First I apologize for the length of this post. Two months ago I posted on this forum about my husband and me moving our accounts from Ameriprise to Vanguard. Currently about 52% of our portfolio has been moved. REITs, an annuity and a CD had to be left behind for now. Our goal during this next year is to gain the knowledge and confidence to manage our own investments. For the first year, however, during this transition period we opted to pay for a Vanguard financial advisor. Expensive hand-holding I know...but certainly cheaper than where we came from.
The service we received from Vanguard when we first started making inquiries was great. The concierge service persons were excellent. If I sent an email, we received an immediate response. If I left a phone message we received an immediate call back. Then we were assigned a financial advisor. During the first few phone meetings with our advisor there was a slight feeling of disappointment on our part as it seemed he was not prepared. We shook that off and decided to make the best of it. A week or so later I sent an email to our advisor asking several questions. Two days later, when there had been no response, I call him and left a message. Several hours later he called back. I asked if he had received my email. He said he had, but didn’t realize I wanted answers. I was a bit frustrated and tried to explain to him that this was very stressful time for us and we really needed to know that he is there for us, to help us with our questions and concerns.
The next phone meeting we had went ok. It was to go over the Initial Vanguard Planning he had worked up for us. The document showed the asset allocation he recommended. Due to the length of the document we didn’t go over every page. Later that evening as I was looking at it, I discovered that the likelihood of us meeting our financial goals was only 61%!! Yikes!! After reviewing the document I found that he left out $115,000 cash and future Social Security payments for both my husband and I. I called him the next day and he said “oops, I’ll have to fix that”. Ok… This past Thursday evening I sent an email to our advisor asking questions about the Vanguard purchases he will be making next week. (Possible on Monday.) So far I have not received a response.
Ok....We’re starting to feel a bit uneasy about this relationship. Are we expecting too much? We realize he has other clients, but is this good service? Should we ask for a different advisor or give this guy more time?
Last week, on 5/16, our advisor sold the many mutual funds and few stocks we had. The settlement date on most of them is 5/20. The timing seemed great as the price of everything was up the day they sold. That got me to wondering if our advisor was going to immediately purchase the various Vanguard funds we discussed in one large purchase or if he would be purchasing funds over a period of time. (Dollar cost averaging???) My thought was that since the market is up so much right now, would it be better to purchase the new Vanguard funds over a period of time? I know the Boglehead approach is not to try and time the market, but I was wondering what the common thought would be on this. (We’re talking around $700,000 between 3 & 4 index funds.) Would you Bogleheads purchase the Vanguard funds all at once or over a period of time? (This is the question I asked our advisor that I have still not gotten an answer to.)
Thanks for your patience…if you actually got to the end of this post .