Creative Planning vs Vanguard PAS

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flroots
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Creative Planning vs Vanguard PAS

Post by flroots » Mon May 28, 2018 4:46 am

I recently signed up with Creative Planning with both taxable and IRA accounts safely held at Fidelity Investments. I negotiated a fee of 0.85%. Now I may be suffering a bit of buyer's remorse :(

With that in mind, I've been digging into robo-advisors. I am nervous about the most highly rated ones, Betterment and Wealthfront, since they take full custody of my assets. I am, however, comfortable with funds being held at large reputable outfits such as Fidelity, Schwab, or Vanguard. For awhile I was very serious about SigFig (https://www.sigfig.com) since they allow you to maintain assets at any one of several custodians including Fidelity. Unfortunately, they don't do "asset location" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asset_location) which disqualifies them. The same is true of Fidelity's "Fidelity Go" service. Schwab's Intelligent Portfolio looked interesting, but their huge "crash drag" disqualified them. Now I'm considering Vanguard Personal Advisor Service. They don't seem to offer many, if any, of the advanced features such as automatic tax loss harvesting, smart beta, risk parity, fractional shares, direct indexing, etc being rolled out by robo-advisors such as Betterment and Wealthfront. On the positive side they do offer advice although I've read that it's limited and certainly not at the level of a CFP. Also, they invest exclusively in Vanguard funds which will, in all likelihood, increase average expense ratio due to lack of competitiveness. On the positive side, I would be comfortable leaving asset with Vanguard. Now I'm trying to figure out if the "value added" justifies the 0.30% advisory fee on top of the underlying fees? Any help would be appreciated esp. from those that have tried out their Intelligent Advisor Service. Thanks
Last edited by flroots on Tue May 29, 2018 5:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

retiredjg
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Re: Creative Planning vs Robo-advisor

Post by retiredjg » Mon May 28, 2018 7:01 am

Vanguard's service, as I understand it, is a hybrid robo - human investing service. They offer a portfolio that looks a lot like their target funds plus some short term bonds, but I don't think (not sure) they do tax loss harvesting.

When it comes to Robos, the only important asset location issue (in my mind) is using tax-exempt bonds when they should be used. I have not checked, but I can't imagine a Robo that does not do this. It's basic Investing 101.

It is unclear just what you are looking for, but a fee of .85% seems unnecessarily high if you need minimal assistance. What do you hope to accomplish by using a financial service?

Ron Scott
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Re: Creative Planning vs Robo-advisor

Post by Ron Scott » Mon May 28, 2018 7:08 am

I'm totally confused.

What advice exactly are you looking for and willing to pay so much for? What questions do you have? What do you feel you need help with?
Retirement is a game best played by those prepared for more volatility in the future than has been seen in the past. The solution is not to predict investment losses but to prepare for them.

flroots
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Re: Creative Planning vs Robo-advisor

Post by flroots » Mon May 28, 2018 9:40 am

As mentioned, I prefer custody of my assets to be held at one of the big guys such as Fidelity, Schwab, or Vanguard. Also, I require true "asset location" which Creative Planning does very well. Asset Location adds real value and is a must going forward. Based on these requirements, I have tentatively eliminated Wealthfront, Betterment, Fidelity Go, and SigFig. That leaves Vanguard and perhaps some smaller robos such as Personal Capital and FutureAdvisor that allow custody to remain with Fidelity. Also, I've calculated the opportunity cost of Scwhab's cash drag which disqualifies them. What I'm asking for is any information and/or opinions, esp from actual users that supports Vanguard PAS.

flroots
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Re: Creative Planning vs Robo-advisor

Post by flroots » Mon May 28, 2018 9:44 am

retiredjg wrote:
Mon May 28, 2018 7:01 am

When it comes to Robos, the only important asset location issue (in my mind) is using tax-exempt bonds when they should be used. I have not checked, but I can't imagine a Robo that does not do this. It's basic Investing 101.
About half the robo advisors that I've reviewed do not do asset location such as Fidelity Go, Schwab, and SigFig. Creative Planning does a good job of it, but as mentioned at a price.

retiredjg
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Re: Creative Planning vs Robo-advisor

Post by retiredjg » Mon May 28, 2018 9:46 am

flroots wrote:
Mon May 28, 2018 9:40 am
What I'm asking for is any information and/or opinions, esp from actual users that supports Vanguard PAS.
Your current title may not attract the audience you want. Maybe you should edit your original post title to include that.

retiredjg
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Re: Creative Planning vs Robo-advisor

Post by retiredjg » Mon May 28, 2018 9:47 am

flroots wrote:
Mon May 28, 2018 9:44 am
retiredjg wrote:
Mon May 28, 2018 7:01 am

When it comes to Robos, the only important asset location issue (in my mind) is using tax-exempt bonds when they should be used. I have not checked, but I can't imagine a Robo that does not do this. It's basic Investing 101.
About half the robo advisors that I've reviewed do not do asset location such as Fidelity Go, Schwab, and SigFig. Creative Planning does a good job of it, but as mentioned at a price.
If you don't mind sharing, just what it is about asset location that you find lacking at Wealthfront, Betterment, Fido Go, and SigFig?

H-Town
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Re: Creative Planning vs Robo-advisor

Post by H-Town » Mon May 28, 2018 9:47 am

flroots wrote:
Mon May 28, 2018 4:46 am
They don't seem to offer many, if any, of the advanced features such as being rolled out by robo-advisors such as Betterment and Wealthfront.
Ask yourself this: why would you need each of the following: automatic tax loss harvesting, smart beta, risk parity, fractional shares, direct indexing, etc?
On the positive side they do offer advice although I've read that it's limited and certainly not at the level of a CFP. Also, they invest exclusively in Vanguard funds which will, in all likelihood, increase average expense ratio due to lack of competitiveness. On the positive side, I would be comfortable leaving asset with Vanguard. Now I'm trying to figure out if the "value added" justifies the 0.30% advisory fee on top of the underlying fees? Any help would be appreciated esp. from those that have tried out their Intelligent Advisor Service. Thanks
0.30% is for people who needs hand holding and/or "CFP title" so that one can feel better about their portfolio. Do you need a CFP? At some point if one has so much money, it doesn't matter if he or she want to throw away 0.30% AUM a year.

