How do you talk to investment advisors socially?

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lazylarry
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How do you talk to investment advisors socially?

Post by lazylarry » Wed Jun 05, 2019 1:25 pm

Was at a gathering of people (intended just to meet up and hang out), and ran into an investment advisor (who managed small businesses and individuals). Asked her if she knew about bogleheads and she told me that that was a "risky" strategy. :shock: After I had a solid belly laugh, I wasn't really sure how to continue the conversation but had to listen to her incorrectly explain my company's retirement plan (she worked for my company in the past). At the end, she ended up asking for my contact information for coffee to continue try to convince me to invest with her.

Wondering how people approach this or if anyone is friends with investment advisors? It's quite hard for me on a personal level to trust someone who is an investment advisor, particularly if they explain things incorrectly. I have tried avoiding talking about this in the past but work invariably comes up.
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Stinky
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Re: How do you talk to investment advisors socially?

Post by Stinky » Wed Jun 05, 2019 1:41 pm

If you run into her socially again, I'd talk to her about children, grandchildren, spouses - or about recent vacations - or about sports - or even about religion or politics (if you share similar beliefs) - anything except investing.

If you talk about investing, even in a social setting, she'll be in the "sell" mode. If you stay in "Boglehead" mode, there will just be conflict.

I wouldn't accept her invitation for coffee to further talk about investing. You're not going to convince her, and she's not going to convince you. Best to avoid the conflict.
Last edited by Stinky on Wed Jun 05, 2019 1:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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123
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Re: How do you talk to investment advisors socially?

Post by 123 » Wed Jun 05, 2019 1:44 pm

You could just not show up at any appointments or meetings the adviser arranges with you. Don't respond to invitations. Don't return their calls.

Edited to add:

People that don't have money to invest generally don't know much about investing. Sometimes expressing interest or knowledge about investing topics can raise the attention of financial advisers and others toward you like blood in the water to sharks.
Last edited by 123 on Wed Jun 05, 2019 1:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PrettyCoolWorkshop
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Re: How do you talk to investment advisors socially?

Post by PrettyCoolWorkshop » Wed Jun 05, 2019 1:51 pm

I met an investment advisor while my wife and I were flying on a plane to the Berkshire Hathaway Shareholders Meeting, which he also happened to be attending. Considering the nature of the event, we were both able to size each other up pretty quick, and that helped a lot. It was very funny some of the things he said.

-"Oh you guys are both engineers... engineers are scary. They're always asking questions."
-"I don't charge 2 and 20 like some of those other guys. Much more modest fees."
-To the flight attendant: "I'll give you a stock tip if you give me a beer!"
-"If somebody can't tell you whether they're beating the market, they're not beating the market." (I really wanted to ask him whether *he* is beating the market at this point, but was too polite to ask).

I think the key to having a good interaction is to use a few shibboleths. Then he'll know that you aren't a strawman he can knock over so easily, and he won't waste effort trying.

-"I'm not trying to beat the market."
-"I've read John Bogle's books."
-"I talked with my friend when he was studying for his CFA exam. The disclaimers that let you cast off your fiduciary responsibility are hilarious and terrifying."
-"I know a friend that actively trades. Every time I ask whether he's beating the market, he doesn't have a good answer for me."

He didn't try to give me his card at any point in the conversation, so I count that as a win, but we don't live in the same state anyway. Guess I had an easy out.

If you really wanted to throw the advisor off-keel, try saying: "Ya know, it's kind of a tragedy that your entire personality has been consumed by your need to find more clients." :D Then wait for them to recover their footing, and if they still want to talk to you, they might relent. There's always the possibility that the guy you're talking too is just too much of a salesman, and if that's true there's no chance of having any other conversation.
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Re: How do you talk to investment advisors socially?

Post by HawkeyePierce » Wed Jun 05, 2019 1:55 pm

Take a page out of Dale Carnegie and just change the subject. Nothing good will come of trying to change their mind.

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Re: How do you talk to investment advisors socially?

Post by retiredjg » Wed Jun 05, 2019 1:58 pm

There are a couple of advisors (one retired, one working) in a social group I spend time with. The one who is working advises some friends of mine. They think they are getting great advice and that investing on your own is probably very risky.

Nobody ever brings the subject up. We also never talk politics or religion. Well, we do talk politics with people who have similar views.... :shock: Nobody seems to care much about religion.

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Re: How do you talk to investment advisors socially?

Post by livesoft » Wed Jun 05, 2019 2:00 pm

Generally, I offer to run their personal investments for them. So far, none of them have taken me up on my offer yet.
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Re: How do you talk to investment advisors socially?

Post by ResearchMed » Wed Jun 05, 2019 2:03 pm

The weather.

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Re: How do you talk to investment advisors socially?

Post by bloom2708 » Wed Jun 05, 2019 2:06 pm

My former Edward Jones advisor (with him for 3 years) and I see each other all the time.

We talk about running. He is an avid runner. I am a not so avid runner. It is the one safe topic we have.

I usually just nod my head a lot when the topics get to investing and I am standing within earshot. :o
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Re: How do you talk to investment advisors socially?

Post by jebmke » Wed Jun 05, 2019 2:43 pm

I don't even talk to friends and family about investing.
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HomeStretch
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Re: How do you talk to investment advisors socially?

Post by HomeStretch » Wed Jun 05, 2019 2:46 pm

Talk about anything other than investing.

Never give contact information to any salesperson unless you are interested in the product.

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greg24
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Re: How do you talk to investment advisors socially?

Post by greg24 » Wed Jun 05, 2019 2:49 pm

Offer to oversee their portfolio for 2% AUM.

megabad
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Re: How do you talk to investment advisors socially?

