I want to pry my friend away from Edward Jones

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dowse
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Re: I want to pry my friend away from Edward Jones

Post by dowse » Mon Sep 03, 2018 8:27 am

I agree with others who recommend that you avoid giving advice that is not solicited. There are so many folks who are just not comfortable managing their own investments and feel that they need "a guy" with some sort of "credentials". Unfortunately, EJ fits this bill for so many people. I have had some experience with EJ, but not by my own choice. For about 7 years, I was trustee on two accounts with EJ where the beneficiaries had insisted on EJ. When it came time to terminate the trust and distribute funds, the final beneficiaries also requested transfers to their own EJ accounts. This involved two different EJ branches in a small town where everyone knew everyone else and in once case, the adviser was a relative. It worked out ok. better than what many others have experienced and reported here. I just bit my tongue and went along with it. While I would never have chosen EJ, they were still within the scope of what I considered to be my duties as trustee. As for the distributions, I wasn't asked for any advice, and I didn't give any.

As others have said, I would only offer books, web sites (#1 being bogleheads.org of course) and educational videos, but no specific advice. I would only offer these if the person asked for them or had expressed some dissatisfaction with their current adviser, or had asked "what do yo do?". Specific advice other than education is asking for trouble.

spectec
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Re: I want to pry my friend away from Edward Jones

Post by spectec » Mon Sep 03, 2018 9:03 am

ddurrett896 wrote:
Mon Sep 03, 2018 7:18 am
catdude wrote:
Fri Aug 31, 2018 2:16 am
Anybody have a recommendation? It'd be great if I could give her a book and say, "Read this, especially Chapter __." Or should I just give her the Bogleheads Guide to Investing? What do y'all think?
The book might be a try, but unless she really is interested it might be boring and hard to finish.

The absolutely easiest and best solution is Target Date Funds.
I give people "The Dream of a Perfect Plan", either in hard copy or the link below. I also suggest that they read the opening three paragraphs and the closing four paragraphs if they don't think they have time to read the whole article. If they won't at least do that, they aren't likely to read anything else.
https://personal.vanguard.com/bogle_sit ... 91016.html
Don't gamble; take all your savings and buy some good stock and hold it till it goes up, then sell it. If it don't go up, don't buy it. - Will Rogers

Rich in Michigan
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Re: I want to pry my friend away from Edward Jones

Post by Rich in Michigan » Mon Sep 03, 2018 9:28 am

Several years back I tried to convince a friend that she had better options than EJ. I gave her a Boglehead book, etc.

She went back to her EJ salesman...I mean "advisor"...and naturally he had cookbook counters to everything and of course she believed him. She even said to me "well, what your doing is fine if you don't want to do the things my advisor can do to beat the market."

I just smiled and kept my mouth shut. I am now actually happy that he is taking her $$$.

Giving financial advice to friends is usually a losing proposition.

mptfan
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Re: I want to pry my friend away from Edward Jones

Post by mptfan » Mon Sep 03, 2018 9:51 am

catdude wrote:
Fri Aug 31, 2018 2:16 am
Hi there Bogleheads,

Earlier this week I had a conversation with a neighbor/friend in which she mentioned that she has her investments with Edward Jones. Of course I cringed and told her that I think EJ is horrible, awful, expensive, etc. etc. We talked about it for a few minutes, and she said she doesn't feel comfortable managing her money herself. Too complicated. I said that the best investing is quite simple and straightforward.
I think you should stay out of it and keep your opinions to yourself. I'm not trying to be rude, but that is what I think.

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tuningfork
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Re: I want to pry my friend away from Edward Jones

Post by tuningfork » Mon Sep 03, 2018 10:03 am

My thoughts, probably mostly covered by others.

I would never give an unsolicited financial book to anyone except to my child or niece or nephew who was just starting their career. As a gift just out of college it would come across as a thoughtful, though possibly unwanted, gesture, and might get read at some point. As a gift to someone 30 or 40 or older, it smells of meddling. How would you like it if they gave you a self-help book about something you don't believe you need help with? "Oh, so you think I'm depressed? You think my house is cluttered? You think I'm fat?"

I never push my financial approach on anyone unsolicited. When the topic came up with one friend who tried to push his adviser on me, we talked about asset allocation and fees ("It's great! Everything the FA does for me is free!" he said as I stifled myself). I couldn't get him to consider that it might not really be free, so I dropped it. I'd rather keep him as a friend.

When I announced my early retirement some years ago, the most common question from my co-workers was "Who is your financial adviser?" My reply was that I'm a DIY investor, and I gave them links to bogleheads.org and early-retirement.org. I doubt most of them even clicked the links, although one co-worker four years later contacted me to thank me for giving her those links and to discuss with me her potential early retirement plans.

It's very clear to me that most people do not want to DIY their finances. They would rather pay an "expert" to do it or to ignore it and pretend all is well.