Knowledge is invaluable. Teach yourself knowledge and you will be "richer" and your life will be more fulfilled.

flroots
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Re: Creative Planning vs Robo-advisor

Post by flroots » Mon May 28, 2018 9:49 am

retiredjg wrote:
Mon May 28, 2018 7:01 am
It is unclear just what you are looking for, but a fee of .85% seems unnecessarily high if you need minimal assistance. What do you hope to accomplish by using a financial service?
Creative Planning is what's called a "home office". Their home office service is real valuable up front, but may tend to diminish over time. Naturally, I am open to alternatives that provide equal or better service at lower cost. I'm hoping to hear from users of the Vanguard PAS; both pros and cons.

alex_686
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Re: Creative Planning vs Robo-advisor

Post by alex_686 » Mon May 28, 2018 9:50 am

flroots wrote:
Mon May 28, 2018 9:40 am
As mentioned, I prefer custody of my assets to be held at one of the big guys such as Fidelity, Schwab, or Vanguard.
Why? I asked because I used to work in a custody department at a brokerage firm. It is a highly regulated, regularly audited, and very boring part of the business. I can't think of an issue on this specific point.

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Rick Ferri
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Re: Creative Planning vs Robo-advisor

Post by Rick Ferri » Mon May 28, 2018 9:56 am

If you don't mind doing the trading yourself, you should consider the services of an advice-only adviser. Advice-only advisers charge a hourly fee or subscription service for advice-only. They may not be able to physically trade your account because they don't have permissions. A new service offered at Advice Only Financial may be what you're looking for.
The Education of an Index Investor: born in darkness, finds indexing enlightenment, overcomplicates everything, embraces simplicity.

Robert_007
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Re: Creative Planning vs Robo-advisor

Post by Robert_007 » Mon May 28, 2018 10:27 am

I use M1Finance as a tool to plan "creatively". No fees, You can choose ETFs from any brokerage house. Great platform. I recently created another (Taxable) portfolio there (three fund portfolio Ex: .06) with the knowledge I received from you awesome bogleheads.

flroots
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Re: Creative Planning vs Robo-advisor

Post by flroots » Tue May 29, 2018 5:48 am

retiredjg wrote:
Mon May 28, 2018 9:47 am
flroots wrote:
Mon May 28, 2018 9:44 am
retiredjg wrote:
Mon May 28, 2018 7:01 am

When it comes to Robos, the only important asset location issue (in my mind) is using tax-exempt bonds when they should be used. I have not checked, but I can't imagine a Robo that does not do this. It's basic Investing 101.
About half the robo advisors that I've reviewed do not do asset location such as Fidelity Go, Schwab, and SigFig. Creative Planning does a good job of it, but as mentioned at a price.
If you don't mind sharing, just what it is about asset location that you find lacking at Wealthfront, Betterment, Fido Go, and SigFig?
Asset Location is essential to me. I will explain in general how this is accomplished as follows:
  • 1. An overall asset allocation is created with each asset class designated with a percentage of total
    2. The total amount to be invested across all account types is applied to the percentages to find the dollar value for each asset class.
    3. The asset class that is the least tax efficient is placed in tax deferred account. For example, this might be a Real Estate ETF since they typically have a high yield
    4. The 2nd most tax efficient class is placed in tax deferred account
    5. Continue the above process until all tax deferred accounts are full
    6. Place remaining asset classes into taxable accounts
An asset class which would be ideal for taxable account would be a large cap ETF since capital gains can be deferred and dividend yield, turnover, etc are low. Fidelity Go, Schwab, and SigFig do not offer asset location. Hope this helps.

cadreamer2015
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Re: Creative Planning vs Vanguard PAS

Post by cadreamer2015 » Tue May 29, 2018 5:54 am

IIRC If you are a Flagship client at Vanguard you can have a once a year free financial plan update with a CFP, if having a CFP is important to you.
De gustibus non est disputandum

flroots
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Re: Creative Planning vs Robo-advisor

Post by flroots » Tue May 29, 2018 5:57 am

Rick Ferri wrote:
Mon May 28, 2018 9:56 am
If you don't mind doing the trading yourself, you should consider the services of an advice-only adviser. Advice-only advisers charge a hourly fee or subscription service for advice-only. They may not be able to physically trade your account because they don't have permissions. A new service offered at Advice Only Financial may be what you're looking for.
That looks interesting, but the advisors charging an annual advisory fee can add value by performing ongoing tasks such as Tax Loss Harvesting. The more advanced robo-advisors add Smart Beta to the list. Some even do Direct Indexing and/or Fractional Shares. The trick is to figure out what's important to you and see if the advisory fee is worth the value added. That's where I'm at. I currently pay 0.85% for a great service, but is there a robo-advisor that can do as well for a much lower fee?

retiredjg
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Re: Creative Planning vs Vanguard PAS

Post by retiredjg » Tue May 29, 2018 6:08 am

This is how I like to set up a portfolio as well, but to do it you have to include your plan at work (if you have one). No advisor can manage your plan at work so the best option is do this yourself. Since you obviously know how to do it, you must have reasons for wanting someone else to do the money management.

You have found a place that will do it your way for a cost. The question is whether it is worth .85%. Financially, I don't believe that it is. I do think asset placement can save money, but I doubt it will be able to make up a difference of .55% a year.

