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Financial Advisors - recommendations?

Old 02-26-2012, 06:15 PM
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Default Financial Advisors - recommendations?

All,

We've been working with the same financial advisor for many years. Simply put, I'm not thrilled and should have made a change way before this. I'm not the type to handle it on my own and aren't arrogant enough to spend the time/money figuring it out. Who out there are you guys using? More company wise than individual (I am going to want to find someone with that company local so I can throttle their neck when I feel the need). What are you happy with that they do? What are you unhappy with? What type of fee structure (if you care to share)?

And because I know it will come up, what companies have screwed you, why, etc? I'll try and weed through the comments to find real and percieved issues.

I know many of you handle this on your own and find it quite impressive, but I really don't have the time nor the aptitude to do so. Thanks in advance for any suggestions you guys might have.
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Old 02-26-2012, 06:24 PM
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The person is far more important than the company. I recommend you look at fee based advisors rather than portfolio churners (brokers). Most reputable advisors will give you an hour of their time to look over your situation, take advantage of this to find someone you are comfortable with, then post here what you like about their advice.
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Old 02-27-2012, 01:15 AM
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I own a fee only wealth management firm in Orlando. I am not licensed in MO so don't take this as marketing. Shoot me a PM if you want some specific advice on what to look for depending on your situation.
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Old 02-27-2012, 04:18 AM
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BNY Mellon..... Big firm,,, ok service.... average results ....
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Old 02-27-2012, 04:23 AM
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My daughter is my financial advisor (she really is one professionally). I just remind her that she gets what's left when I kick the can - pretty good incentive.
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Old 02-27-2012, 04:25 AM
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My personal experience, everytime I've ever had a financial advisor I've lost money. I only started making money when I started handling my companies 401 myself and doing the research myself but in this crazy market nothing is a solid investment. The market gets built up to get all the millions of little guys interested and when they put enough dollars in the big bulls pull all the profits out.
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Old 02-27-2012, 04:33 AM
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It's the "day" traders that cause the havoc on the market!!
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Old 02-27-2012, 04:46 AM
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Trading used to be based on the soundness of a company, it's long term health and growth potential. Today's trades are based upon programs that predicts trends in the market and profits are shaved w/o any real concern for what a company is made of.
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Old 02-27-2012, 03:05 PM
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We are with Fidelity. Their advisors are free. They don't push their own funds and if you setup your account at the right time, you can get enough free trades to last a while.


Originally Posted by airbrush View Post
Trading used to be based on the soundness of a company, it's long term health and growth potential. Today's trades are based upon programs that predicts trends in the market and profits are shaved w/o any real concern for what a company is made of.
Agreed. That's the difference between "investors" and "traders" in my opinion.
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Old 02-27-2012, 03:33 PM
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The future of investing is in huge private funds. Why deal with the SEC and all the headaches of regulations when you can buy/sell among giant private firms. Think Warren Buffet or Berkshire Hathaway style investing but without being publically traded. It's really just the venture capital system that exists today but on a much larger scale. Either you'll be in the club or not.
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Old 02-27-2012, 04:17 PM
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For what its worth, I strongly encourage all my friends and family to go with the bigger firms simply because they have access to the best research. No individuals do their own research anymore. You need to be with a reputable firm like Merrill, smith Barney, etc. In this day and age all the advisors try to make all clients with the same risk tolerances have portfolios that look alike- less work for them.

I use Merrill and have a guy on a team that is technically my advisor and I keep him because he gets good information and keeps me updated.
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Old 02-27-2012, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Tainui View Post
The future of investing is in huge private funds. Why deal with the SEC and all the headaches of regulations when you can buy/sell among giant private firms. Think Warren Buffet or Berkshire Hathaway style investing but without being publically traded. It's really just the venture capital system that exists today but on a much larger scale. Either you'll be in the club or not.
Ok I'll bite. How do you do that? I have berkshire hathaway b stock already, stays pretty stable. I figure if you buy his stock he has already done the research.
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Old 02-27-2012, 06:09 PM
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Be rich and know someone. Seriously. Min investments are big. Problem is as these become more popular hacks will get involved as will crooks.
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Old 02-27-2012, 06:13 PM
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Agree it's the person not the co. As a CPA I get lots of fa visits. Most just parrot what home office tells them. Amazing how weak they are on fundamentals. Smartest one I met was an Edward jones person and that is just crazy.

My opinion is read and study Peter Lynch then find a salesperson who thinks like him.
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Old 02-28-2012, 03:27 AM
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I'll agree the person is far more important than the company. As I mentioned above, I am a CPA who owns a fee-only wealth management firm.

Even within the world of fee-only advisors, there are many differences. Some focus mainly on investments, some on highly in depth planning. For example, my practice formally addresses tax planning, asset transfer to future generations, asset protection and charitable giving in addition to the investments.

When it comes to investment theory, there are differences too. Some follow active management, by trying to time the market, rotate sectors, picking individual stocks. This can be done on a technical (charting) or fundamental (financial analysis) basis. This even applies to advisors who choose funds with these strategies. There are also advisors who follow a passive strategy, basically owning all the world markets. I happen to follow a specific variation of a passive strategy. I don't believe active management wins in the long run, and a passive strategy is cost effective and tax efficient.

There is a good report put out by Standard & Poors that tracks how many mutual funds outperform their benchmarks on a quarterly, annual and longer term basis. As you extend the time, fewer and fewer active funds outperform. The acronym for the report is SPIVA.

The best advisor for anyone is the one who meets your individual needs. If you have $50K to invest, you don't need an advisor who regularly works with clients in the $2 million to $20 million range. I't not just the numbers that are bigger, but the issues are completely different.

My advice is that if you have less than $200K, and don't have issues like second marriages, kids with special needs, wealthy parents, complex business structures or a high risk profession, you are probably fine working with a discount broker who can provide the tools to help you invest on your own. Their people are qualified to help.

If you have a more complicated situation, you need an advisor who has the tools and experience to help.

Any good advisor will spend the necessary time with you to determine whether you are a good fit and they can help in a material way. Hope this helps.
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Old 02-28-2012, 05:49 AM
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http://www.altrius-capital.com/insti.../about-altrius
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Old 02-28-2012, 06:06 AM
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Sprockets is right on target with this. The right individual is more important than the firm. I'm a "recovering financial planner" and in my current business, I work with many Financial Advisors from Large Firms, Banks, Small Firms, One person shops, etc. Like anything else, there are good and great ones in each of these categories and then there are also those who shouldn't even be managing a money market account. Also, many of the individual/small firms started with the big Wirehouses, and then went out on their own.

In my opinion, one of the best ways to determine a suitable planner is by how the initial conversation goes. If he/she spends most of the time tell you about their practice and how wonderful they are... move on. I believe that the best planners are the ones that spend most of the time asking you the right questions to see if your needs fit into their way of doing things. You are both interviewing each other.
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Old 02-28-2012, 06:27 AM
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I am retired and so I have little risk tolerance. I've used Sanford Bernstein for years. They only charge 1% and only on the profit. That's right,no charge to buy or sell your stock and they can do it repeatedly without any charge to you. They handle a trillion dollars and when they move lar,ge sums, you move with it . They mostly operate by word of mouth but have been around 65+ yrs !
They only handle accts. over 1million. Speak with Barry at the Miami branch.
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