Question about investment advisors

Have a question about your personal investments? No matter how simple or complex, you can ask it here.
Dead Man Walking
Posts: 400
Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2007 6:51 pm

Question about investment advisors

Postby Dead Man Walking » Sat Jul 15, 2017 4:57 pm

Due to age and health, I am considering hiring an investment advisor. I've read the threads about choosing an investment advisor. Since I live in a rural area, my options are extremely limited. There is a local company that offers fee based advice and management. They are part of the Commonwealth Financial Network and uses National Financial Services, LLC, a Fidelity Investment company. Obviously, I'm familiar with Fidelity; however, I have never heard of the Commonwealth Financial Network. Does anyone have knowledge about the Commonwealth Financial Network?

Due to the numerous posts discussing DFA funds, I have checked their website for advisors several times. Until recently, there was not an advisor within reasonable driving distance. An advisor has recently been added to their list that is within reasonable mileage. How well does Dimensional vet their affiliated advisors?

Thanks in advance for your responses.

DMW

User avatar
randomizer
Posts: 435
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2014 3:46 pm

Re: Question about investment advisors

Postby randomizer » Sat Jul 15, 2017 5:04 pm

This board provides pretty good advice. I for one haven't felt the need for an actual adviser.

jebmke
Posts: 6167
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 2:44 pm

Re: Question about investment advisors

Postby jebmke » Sat Jul 15, 2017 5:08 pm

I also live in a rural area. I am not in the market for an advisor but if I were, I would not hesitate to consider an advisor who was not local. If I went to a local office of a financial advisor I would probably not learn anything other than the color of the paint in the office. Further, I generally discount the quality of most professional services in this area (legal, medical and financial) since it isn't an area that is going to attract the best and brightest due to the fact that it is fairly rural.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

Uniballer
Posts: 27
Joined: Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:55 am

Re: Question about investment advisors

Postby Uniballer » Sat Jul 15, 2017 6:50 pm

My family business has several local investment advisors as clients. No way would I use any of them. There is a fee-only advisor within an hour's drive from me if I came down with something terminal and my wife wanted an advisor.

There is no harm in listening to an investment salesman advisor as long as you stick to the plan of not signing anything. My first two questions would be something like "Do we have a fiduciary relationship?" and "How do you get paid?"

EvelynTroy
Posts: 211
Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2008 8:35 am

Re: Question about investment advisors

Postby EvelynTroy » Sat Jul 15, 2017 8:30 pm

DMW -
There are situations and times that call for a good fee-only, fiduciary advisor.
I was very happy the relationship I had with my DFA advisor - it was Buckingham Asset Management in St. Louis (Larry Swedroe's firm). I live just 45 min. drive from their office.
To answer your question the DFA advisors are not just vetted, but they go through extensive training - its a very professional organization.

A bit about my experience -
Advisor when above and beyond what I thought were normal expectations - examples kept after me to take care of the estate planning, just wouldn't let it rest - gave me suggestion of reasonable cost estate attorney. The advisor accompanied me to the meetings and reviewed the documents after they were prepared.
I had 5-6 years of service that was in a retirement system that I could buy back - the cost being around $25K. Advisor contacted the system and did various calculations and advised this was best $25K investment I could make - it really wouldn't have dawned on me.
Also gave my tax preparer (my sister) - quite a bit of help.
A good advisor is more than just managing a portfolio.

I am 70 yrs. in good health, but have it in my estate plan, that when my health begins to fail or have some cognitive issues that my finances should be turned over to Buckingham for management.

I wouldn't let distance get in the way of selecting and/or preparing for a relationship with a good advisor. That said, Larry Swedroe is the heart and soul of Buckingham - honest to the core. He would be more than happy to explain all the details on how advisors become affiliated with DFA. I do know not just anybody can be a DFA affiliate. To note - Buckingham has a whole raft of independent advisors across the country - this link is informative - http://thebamalliance.com/who-we-are/

Here is Larry's contact info - 314-743-2214
lswedroe@bamadvisor.com

Hope this helps you.
I decided not to use an advisor and not have the assets under management fee - its worked out just fine. However, I wouldn't hesistate for a minute to return to an advisor if I felt I needed financial assistance. I am single and don't have family or friends that would be able to manage a portfolio - it would be a huge overwhelming burden.
Evelyn

EvelynTroy
Posts: 211
Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2008 8:35 am

Re: Question about investment advisors

Postby EvelynTroy » Sun Jul 16, 2017 8:32 am

Hello -
I reread my post and I didn't do a very good job of saying what I wanted to say -
I wasn't trying to promote Buckingham as a possible advisor for the OP - I got too words, just wanted to say contact Larry S. and he will explain all the details about DFA advisors.
Second - driving distance should not limit or impede getting a good advisor.
Thanks.
Evelyn

Dead Man Walking
Posts: 400
Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2007 6:51 pm

Re: Question about investment advisors

Postby Dead Man Walking » Sun Jul 16, 2017 2:50 pm

Thanks to all who took the time to reply. My interest in hiring an advisor is based on the fact that my wife would be overwhelmed by our investment portfolio. I have no family members who are sophisticated enough to handle our investments. I do some tilting and rebalance using a combination of new money and the performance of existing investments. I base most of my decisions based on information I either learn about on this forum or that are referenced here.

I've never been a fan of aum fees. Most fee only advisors charge 1% of aum; however, in a previous post, Larry Swedroe informed me that some might charge as little as 0.25% if all I wanted was access to DFA funds. I know a few of the local advisors and most are great salesmen who base their advice on the research of the company they represent. Hence, my question about Commonwealth Financial Network.

Evelyn, I didn't take your comments as a sales pitch for BAM. I greatly appreciated your detailed answer to my question.

I'm currently in the process of rebalancing. I need to make some adjustments to my asset allocation. As I was going through the process, I wondered who could do this if I were dead or incapacitated. The answer was no one currently in my life. Since my investment philosophy has been influenced by many investment professionals - Bogle, Swedroe, Sharpe, Ferry, and others, I doubt that I'll find an advisor who will be able to deal with a cantankerous old man such as myself. I've written instructions to my heirs listing the location of all of our investments. Rather than hire an advisor, I think that I'll simply write an additional instruction to simply transfer all of our investments to an appropriate Vanguard Life Strategy Fund. Rebalancing problems solved!

DMW


Return to “Investing - Help with Personal Investments”