Are there other things that Creative Planning offers that make this cost worth it for you?

flroots
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Re: Creative Planning vs Vanguard PAS

Post by flroots » Tue May 29, 2018 11:48 am

retiredjg wrote:
Tue May 29, 2018 6:08 am
Are there other things that Creative Planning offers that make this cost worth it for you?
I am retired so there is no work-related accounts to worry about. Yes, there are numerous services performed by Creative Planning above and beyond asset location. In fact they refer to themselves as a "home office". Rather than reciting all the services they provide, I would refer you to their website at: http://creativeplanning.com/. I think some of the services are more or less one time only so the value is diminished over time.
Last edited by flroots on Tue May 29, 2018 7:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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tfb
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Re: Creative Planning vs Vanguard PAS

Post by tfb » Tue May 29, 2018 1:18 pm

flroots wrote:
Tue May 29, 2018 11:48 am
I think some of the services are more or less one time only so the value is diminished over time.
That's the key. Asset location is also more or less one time. While the value is diminished over time, your cost in dollars goes up substantially over time. Since you are retired, without relatively large amount of new money coming into the portfolio, there won't much tax loss to harvest anyway. My taxable holdings all have substantial unrealized gains. Even if the market crashes tomorrow, I still won't be able to harvest much tax loss.
Harry Sit, taking a break from the forums.

PhilosophyAndrew
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Re: Creative Planning vs Robo-advisor

Post by PhilosophyAndrew » Tue May 29, 2018 2:28 pm

flroots wrote:
Tue May 29, 2018 5:48 am
Asset Location is essential to me. I will explain in general how this is accomplished as follows:
  • 1. An overall asset allocation is created with each asset class designated with a percentage of total
    2. The total amount to be invested across all account types is applied to the percentages to find the dollar value for each asset class.
    3. The asset class that is the least tax efficient is placed in tax deferred account. For example, this might be a Real Estate ETF since they typically have a high yield
    4. The 2nd most tax efficient class is placed in tax deferred account
    5. Continue the above process until all tax deferred accounts are full
    6. Place remaining asset classes into taxable accounts
An asset class which would be ideal for taxable account would be a large cap ETF since capital gains can be deferred and dividend yield, turnover, etc are low. Fidelity Go, Schwab, and SigFig do not offer asset location. Hope this helps.
OP, what is preventing you from implementing a theee-find portfolio yourself? You sound like you don’t require handholding by a PAS representative, and perhaps you can save yourself from paying any advisory fee.

Andy.

daheld
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Re: Creative Planning vs Vanguard PAS

Post by daheld » Tue May 29, 2018 2:37 pm

We use PAS. I am a fan. I understand it doesn't do much more than replicate a target date fund using a computer algorithm. I know a lot about what I do every single day in my work that earns my paycheck. I know, in the grand scheme of things, very little about investing. I learn what I can, but for us, the certainty and reassurance of having someone at Vanguard to bounce questions off of and review our portfolio quarterly is worth the money. I understand and respect that others here have different opinions.

In the grand scheme, paying 0.30% is worth being able to sleep at night. I think it's really easy, and kind of the automatic reaction around here, to freak out over ever giving any person one cent of your money. But if giving up that 0.30% helps you stay the course and sleep well, it's paying off.

GonnaFInow
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Re: Creative Planning vs Vanguard PAS

Post by GonnaFInow » Tue May 29, 2018 3:06 pm

I'll echo daheld's sentiments re: Vanguard PAS.

Two years ago, I was just learning the investment ropes and PAS provided reliable support and counsel to a noob like me. They set up all my non-401k accounts in a 4 fund portfolio and balanced 4 times a year. After two years of having the hold my hand, I felt comfortable doing it on my own. So I did.

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BeBH65
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Re: Creative Planning vs Robo-advisor

Post by BeBH65 » Tue May 29, 2018 3:31 pm

flroots wrote:
Tue May 29, 2018 5:48 am
Asset Location is essential to me. I will explain in general how this is accomplished as follows:
  • 1. An overall asset allocation is created with each asset class designated with a percentage of total
    2. The total amount to be invested across all account types is applied to the percentages to find the dollar value for each asset class.
    3. The asset class that is the least tax efficient is placed in tax deferred account. For example, this might be a Real Estate ETF since they typically have a high yield
    4. The 2nd most tax efficient class is placed in tax deferred account
    5. Continue the above process until all tax deferred accounts are full
    6. Place remaining asset classes into taxable accounts
An asset class which would be ideal for taxable account would be a large cap ETF since capital gains can be deferred and dividend yield, turnover, etc are low. Fidelity Go, Schwab, and SigFig do not offer asset location. Hope this helps.
Are you aware of our wiki.
For instance this article on tax efficient fund placement?
BeBH65. (only an investment enthusiast, not a financial adviser, perform your due diligence).

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Watty
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Re: Creative Planning vs Vanguard PAS

Post by Watty » Tue May 29, 2018 3:39 pm

flroots wrote:
Mon May 28, 2018 4:46 am
On the positive side, I would be comfortable leaving asset with Vanguard. Now I'm trying to figure out if the "value added" justifies the 0.30% advisory fee on top of the underlying fees?
If you are retired and starting out with a 4% safe withdraw rate then any fees come out of that.

A 0.30% fee would be would be 7.5% of your income from the portfolio for the year.

A 0.85% fee would be 21.25% of your income from the portfolio for the year.