It's like computers: I build computers for a hobby, but I see so many people who pay ridiculous amounts to computer repair shops for basic maintenance and simple upgrades, or glitches I could fix in one minute by typing one command. They would rather pay somebody, and I'm ok with that.

And it's like cars, but the other way for me: I would much rather pay an expert to change the oil and rotate the tires. It may cost me a little money, or even a lot of money, but I've saved a lot of time and hassle. My knuckles aren't scuffed, I didn't spill oil on the driveway, I didn't bump my head on the hood, I'm confident the wheels aren't going to fall off. Maybe a shop down the street could do repairs for half the price my shop does, but I don't want to bother finding the absolute cheapest mechanic. That's not my priority. And if someone gave me a book on DIY car maintenance and repair, it would go unread.

spectec
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Re: I want to pry my friend away from Edward Jones

Post by spectec » Mon Sep 03, 2018 3:13 pm

Excellent analysis and analogies.
Don't gamble; take all your savings and buy some good stock and hold it till it goes up, then sell it. If it don't go up, don't buy it. - Will Rogers

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CyclingDuo
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Re: I want to pry my friend away from Edward Jones

Post by CyclingDuo » Mon Sep 03, 2018 8:17 pm

tuningfork wrote:
Mon Sep 03, 2018 10:03 am
My thoughts, probably mostly covered by others.

I would never give an unsolicited financial book to anyone except to my child or niece or nephew who was just starting their career.
Therein lies the problem in our country. Good chance the child, niece or nephew could end up being unwilling to heed the advice of a suggested book compared to our friends and neighbors who might end up heeding some guidance.

We say sally forth and help those who could utilize the guidance. Friends. Neighbors. Colleagues. Family.
"Everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time." ~ Steven Wright

CedarWaxWing
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Re: I want to pry my friend away from Edward Jones

Post by CedarWaxWing » Mon Sep 03, 2018 9:48 pm

tuningfork wrote:
Mon Sep 03, 2018 10:03 am
My thoughts, probably mostly covered by others.

I would never give an unsolicited financial book to anyone except to my child or niece or nephew who was just starting their career. As a gift just out of college it would come across as a thoughtful, though possibly unwanted, gesture, and might get read at some point. As a gift to someone 30 or 40 or older, it smells of meddling. How would you like it if they gave you a self-help book about something you don't believe you need help with? "Oh, so you think I'm depressed? You think my house is cluttered? You think I'm fat?"

I never push my financial approach on anyone unsolicited. When the topic came up with one friend who tried to push his adviser on me, we talked about asset allocation and fees ("It's great! Everything the FA does for me is free!" he said as I stifled myself). I couldn't get him to consider that it might not really be free, so I dropped it. I'd rather keep him as a friend.

When I announced my early retirement some years ago, the most common question from my co-workers was "Who is your financial adviser?" My reply was that I'm a DIY investor, and I gave them links to bogleheads.org and early-retirement.org. I doubt most of them even clicked the links, although one co-worker four years later contacted me to thank me for giving her those links and to discuss with me her potential early retirement plans.

It's very clear to me that most people do not want to DIY their finances. They would rather pay an "expert" to do it or to ignore it and pretend all is well.

It's like computers: I build computers for a hobby, but I see so many people who pay ridiculous amounts to computer repair shops for basic maintenance and simple upgrades, or glitches I could fix in one minute by typing one command. They would rather pay somebody, and I'm ok with that.

And it's like cars, but the other way for me: I would much rather pay an expert to change the oil and rotate the tires. It may cost me a little money, or even a lot of money, but I've saved a lot of time and hassle. My knuckles aren't scuffed, I didn't spill oil on the driveway, I didn't bump my head on the hood, I'm confident the wheels aren't going to fall off. Maybe a shop down the street could do repairs for half the price my shop does, but I don't want to bother finding the absolute cheapest mechanic. That's not my priority. And if someone gave me a book on DIY car maintenance and repair, it would go unread.
I would not be too confident that having a "pro" work on your car means the wheels are less likely to fall off....

Check this out... estimates that wheels come off "at least 50,000 in the USA.

https://abc7chicago.com/automotive/frea ... r/1065167/

Shallowpockets
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Re: I want to pry my friend away from Edward Jones

Post by Shallowpockets » Tue Sep 04, 2018 8:40 am

There is a certain upscale feeling for people to have an FA. They may believe it is a status symbol. Like having your own lawyer. Or "my doctor", as if he was a personal physician.
Medicine, law, finances. All mysterious to most people. Better to have your own guy. Kind of a professional list for your entourage.


Unfortunately your guy is never even seen or consulted but briefly at tax time (maybe) or in statements that people don't read because why should they, their guy is on top of it.

