.

When neutral parties do studies, they always conclude that unlike the fake studies that advisors show you, advisors don't provide enough extra return to cover their costs. Just holding the market with broad index funds without their fees is generally the best plan.

Between advisory fees, loads, fund operating fees, etc., a lot of advisors end up taking 2% or even more each year (you have to actually study the prospectus of each product). Since your retirement safe withdrawal rate is less than 4%, having an advisor take 2% or more is a pretty sweet deal - for them - not so much for you.
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Old 06-15-2022, 04:15 PM   #6
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If you were happy with the existing advisor it would seem logical to transfer in the inherited investments. It's my impression that you can do a lot better with fee based asset managers if you are talking more than $1 million total. For fun I tried to look up Raymond James and although they say they are fee based there is also an assets under management schedule.

I might meet with an advisor for the inherited account, ask about fees and see what he/she says about bringing your other account there. Then do the same with the other. You are paying for individual attention so why not.
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Old 06-15-2022, 04:48 PM   #7
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although they say they are fee based there is also an assets under management schedule.
"Fee based" frequently doesn't mean what it sounds like. Many advisors use the term merely to indicate that they don't get reimbursed with a commission on the trades they execute or on kickbacks from funds.
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Old 06-15-2022, 05:58 PM   #8
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Learn to be a DYI investor. Both firms are crooks.
I'm trying but am far from there. Any suggestions for books or videos?
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Old 06-15-2022, 06:18 PM   #9
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I'm trying but am far from there. Any suggestions for books or videos?
There are many. I like this and the Bogleheads forum.


I would find out exactly how much you are paying your advisors per year in dollars. You might be shocked if they will give you an honest answer. Even a measly 1% is $10,000 on a million dollar investment.
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Old 06-15-2022, 06:25 PM   #10
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RetMD21--this is exactly what we are doing. The issue is that I am finding the Stifel guy increasingly annoying. In contrast to the other guy, his mansplaining and obfuscations are really making me dread meeting with him.
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Old 06-15-2022, 07:00 PM   #11
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Learn to be a DYI investor. Both firms are crooks.
I hesitate to suggest anyone is a crook (especially without a trial) but these firms and others offer services most here (or, I submit, elsewhere) do not need. None of these firms take a loss when you do.

I'd consider one of these firms (or others) if they agreed to give back all the fees to cover my losses. I'm not holding my breath for that. YMMV
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Old 06-15-2022, 07:02 PM   #12
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He should dread meeting you. Seriously, he is applying for a job managing your money. You could ask him about fees, ask him to tell you why he is a better choice than someone else and then end the meeting when you decide.

It is easy to transfer assets. Make sure it is an in kind transf. er rather than a sale. Raymond James will have a form.

This document suggests than Raymond James charges 2.25% of assets for < 1 million which is unusually high https://www.raymondjames.com/-/media...-and-costs.pdf
We are a self-sufficient group here, but it can be complicated if you have been using an advisor for a long time.

People have given you good advice about managing your own investments but there is not much harm in continuing to use an advisor for a while.

Braumeister- I didn't know about that use of "fee-based" but it must be different than "fee-only" lol

The decision on Assets Under Mangement
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Old 06-15-2022, 07:28 PM   #13
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It's pretty easy to keep them honest.

Just compare your results with VG or Fidelity index for the same show. I do mine against S&P 500 funds. You have to add back in any withdrawals and adjust for your AA (equities-fixed which is another reason I keep my bonds and stocks at different houses) and see how your guys do against what is the "average"

I do this every year. And I still have not fired my broker. Your results may differ.
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Old 06-16-2022, 08:17 AM   #14
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I'm trying but am far from there. Any suggestions for books or videos?
This is a simple read by Wm. Berstein.
https://www.etf.com/docs/IfYouCan.pdf

That will ground you. Next you should analyza your investments, fund by fund. It's a challenge at the beginning, but then you'll know how everything works in an asset allocation today, and then you can define where you want to be in the future.

Just selling or transferring stuff may not be a good guess. To optimize it is necessary to eliminate fees as much as possible. Even if you do not DIY, you'll figure out that there are several ways to index (Fidelity, Schwab, Vanguard, e.g.).
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Old 06-16-2022, 10:30 AM   #15
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I'm trying but am far from there. Any suggestions for books or videos?
You can go to the Boglehead.org forum and input your current investments in % or dollars along with some of your life(age,debt,income streams) and they will give you an overview of where you could do better with the investments and taxes. Link to how to ask is here:
Even if you use an advisor, it's good to get 2nd opinions.

https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=6212

Good Luck to you,

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Old 06-16-2022, 10:52 AM   #16
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I often wonder why ppl don't use the advisors at Fidelity and Schwab more. Everyone uses a program these days and 'advisors' at these more traditional firms are at least on salary. I love the newbies there. Used a few over the years [lost them when promoted .... the best I ever had was Lou Mercer, Schwab] & got my son with one who he still uses. Plus at Schwab and probably Fido they'll help you work the proprietary program and still meet annually to review your overall plan. Plus there's online education.
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Old 06-16-2022, 04:51 PM   #17
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I often wonder why ppl don't use the advisors at Fidelity and Schwab more. Everyone uses a program these days and 'advisors' at these more traditional firms are at least on salary. I love the newbies there. Used a few over the years [lost them when promoted .... the best I ever had was Lou Mercer, Schwab] & got my son with one who he still uses. Plus at Schwab and probably Fido they'll help you work the proprietary program and still meet annually to review your overall plan. Plus there's online education.
We don't know the OP's exact situation. It would be good to have an advisor that was sensitive to current holdings and taxes. I suspect the robots would sell everything and invest in the "usual" funds, lol. A human might not.
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Old 06-17-2022, 09:02 AM   #18
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I'm trying but am far from there. Any suggestions for books or videos?
And after you read those books, the answer is any AA you are comfortable with, from ~ 35/65 stocks/(bonds & cash) to 95/5 is fine. VTI (Total stock market), BND (Total Bond Market) and as much cash as you feel you want for expenses.

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So many of us are retired and have plenty of time to research stocks, bonds and equity funds.
I spend zero time researching these things. I settled on total market ETFs years ago, and that's it - no further research needed.

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Old 06-17-2022, 09:12 AM   #19
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And after you read those books, the answer is any AA you are comfortable with, from ~ 35/65 stocks/(bonds & cash) to 95/5 is fine. VTI (Total stock market), BND (Total Bond Market) and as much cash as you feel you want for expenses.



I spend zero time researching these things. I settled on total market ETFs years ago, and that's it - no further research needed.

-ERD50
It actually does not need to be complicated. Scott Burns developed the COUCH POTATO Portfolio with only 2 funds. It probably doesn't lead to the highest returns, but is easy to do, easy to monitor and (if you are comfortable with it) you can "set and forget" for the most part. I'll let you look at the details. Here is one source:

https://scottburns.com/how-to-build-...xt-to-nothing/
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Old 06-18-2022, 05:40 PM   #20
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I help MIL and she uses an AUM advisor because
a. FIL did before his passing
b. She has zero interest in learning or even discussing
c. I am not eager to take over given her advanced age and possible questions from the 5 children/beneficiaries
d. A fee basis advisor might not save money due to the size of her account
e. There are embedded capital gains making stock sales expensive.
f. I don't think a robo advisor would pay any attention to e
g. She is in her mid 80s so most of the years of AUM fees for the account are behind her
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