Either of those is a lot if you are capable of managing the account yourself.

flroots
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Re: Creative Planning vs Vanguard PAS

Post by flroots » Tue May 29, 2018 5:18 pm

tfb wrote:
Tue May 29, 2018 1:18 pm
flroots wrote:
Tue May 29, 2018 11:48 am
I think some of the services are more or less one time only so the value is diminished over time.
That's the key. Asset location is also more or less one time. While the value is diminished over time, your cost in dollars goes up substantially over time. Since you are retired, without relatively large amount of new money coming into the portfolio, there won't much tax loss to harvest anyway. My taxable holdings all have substantial unrealized gains. Even if the market crashes tomorrow, I still won't be able to harvest much tax loss.
Thanks. You are right on all counts and summarized it very well :happy Even though Creative Planning was started just this past March there have been no opportunities, thus, far for tax loss harvesting. And you are also right, there will be no deposits going forward except for dividends. Withdrawals are limited to RMDs. Creative Planning also offered worthwhile recommendations with respect to estate planning, all kinds of insurance, etc, but I see the value of that diminishing going forward as well. All in all, they seem to be a good company, but going forward the value they offer will be significantly reduced while their fees remain unchanged, hence the interest in alternatives at less cost.
Last edited by flroots on Tue May 29, 2018 5:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

flroots
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Re: Creative Planning vs Robo-advisor

Post by flroots » Tue May 29, 2018 5:20 pm

BeBH65 wrote:
Tue May 29, 2018 3:31 pm
flroots wrote:
Tue May 29, 2018 5:48 am
Fidelity Go, Schwab, and SigFig do not offer asset location. Hope this helps.
Are you aware of our wiki.
For instance this article on tax efficient fund placement?
Yes, I've seen that article and others similar.

flroots
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Re: Creative Planning vs Vanguard PAS

Post by flroots » Tue May 29, 2018 5:25 pm

Watty wrote:
Tue May 29, 2018 3:39 pm
flroots wrote:
Mon May 28, 2018 4:46 am
On the positive side, I would be comfortable leaving asset with Vanguard. Now I'm trying to figure out if the "value added" justifies the 0.30% advisory fee on top of the underlying fees?
If you are retired and starting out with a 4% safe withdraw rate then any fees come out of that.

A 0.30% fee would be would be 7.5% of your income from the portfolio for the year.

A 0.85% fee would be 21.25% of your income from the portfolio for the year.

Either of those is a lot if you are capable of managing the account yourself.
Yup, that's another way of looking at it. At my age I'm required to take RMDs so withdrawals are required by law at an ever increasing percentage :(

retiredjg
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Re: Creative Planning vs Vanguard PAS

Post by retiredjg » Tue May 29, 2018 5:31 pm

I know you have already signed up, but to the extent you can, consider this warning.

What they put in your taxable account could be important. By that, I mean how transferrable are the funds/ETFs they use and how many are they putting in the taxable account?

If you decide in 6 months or a year that this is not a perfect arrangement for you, you need to be able to extricate yourself with as little tax cost as possible. In the IRA, that is not much of an issue as there is no tax cost to sell and buy something else. Taxable is different. If they put you in 20 funds in taxable and you want to get rid of 17 of them in a year, that could cost you quite a lot if the market keeps going up.

The reason I'm mentioning this is we have seen many horrible taxable accounts that cost hundreds or thousands of dollars to "fix and make right". These horrible accounts have been created by people who were considered "financial advisors". It would be a shame for you to find yourself in a similar position. Take care to protect yourself and be sure your exit can be smooth if you find you need to do that.

retiredjg
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Re: Creative Planning vs Vanguard PAS

Post by retiredjg » Tue May 29, 2018 5:35 pm

Watty wrote:
Tue May 29, 2018 3:39 pm
A 0.30% fee would be would be 7.5% of your income from the portfolio for the year.

A 0.85% fee would be 21.25% of your income from the portfolio for the year.
And do keep this in mind unless your portfolio is just so huge you'll never need the money. Better to have a service you can better afford at .3% even if they do not do it exactly how you would in terms of asset location (which I think you may be over-valuing).

0.85% is not small even though it seems like it.

flroots
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Re: Creative Planning vs Robo-advisor

Post by flroots » Tue May 29, 2018 5:46 pm

PhilosophyAndrew wrote:
Tue May 29, 2018 2:28 pm
flroots wrote:
Tue May 29, 2018 5:48 am
Fidelity Go, Schwab, and SigFig do not offer asset location. Hope this helps.
OP, what is preventing you from implementing a theee-find portfolio yourself? You sound like you don’t require handholding by a PAS representative, and perhaps you can save yourself from paying any advisory fee.

Andy.
To answer your question, nothing. If I did it myself I would probably replicate something like what Creative Planning is doing which involves 10+/- ETFs which vary depending on type of account. They have also included 4 MLPs and a real estate ETF for added diversification. Their asset allocation seems very good and naturally I would want to minimize capital gains during the transition.

Also, I'm mindful of a weakness in mutual funds that are not suffered by ETFs. When the market turns down and mutual funds are subject to large redemptions that can subject the investors (who don't redeem shares) to capital gains. ETFs do not suffer this issue due to the way they are traded.

If I can't find a lower priced robo-advisor that adds value, I will have to seriously consider doing it myself. I will say that my wife was liking Creative Planning since they can answer questions on a wide range of issues at any time in the event of my demise :( Vanguard PAS offers the human advisor element too, but on an investment basis only.

PhilosophyAndrew
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Re: Creative Planning vs Robo-advisor

Post by PhilosophyAndrew » Tue May 29, 2018 5:56 pm

flroots wrote:
Tue May 29, 2018 5:46 pm
PhilosophyAndrew wrote:
Tue May 29, 2018 2:28 pm
flroots wrote:
Tue May 29, 2018 5:48 am
Fidelity Go, Schwab, and SigFig do not offer asset location. Hope this helps.
OP, what is preventing you from implementing a theee-find portfolio yourself? You sound like you don’t require handholding by a PAS representative, and perhaps you can save yourself from paying any advisory fee.

Andy.
To answer your question, nothing. If I did it myself I would probably replicate something like what Creative Planning is doing which involves 10+/- ETFs which vary depending on type of account. They have also included 4 MLPs and a real estate ETF for added diversity. Their asset allocation seems very good and naturally I would want to minimize capital gains during the transition.

Also, I'm mindful of a weakness in mutual funds that are not suffered by ETFs. When the market turns down and mutual funds are subject to large redemptions that can subject the investors (who don't redeem shares) to capital gains. ETFs do not suffer this issue due to the way they are traded.

