Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
Needless to say the posters on this forum (myself included) are not big fans of Financial Advisors. Particularly when they are employed by a large firm that is looking to maximize how much of your wealth they can extract from you.
I have been unsuccessful in convincing my father about the Boglehead way of investing. He was a truck driver and thinks that he can't possibly manage his own portfolio since so many educated people sound so smart when talking about the markets.
Anyhow, he took his first distribution from his 401k this week. When I asked what he was going to do with it, he said he'd tell me when the check came. Apparently there would have been a $25 fee to get a direct deposit, so he figured he'd wait a few days to forgo this absurd fee.
I am an unrepentant free market capitalist but it drives me crazy when companies do this. It is astonishing to me that this industry has not figured out why they are held in such low esteem.
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I tried one time with my father to discuss his 401k, investments, etc. I won't be doing that again.
"The lack of money is the root of all evil." Mark Twain |
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The intimidation factor doesn't necessarily result only from the investor's former profession.
I know of former law firm partners who were afraid to take on any responsibility for their investments, and were convinced that anyone working at a large firm was an expert exercising indescribably complex reasoning skills when selecting mutual funds.
One possiblity is to pick a different form of guidance, rather than going without an advisor. I believe that Vanguard and Fidelity have "light" advising services that charge reasonable fees, and place investors in low-fee index funds. It's not full-blown Bogleheadism, but it's likely better than the 2%+ levies imposed by the more larcenous 401k providers.
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I'm currently going through this process with my parents. I've flown home to sit in on a few meetings with their financial adviser @ Edward Jones. While I do think he has their best interests in mind, his percentage is high, and his fund choices are not good.
I've shown them my retirement plan and I'm currently slowly working my mom into these forums in an attempt for her to gain some confidence in the ability to run their retirement. My dad is on board, he'll do whatever I suggest, but I want my parents to know what I want them to do and why. Ultimately, it's their money and their choice.
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