Dottie57
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Re: I want to pry my friend away from Edward Jones

Post by Dottie57 » Tue Sep 04, 2018 9:26 am

catdude wrote:
Fri Aug 31, 2018 2:54 pm
OK, thank you all for your responses and advice. I will tread carefully here. I like the idea of giving her The Coffeehouse Investor and/or The Little Book of Common Sense Investing. (I'll have to read the latter first, I haven't read it yet). I'll just say, "These books explain the general approach I've taken and it's worked well for me." After that I'll say nothing at all about the whole subject... the ball will be in her court at that point.
Don’t be surprised if she doesn’t read it. May not be Amy interest.

LXEX55
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Re: I want to pry my friend away from Edward Jones

Post by LXEX55 » Tue Sep 04, 2018 12:32 pm

You mean well and you have a good heart. But "the road to hell is paved with good intentions". If she wants to trust EJ, let her. Believe it or not, there are worse (my brother in law, for instance)

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fishandgolf
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Re: I want to pry my friend away from Edward Jones

Post by fishandgolf » Wed Sep 05, 2018 12:24 pm

renue74 wrote:
Fri Aug 31, 2018 10:03 am
I had a couple friends with EJ. Had conversations with them, but neither have moved.

The thought process of "moving," in itself seems like a heavy duty project....but we know differently. It only takes a few phone calls.

I've given up. I try not to talk about investing with friends any longer. It makes for a better time.
+1

yep, yep, yep, yep.............I've tried it with friends and family members........no such wruck....... Keep the topic out of the discussion unless someone else brings it up...... 8-)

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robolove
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Re: I want to pry my friend away from Edward Jones

Post by robolove » Thu Sep 06, 2018 8:14 am

I persuaded my sister to consider leaving EJ st the end of July and gave her the BH guide to investing.

But her EJ Account manager continuously feeds her with B.S. to keep her from leaving... and asks for more money..

I told my sister that she and her husband need to research and decide for themselves and to leave me out...

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Doom&Gloom
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Re: I want to pry my friend away from Edward Jones

Post by Doom&Gloom » Thu Sep 06, 2018 8:28 am

It is like trying to talk a friend into leaving an unhealthy relationship they are in. You are almost doomed to fail.

You Know What I Mean
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Re: I want to pry my friend away from Edward Jones

Post by You Know What I Mean » Thu Sep 06, 2018 7:36 pm

CyclingDuo wrote:
Fri Aug 31, 2018 10:09 am
catdude wrote:
Fri Aug 31, 2018 2:16 am
Hi there Bogleheads,

Earlier this week I had a conversation with a neighbor/friend in which she mentioned that she has her investments with Edward Jones. Of course I cringed and told her that I think EJ is horrible, awful, expensive, etc. etc. We talked about it for a few minutes, and she said she doesn't feel comfortable managing her money herself. Too complicated. I said that the best investing is quite simple and straightforward.

Anyway, we got onto another tangent and talked about other things, but she did indicate she'd be willing to re-visit the EJ issue later this year. I think I can get her to read a book, maybe two. Ideally, I'd like to find a book that includes a critique of full-service brokers, and perhaps EJ specifically, in additon to discussing index funds, the importance of costs, etc. Anybody have a recommendation? It'd be great if I could give her a book and say, "Read this, especially Chapter __." Or should I just give her the Bogleheads Guide to Investing? What do y'all think?
Many have suggested to avoid the subject with her. We would take the opposite side of that advice if she really is a good friend. Financial education in the US is horrible. It's horrible with extended members of our families. It's horrible with colleagues in the work place. It's horrible due to the scarcity of it being taught in schools. It's horrible in social circles. HR departments mostly continue to be horrible on providing any education about the products they offer their employees. Household budgets are horrible because most don't even try to make one, and many who attempt to do it fail to follow it. Throw the blanket over it of being mostly taboo to discuss it on top of the lack of education - and is it any wonder so many are in the situations they are in? Even if one has a great lawyer, CPA, Financial Advisor, Insurance Agent, etc.... - they will all provide conflicting advice to the other based on their speciality niche that simply leaves the client confused.

You've broken the ice with her already, so at this point it wouldn't hurt to do a follow up discussion and at least point her to the free PDF of Bernstein's If You Can:

https://www.etf.com/docs/IfYouCan.pdf

Throw in a recommendation such as Taylor's easy to read, and simple guide to the Three Fund Portfolio:

https://www.amazon.com/Bogleheads-Guide ... Bogleheads

That puts the onus on her to make her own decision(s) after confronting some very well written material that goes beyond any backyard conversation. We all have many friends, family members, and colleagues who match your neighbor in their thinking. Most would be more than happy to engage in a discussion on the price of Direct TV vs. cable television, or a phone plan with Verizon vs. AT&T, where they get their oil changed, or how much they saved on their eye glasses at one place over another. Why should it be any different when it comes to discussion of costs/fees they pay for financial planning/investments?