If I can't find a lower priced robo-advisor that adds value, I will have to seriously consider doing it myself. I will say that my wife was liking Creative Planning since they can answer questions on a wide range of issues at any time in the event of my demise :( Vanguard PAS offers the human advisor element too, but on an investment basis only.
It sounds like you are interested in a more complex investment portfolio than Boglehead philosophy recommends or supports. Perhaps you are right that complexity will bring you greater return, but this also requires more effort and has more opportunities for behavioral mistakes.

If I were in your shoes and didn’t want to embrace the BH doctrine of simplicity, I would probably keep Crearive Planning because they have the expertise to do what you want and offers additional services that you and your wife value — DIY Boglehead simplicity isn’t always the best option!

Andy.
Last edited by PhilosophyAndrew on Tue May 29, 2018 6:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

flroots
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Re: Creative Planning vs Vanguard PAS

Post by flroots » Tue May 29, 2018 6:01 pm

retiredjg wrote:
Tue May 29, 2018 5:31 pm

The reason I'm mentioning this is we have seen many horrible taxable accounts that cost hundreds or thousands of dollars to "fix and make right". These horrible accounts have been created by people who were considered "financial advisors". It would be a shame for you to find yourself in a similar position. Take care to protect yourself and be sure your exit can be smooth if you find you need to do that.
Thanks. That's something to keep in mind and it's one of the reasons that I'm very happy that my assets remained with Fidelity and not in the custody of the advisor. In this case it would simply mean removing trading authority from the advisor and nothing else. There should be zero tax consequences.

Also, I have no qualms with their chosen asset allocation so even that is not an issue. My only issue is the fee.

You have hit upon one of my criteria which is that custody of funds should remain with one of the large, reputable companies such as Fidelity, Schwab, or Vanguard. Naturally, my preference is Fidelity since they currently hold my assets.

flroots
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Re: Creative Planning vs Vanguard PAS

Post by flroots » Tue May 29, 2018 6:33 pm

GonnaFInow wrote:
Tue May 29, 2018 3:06 pm
I'll echo daheld's sentiments re: Vanguard PAS.

Two years ago, I was just learning the investment ropes and PAS provided reliable support and counsel to a noob like me. They set up all my non-401k accounts in a 4 fund portfolio and balanced 4 times a year. After two years of having the hold my hand, I felt comfortable doing it on my own. So I did.
Thanks to you and daheld. I'm scheduled to get a call tomorrow from a Vanguard Sr Advisor so hopefully I will know more about what they recommend. If in the end it is not much more than recommending a 3 or 4 fund portfolio, I'll keep looking or go it alone.

While I understand and respect the need to sleep well, fortunately that has never been an issue for me. Also, the quarterly re-balancing would not count for much in terms of value added.
Last edited by flroots on Tue May 29, 2018 7:13 pm, edited 2 times in total.

flroots
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Re: Creative Planning vs Robo-advisor

Post by flroots » Tue May 29, 2018 6:47 pm

alex_686 wrote:
Mon May 28, 2018 9:50 am
flroots wrote:
Mon May 28, 2018 9:40 am
As mentioned, I prefer custody of my assets to be held at one of the big guys such as Fidelity, Schwab, or Vanguard.
Why? I asked because I used to work in a custody department at a brokerage firm. It is a highly regulated, regularly audited, and very boring part of the business. I can't think of an issue on this specific point.
There are a few issues that trouble me as follows:
  • 1. A relatively small startup, may go out of business, get bought out, etc. Even if the assets are not lost it could be very disruptive.
    2. If I become disenchanted with the service down the road it may be very costly from a tax standpoint to move assets to another advisor.
    3. A small company with limited history is often testing their business model and changes could influence the very reasons you selected them in the first place. For example, one of the most popular robo-advisors just eliminated the feature that AUM less than $10K were free of fees.
On the other hand, if I select an advisor who manages my assets while custody is maintained by (for example) Fidelity I can simply remove their trading authority and either do it myself or give authority to another advisor.

drzzzzz
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Re: Creative Planning vs Vanguard PAS

Post by drzzzzz » Tue May 29, 2018 9:36 pm

We were using Vanguard PAS and left them - see the following thread and you will see some of my comments about why we stopped utilizing their services since they might be germaine to some of your issues viewtopic.php?f=2&t=236085. I will also add that prior to Vanguard PAS we used Creative for a portion of our portfolio to see what the results would be - I really liked their presentation and philosophy, and found the owner to be very charismatic (Barron's also loves the company in their yearly reviews), but I was ultimately disappointed in their results and the advisor that we were using at the company - it was also a bad time for the MLP market which probably didn't help the accounts financial returns. Just sticking to basic 3 fund portfolio with my own tilts at this time, so not pure BH style, but happy with the construction of our portfolio. If you really are keen on tax loss harvesting, you should see my prior replies in that thread and the conversations that I had with Vanguard PAS in the past - I don't know if they have changed their philosophy related to tax loss harvesting and specific identification for mutual funds. If you using ETF then likely less of an issue, but we had a lot of mutual funds with large basis in them already and using specific id was essential to me.

venkman
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Re: Creative Planning vs Robo-advisor

Post by venkman » Tue May 29, 2018 10:42 pm

flroots wrote:
Tue May 29, 2018 5:46 pm
To answer your question, nothing. If I did it myself I would probably replicate something like what Creative Planning is doing which involves 10+/- ETFs which vary depending on type of account. They have also included 4 MLPs and a real estate ETF for added diversification. Their asset allocation seems very good and naturally I would want to minimize capital gains during the transition.
Morningstar had a good opinion piece about this last week (http://www.morningstar.com/articles/866 ... s-be.html)
From the article:
Robo-advisors, as with all companies, require revenues. In achieving that goal, simplicity is not always a virtue. It may be that most investors require no more than a static blend of two funds, one being of the global stock markets and the other being of its bond markets. (The latter fund does not now exist but will shortly be launched by Vanguard.) Be that as it may, such advice cannot be sold. There’s no business to be had.
The bottom line is that Creative Planning's suggestion of 15 different investments for you is probably (and intentionally) a lot more complicated than it needs to be. Even if CP honestly believed that a simple 3-fund portfolio was the best solution for you, it couldn't tell you that; because you could easily implement it by yourself, and you'd have no reason to keep giving money to CP. CP's primary goal is to make money for themselves, not for you; and their revenue depends on making your portfolio complicated enough that you feel you can't manage it without their help.

There are legitimate arguments to be made for a tilt to small value, real estate, etc. But if your goal is diversification, you can get all you need with a simple 3-fund portfolio.

flroots
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Re: Creative Planning vs Vanguard PAS

Post by flroots » Wed May 30, 2018 5:19 am

drzzzzz wrote:
Tue May 29, 2018 9:36 pm
We were using Vanguard PAS and left them - see the following thread and you will see some of my comments about why we stopped utilizing their services since they might be germaine to some of your issues viewtopic.php?f=2&t=236085. I will also add that prior to Vanguard PAS we used Creative for a portion of our portfolio to see what the results would be - I really liked their presentation and philosophy,
Thanks. That thread was an eye opener. Seems to be some controversy on how much tax advice they offer. Interesting that you too have experience with Creative Planning. Yes, I too like their philosophy and plan to adhere to it going forward no matter which advisor I might end up with. Did you read their book, "The Mistakes Every Investor Makes..."? I've labeled it my financial bible :happy

flroots
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Re: Creative Planning vs Robo-advisor

Post by flroots » Wed May 30, 2018 5:27 am

venkman wrote:
Tue May 29, 2018 10:42 pm
flroots wrote:
Tue May 29, 2018 5:46 pm
To answer your question, nothing. If I did it myself I would probably replicate something like what Creative Planning is doing which involves 10+/- ETFs which vary depending on type of account. They have also included 4 MLPs and a real estate ETF for added diversification. Their asset allocation seems very good and naturally I would want to minimize capital gains during the transition.
There are legitimate arguments to be made for a tilt to small value, real estate, etc. But if your goal is diversification, you can get all you need with a simple 3-fund portfolio.
Thanks. I take your point, but based on my reading, ETFs are likely to be more tax efficient than mutual funds. While their recommend asset allocation is more complicated than a 2 or 3 fund portfolio, simple rebalancing while more tedious is not overly complicated.

I'm gradually coming to the conclusion that I'm not likely to find a robo-advisor that meets all my criteria while keeping assets at a large, reputable custodian such as Fidelity, Schwab, or Vanguard. That suggests either sticking with Creative Planning or going it alone.

daheld
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Re: Creative Planning vs Vanguard PAS

Post by daheld » Wed May 30, 2018 7:11 am

flroots wrote:
Tue May 29, 2018 6:33 pm
GonnaFInow wrote:
Tue May 29, 2018 3:06 pm
I'll echo daheld's sentiments re: Vanguard PAS.

Two years ago, I was just learning the investment ropes and PAS provided reliable support and counsel to a noob like me. They set up all my non-401k accounts in a 4 fund portfolio and balanced 4 times a year. After two years of having the hold my hand, I felt comfortable doing it on my own. So I did.
Thanks to you and daheld. I'm scheduled to get a call tomorrow from a Vanguard Sr Advisor so hopefully I will know more about what they recommend. If in the end it is not much more than recommending a 3 or 4 fund portfolio, I'll keep looking or go it alone.

While I understand and respect the need to sleep well, fortunately that has never been an issue for me. Also, the quarterly re-balancing would not count for much in terms of value added.
I'll also add this, which may or may not be relevant to your situation. My wife and I are relatively young (32 and 34) and recently married. While we were dating and for the first few months of our marriage, she utilized a financial advisor. I quickly was able to show her how much money she was wasting by letting this bozo funnel off tons of money in fees and expenses. Compared to what she was paying him, 0.30% is a bargain. It was kind of a middle ground for us between a FA and going it alone. Those factors combined with giving me the reassurance I mentioned above kind of sealed the deal for me. It sounds like you're at or near retirement, which may make a difference in terms of giving up any money in fees. I'll be interested to hear your experience with talking to PAS today. There've been some instances that I haven't been 100% satisfied, but overall it makes sense for us right now. Good luck!

GmanJeff
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Re: Creative Planning vs Vanguard PAS

Post by GmanJeff » Wed May 30, 2018 7:53 am

PAS is more than asset allocation through the selection of 2 or 3 funds and putting them on auto-pilot thereafter in return for 30 basis points. It includes their proprietary algorithm for a asset allocation model which is consistent with the financial plan they create for you that takes into account your risk tolerance and objectives, ongoing advice as you require it, proactive quarterly portfolio reviews, and re-balancing as needed. It also provides a mechanism for continuity of management for you and/or your survivors in the event you find yourself unable to take an active role in managing your portfolio due to disability or death.

Many here will assert they can and do perform all these functions competently and in a timely manner for themselves, but others may concede that they are not always quite as diligent as they might be with regard to periodic portfolio reviews and necessary associated actions. Age-related progressive cognitive decline which is not always promptly recognized or acted on, distractions of various kinds, or other factors which pull one away from monitoring and managing one's portfolio may all militate in favor of using a service like PAS even for experienced and skilled investors.

PAS can be a reasonable option if you believe you're likely to have higher ultimate returns after paying the management fee than you may anticipate if you go it alone while avoiding the fee. PAS can also make sense if the advice and management represent added value to you which justifies the relatively low fee, even if returns are otherwise comparable to what you think you can do on your own. The OP is paying nearly triple the PAS fee, but the services on offer and approach appear different, making them not directly comparable.

flroots
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Re: Creative Planning vs Vanguard PAS

Post by flroots » Wed May 30, 2018 9:26 am

daheld wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 7:11 am
flroots wrote:
Tue May 29, 2018 6:33 pm
GonnaFInow wrote:
Tue May 29, 2018 3:06 pm
I'll echo daheld's sentiments re: Vanguard PAS.