We'd say, give her the link to Bernstein's If You Can for starters and see if she reads it and follows up with any questions at some point in the future.
Bravo! I strongly agree with Cycling Duo’s comments and advice.

I especially agree with catdude offering Bernstein’s “If You Can” to his neighbor if she is a good friend. I suggest he do that by saying he shares her interests in financial matters, he recognizes she’s had some good experiences, and he would very much like to hear her opinions on Bernstein’s pamphlet.

That said, I do appreciate others’ advice to stay out or be cautious. That’s the safest course. There is a risk of losing a friend or appearing pushy, if you are not very diplomatic.

I would try to channel John Bogle and be as engaging, polite, and respectful as he is while being as persuasive as possible and firm in your own beliefs. Personally, I’ve had mixed results. Very good results with some close family members, young in-laws, and even a distant niece and nephew (Vanguard Target Retirement 2050 in Roth IRA’s). However, I made no impact on a couple of friends. One is a bit of a tactical market-timer, and the other is staying with Waddell & Reed. Still, we’ve had interesting discussions, and we are still friends.

Good luck to all.

mptfan
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Re: I want to pry my friend away from Edward Jones

Post by mptfan » Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:03 am

CyclingDuo wrote:
Fri Aug 31, 2018 10:09 am
We all have many friends, family members, and colleagues who match your neighbor in their thinking. Most would be more than happy to engage in a discussion on the price of Direct TV vs. cable television, or a phone plan with Verizon vs. AT&T, where they get their oil changed, or how much they saved on their eye glasses at one place over another. Why should it be any different when it comes to discussion of costs/fees they pay for financial planning/investments?
That's a good question, and there are probably many reasons why it is different, but it is. Talking about how someone handles or invests their money is just different than talking about which phone plan their have or where to get an oil change. If you say that it should be the same I can agree with that, but if you are saying it is the same, I don't agree.

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CyclingDuo
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Re: I want to pry my friend away from Edward Jones

Post by CyclingDuo » Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:22 am

mptfan wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:03 am
CyclingDuo wrote:
Fri Aug 31, 2018 10:09 am
We all have many friends, family members, and colleagues who match your neighbor in their thinking. Most would be more than happy to engage in a discussion on the price of Direct TV vs. cable television, or a phone plan with Verizon vs. AT&T, where they get their oil changed, or how much they saved on their eye glasses at one place over another. Why should it be any different when it comes to discussion of costs/fees they pay for financial planning/investments?
That's a good question, and there are probably many reasons why it is different, but it is. Talking about how someone handles or invests their money is just different than talking about which phone plan their have or where to get an oil change. If you say that it should be the same I can agree with that, but if you are saying it is the same, I don't agree.
Perhaps not the best analogy, but that reference was in response to talking about fees one pays for funds/money management. People think nothing of openly chatting about saving $XXX amount of dollars on various services, products, dining, vacations, etc... but when it comes to AUM fees or ER fees for funds - why should it be mum's the word?
"Everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time." ~ Steven Wright

mptfan
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Re: I want to pry my friend away from Edward Jones

Post by mptfan » Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:30 am

CyclingDuo wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:22 am
People think nothing of openly chatting about saving $XXX amount of dollars on various services, products, dining, vacations, etc... but when it comes to AUM fees or ER fees for funds - why should it be mum's the word?
It shouldn't.

new2bogle
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Re: I want to pry my friend away from Edward Jones

Post by new2bogle » Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:34 am

I don't say anything unless there is a direct question "Should I use a FA from EJ?" or something like that. Otherwise, it's just none of your business.

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burt
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Re: I want to pry my friend away from Edward Jones

Post by burt » Fri Sep 07, 2018 6:17 pm

Lot's of comments advising "stay out of it" or "none of your business".

When it comes to relatives or close friends with limited means, I jump in and am willing to accept the consequences.
Kind of like seeing a dog locked in a car on a hot day. I'll break the window and accept the consequences.

burt

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fishandgolf
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Re: I want to pry my friend away from Edward Jones

Post by fishandgolf » Fri Sep 07, 2018 7:51 pm

TwstdSista wrote:
Fri Aug 31, 2018 2:24 am
I'd be careful -- if the market crashes after she moves her money, she may blame you.

Consider steering the conversation towards the fees she's paying and recommend one of the less expensive advisors instead? (like Vanguard PAS)
+++1000

Best advise given.......Unless they......and you fully understand the consequences of this......things could turn into a train wreck in a hurry.

Tread carefully........ :|

moehoward
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Re: I want to pry my friend away from Edward Jones

Post by moehoward » Sat Sep 08, 2018 10:14 am

I agree with everybody that says, hold your tongue. It's a dead end conversation because your friend will tell how much money they have made and are very happy. Don't bring logic into a conversation.

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