Two years ago, I was just learning the investment ropes and PAS provided reliable support and counsel to a noob like me. They set up all my non-401k accounts in a 4 fund portfolio and balanced 4 times a year. After two years of having the hold my hand, I felt comfortable doing it on my own. So I did.
Thanks to you and daheld. I'm scheduled to get a call tomorrow from a Vanguard Sr Advisor so hopefully I will know more about what they recommend. If in the end it is not much more than recommending a 3 or 4 fund portfolio, I'll keep looking or go it alone.

While I understand and respect the need to sleep well, fortunately that has never been an issue for me. Also, the quarterly re-balancing would not count for much in terms of value added.
I'll also add this, which may or may not be relevant to your situation. My wife and I are relatively young (32 and 34) and recently married. While we were dating and for the first few months of our marriage, she utilized a financial advisor. I quickly was able to show her how much money she was wasting by letting this bozo funnel off tons of money in fees and expenses. Compared to what she was paying him, 0.30% is a bargain. It was kind of a middle ground for us between a FA and going it alone. Those factors combined with giving me the reassurance I mentioned above kind of sealed the deal for me. It sounds like you're at or near retirement, which may make a difference in terms of giving up any money in fees. I'll be interested to hear your experience with talking to PAS today. There've been some instances that I haven't been 100% satisfied, but overall it makes sense for us right now. Good luck!
Sounds like you made a good move. I retired at age 48 and am now 73 so it's been awhile. For almost all of that time I followed a newsletter called Fidelity Monitor (now called Fidelity Monitor & Insight) with good success. Now that I'm required to take RMDs, taxes have become a much bigger issue and I've had to learn more about tax efficient investing. This is a major reason I selected Creative Planning. While Creative Planning has done a good job, it may be time to consider less expensive ways to achieve the same end. I'm awaiting a call from a Sr Advisor at Vanguard to learn more about the PAS offering. I too have to consider my wife who has little interest in managing investments.

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tfb
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Re: Creative Planning vs Robo-advisor

Post by tfb » Wed May 30, 2018 9:50 am

flroots wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 5:27 am
based on my reading, ETFs are likely to be more tax efficient than mutual funds.
Someone sold you a number of exaggerations: on asset location, tax loss harvesting, and tax efficiency of ETFs. It seems anything related to tax just pulls you in. While there may be a difference in any one of these, the difference isn't nearly as much as they make it out to be. Go back to 2008-2009 when there was a big selloff. See how much in capital gains distributions major index funds made due to forced selling versus ETFs. If you are able to find any effect at all, it was very small. And that was during one of the largest selloffs in history.
Harry Sit, taking a break from the forums.

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Re: Creative Planning vs Vanguard PAS

Post by smectym » Wed May 30, 2018 9:57 am

We tried PAS for several years. It was all right, but we’ve just exited.

Once the asset allocation is set based on Vanguard’s algorithm, there’s not going to be much (any) tinkering with the portfolio barring some significant change in your personal circumstances. That’s consistent with their approach, and that’s fine. But you keep paying that fee, year in and year out. The advisor never called us, and we never called the advisor. Except once a year to have a little check up which was inconsequential since there was really nothing to discuss...not the markets, because they’re not going to make changes based on market volatility. Great—sound approach. But based on that approach, probably makes more sense to go with the one-time huddle with a Vanguard Financial Planner. The planner will provide you with a plan that is based on the same principles PAS would use. If you’re Flagship, that service is free. And you don’t lose an additional 0.3% of your “managed” portfolio per year to fees.

I’d certainly recommend trying that first.

A final note: At PAS, Expect your “Personal Advisor” to change every 18 months or 2 years or so. That might work from Vanguard’s perspective as an organization. But the main reason we tried PAS was so my wife could establish rapport with a human at Vanguard in the event I was suddenly not around. She was a little frustrated with the revolving door. The most recent change just provided a convenient point at which to pull the plug.

Smectym

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Re: Creative Planning vs Robo-advisor

Post by flroots » Wed May 30, 2018 10:54 am

tfb wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 9:50 am
flroots wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 5:27 am
based on my reading, ETFs are likely to be more tax efficient than mutual funds.
Someone sold you a number of exaggerations: on asset location, tax loss harvesting, and tax efficiency of ETFs.
Well if that's true all the popular robo-advisors such as Betterment and Wealthfront are marching to the same tune with things like Smart Beta, Direct Indexing, and Fractional Shares thrown in for good measure. I believe that asset location is real and an obvious benefit. So far I haven't seen any effect from tax loss harvesting and am unlikely to going forward. The tax efficiency of ETFs seems real according to everything I've read. Why go with mutual funds when ETFs offer known advantages. Yes, tax efficiency is very much on my mind now that I'm forced to take RMDs with the resulting tax consequences. In the end everything is a tradeoff. In my case I have a very good advisor, but I may be at the stage where I can no longer justify the fee based on the value added. We shall see.

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Re: Creative Planning vs Vanguard PAS

Post by flroots » Wed May 30, 2018 12:50 pm

Just spoke with a Sr Advisor at Vanguard relative to their PAS. As others suggested, she recommended a 4 fund portfolio with a recommended 60/40 split. I stated that I preferred 75/25, but she said they would not be willing to go more than 65/45. She agreed that I could probably do it on my own. She stated that the value added was quarterly rebalancing and coaching to help one "stay the course". My conclusion is that it was not worth the 0.3% although others may benefit from their service. At this moment, I've essentially disqualified every robo-advisor I've considered for one reason or another. Vanguard was my last hope :(

boglemoe
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Re: Creative Planning vs Vanguard PAS

Post by boglemoe » Wed May 30, 2018 3:46 pm

flroots wrote:
Mon May 28, 2018 4:46 am
I recently signed up with Creative Planning with both taxable and IRA accounts safely held at Fidelity Investments. I negotiated a fee of 0.85%. Now I may be suffering a bit of buyer's remorse :(
hello

generally i don't post, there is so much to learn reading here, but i see much in this thread that is misleading, i felt the need to interject.

you suggest buyer's remorse after signing up with CP but what i read in most of your posts is justification for that choice. that's at the other end of the remorse emotion. it's fine if you are simply trying to convince your self this was the right move.

and IF you like what you are paying for...go for it! i am reminded of the old commercial "my broker is ef hutton, and hutton sez....'

CP has a halo over their business right now...and there is no limit to the # uhnw folks who will seek them out.

CP has a tiered fee schedule but the advisors are free to reduce the tab a little...they have to clear it with a committee.

the adv part 2 shows 1.2% and progessing downward as the AUM goes up.

i'm going to guess you have between 1-4M$ in the combined accounts...maybe 2.5M$ or so.

your fees (guessing) will be 8k$ to 24K$ annually. this is a LOT for personalized advice...one could find a cpa and attorney, meet with them 20x a year and spend less.

it may feel like you 'negotiated' a lower fee but that's a bit like getting free floor matts or rust profing on a car. :D

all the best

moe
Last edited by boglemoe on Wed May 30, 2018 4:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

boglemoe
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Re: Creative Planning vs Robo-advisor

Post by boglemoe » Wed May 30, 2018 3:53 pm

flroots wrote:
Mon May 28, 2018 9:40 am
As mentioned, I prefer custody of my assets to be held at one of the big guys such as Fidelity, Schwab, or Vanguard. Also, I require true "asset location" which Creative Planning does very well...
many (most) of the fee only AUM feduciary advisors will do this. CP uses TDA, Schwab, Fidelity primarily.

"a true asset location" ? do you mean asset allocation?

yes, they will include a host of asset types in the hope of diversify risk...there are many ways to accomplish that.

yes your investments will be held OUTSIDE CP...again most will do that.

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Re: Creative Planning vs Robo-advisor

Post by boglemoe » Wed May 30, 2018 3:57 pm

flroots wrote:
Tue May 29, 2018 5:48 am
  • 1. An overall asset allocation is created with each asset class designated with a percentage of total
    2. The total amount to be invested across all account types is applied to the percentages to find the dollar value for each asset class.
    3. The asset class that is the least tax efficient is placed in tax deferred account. For example, this might be a Real Estate ETF since they typically have a high yield
    4. The 2nd most tax efficient class is placed in tax deferred account
    5. Continue the above process until all tax deferred accounts are full
    6. Place remaining asset classes into taxable accounts
An asset class which would be ideal for taxable account would be a large cap ETF since capital gains can be deferred and dividend yield, turnover, etc are low. Fidelity Go, Schwab, and SigFig do not offer asset location. Hope this helps.
tax efficient placement of assets is nothing new. learning about how it works can be very helpful, but the wiki has a nice section on that...keep reading, and learning!

moe

boglemoe
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Re: Creative Planning vs Robo-advisor

Post by boglemoe » Wed May 30, 2018 4:04 pm

flroots wrote:
Tue May 29, 2018 5:57 am
Rick Ferri wrote:
Mon May 28, 2018 9:56 am
If you don't mind doing the trading yourself, you should consider the services of an advice-only adviser. Advice-only advisers charge a hourly fee or subscription service for advice-only. They may not be able to physically trade your account because they don't have permissions. A new service offered at Advice Only Financial may be what you're looking for.
That looks interesting, but the advisors charging an annual advisory fee can add value by performing ongoing tasks such as Tax Loss Harvesting. The more advanced robo-advisors add Smart Beta to the list. Some even do Direct Indexing and/or Fractional Shares. The trick is to figure out what's important to you and see if the advisory fee is worth the value added. That's where I'm at. I currently pay 0.85% for a great service, but is there a robo-advisor that can do as well for a much lower fee?
my ONLY suggestion in this tread is to consider making your account with CP non-discretionary. basically that means your advisor with contact you BEFORE making any trades or changes in your various accounts...they will do this by calling or emailing you.

then you can read about the asset, decide if it makes sense to you as a holding. over a short time you will LEARN about what is in your accounts in a very tangible way.

they only have about 2% of their clients in Non discretionary arrangements but they are flexible and you'll learn so much more than simply seeing a fancy color statement quarterly.

this gets you much closer to what rick is suggesting...over time you may decide to let go of the reins or keep the non-discretionary arrangement.

moe
Last edited by boglemoe on Wed May 30, 2018 10:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.

flroots
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Re: Creative Planning vs Vanguard PAS

Post by flroots » Wed May 30, 2018 4:07 pm

boglemoe wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 3:46 pm
flroots wrote:
Mon May 28, 2018 4:46 am
I recently signed up with Creative Planning with both taxable and IRA accounts safely held at Fidelity Investments. I negotiated a fee of 0.85%. Now I may be suffering a bit of buyer's remorse :(
you suggest buyer's remorse after signing up with CP but what i read in most of your posts is justification for that choice. that's at the other end of the remorse emotion. it's fine if you are simply trying to convince your self this was the right move.
Maybe you have misunderstood me. I'm not trying to convince myself of anything. I'm simply wondering if less expensive options (spelled robo-advisors) are available that can do essentially the same thing at much lower cost. I've completed my evaluation and determined that none of the robo-advisors meet my criteria :( This leaves me with just two choices:
  • 1. Continue with CP
    2. Go it alone
I have yet to make that decision, but at least I've considered quite a few alternatives.

flroots
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Re: Creative Planning vs Robo-advisor

Post by flroots » Wed May 30, 2018 4:09 pm

boglemoe wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 3:53 pm
flroots wrote:
Mon May 28, 2018 9:40 am
As mentioned, I prefer custody of my assets to be held at one of the big guys such as Fidelity, Schwab, or Vanguard. Also, I require true "asset location" which Creative Planning does very well...
"a true asset location" ? do you mean asset allocation?
I do mean "asset location" and it was one of my criteria. I'd say about half of the robo-advisors I considered do it.
Last edited by flroots on Wed May 30, 2018 4:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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