Post by megabad » Wed Jun 05, 2019 2:58 pm

lazylarry wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 1:25 pm
Wondering how people approach this or if anyone is friends with investment advisors? It's quite hard for me on a personal level to trust someone who is an investment advisor, particularly if they explain things incorrectly. I have tried avoiding talking about this in the past but work invariably comes up.
When I was younger, I felt similarly to you about others in my field (not finance). I couldn't get past that they were less than competent. I have long since gotten over that. I have been very close friends with an investment advisor for many years (maybe a decade) and he has never (and will never) manage my money. We talk about everything friends talk about: family, sports, news, friends, and even work. I do not, however, offer my opinions on his investing approach and professional abilities. In fact, I don't do this with anyone I consider a friend. What works for me is actively listening and waiting for a prompt for input. I have never gotten a prompt for input on his specific financial approach so I never offer it.

As such, I find it rather easy to talk about my work and others work and not get into a situation that involves soliciting someone's opinion on my approach. It is a very black and white view of life to find it hard to trust people at all that are occasionally wrong or who do jobs we find distasteful. Perhaps try to find more redeeming qualities in folks? You can choose to not trust someone with your money but still be friends with them right? Gosh I trust my extended family in many ways, but I probably wouldn't drop my entire portfolio in even their laps.

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Re: How do you talk to investment advisors socially?

Post by Fallible » Wed Jun 05, 2019 3:07 pm

lazylarry wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 1:25 pm
Was at a gathering of people (intended just to meet up and hang out), and ran into an investment advisor (who managed small businesses and individuals). Asked her if she knew about bogleheads and she told me that that was a "risky" strategy. :shock: After I had a solid belly laugh, I wasn't really sure how to continue the conversation but had to listen to her incorrectly explain my company's retirement plan (she worked for my company in the past). At the end, she ended up asking for my contact information for coffee to continue try to convince me to invest with her.
...
Did she say why Bogleheads strategy is risky?

When someone you’re talking to socially asks for your contact information and coffee to convince you to invest with them, the occasion is business, not social.
John Bogle on his often bumpy road to low-cost indexing: "When a door closes, if you look long enough and hard enough, if you're strong enough, you'll find a window that opens."

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Re: How do you talk to investment advisors socially?

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Wed Jun 05, 2019 3:36 pm

jebmke wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 2:43 pm
I don't even talk to friends and family about investing.
Conversations about money, religion, and politics can sour relationships. I don't do it with friends.

I will talk money with my children, and BIL who specifically asked me to advise him.

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Re: How do you talk to investment advisors socially?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Wed Jun 05, 2019 3:42 pm

livesoft wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 2:00 pm
Generally, I offer to run their personal investments for them. So far, none of them have taken me up on my offer yet.
LOL!

I like to "toy" with them. I ask them about fixed income investments, wait for them to start talking and then ask them about the duration and convexity of the bonds. Blank stares and deer in headlights......then we or rather they switch subjects...... :D
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Re: How do you talk to investment advisors socially?

Post by livesoft » Wed Jun 05, 2019 4:50 pm

Broken Man 1999 wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 3:36 pm
jebmke wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 2:43 pm
I don't even talk to friends and family about investing.
Conversations about money, religion, and politics can sour relationships. I don't do it with friends.
Or they can deepen the friendship. I look forward to my conversations with my friends about money, religion, and politics.
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Re: How do you talk to investment advisors socially?

Post by NotWhoYouThink » Wed Jun 05, 2019 5:34 pm

Do you talk to doctors about medicine? Lawyers about lawsuits? Aerospace engineers about laminar flow?

Usually at social events we'll talk about kids or dogs or the local sports or weather situations. With good friends, and in small groups, we can talk about politics. But seldom about how we go (or went) about our work. The doctor doesn't want the hear your opinion about vaccines, the lawyer doesn't want to hear your negotiation strategy for a traffic-related injury, and the financial advisor doesn't want to hear about bogleheads.

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Re: How do you talk to investment advisors socially?

Post by AerialWombat » Wed Jun 05, 2019 5:40 pm

Due to a new software project I’m working on, I happily engage in these situations. I turn the tables, and offer to sell them our professional planning software built around real estate rather than securities. :sharebeer
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Tdubs
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Re: How do you talk to investment advisors socially?

Post by Tdubs » Wed Jun 05, 2019 5:43 pm

How about taking the initiative, "Really, I'm a financial advisor too!" Then hand him/her your card, "Bob Smith, Boglehead."

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Re: How do you talk to investment advisors socially?

Post by Jeff Albertson » Wed Jun 05, 2019 5:47 pm

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Re: How do you talk to investment advisors socially?

Post by adamthesmythe » Wed Jun 05, 2019 5:52 pm

> Asked her if she knew about bogleheads and she told me that that was a "risky" strategy.

Well it looks like OP started it.

Upon learning a person was a financial advisor...I guess I would change the topic to something less controversial...maybe politics. Or religion.

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Re: How do you talk to investment advisors socially?

Post by dkturner » Thu Jun 06, 2019 11:04 am

lazylarry wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 1:25 pm
Was at a gathering of people (intended just to meet up and hang out), and ran into an investment advisor (who managed small businesses and individuals). Asked her if she knew about bogleheads and she told me that that was a "risky" strategy. :shock: After I had a solid belly laugh, I wasn't really sure how to continue the conversation but had to listen to her incorrectly explain my company's retirement plan (she worked for my company in the past). At the end, she ended up asking for my contact information for coffee to continue try to convince me to invest with her.

Wondering how people approach this or if anyone is friends with investment advisors? It's quite hard for me on a personal level to trust someone who is an investment advisor, particularly if they explain things incorrectly. I have tried avoiding talking about this in the past but work invariably comes up.
If an investment advisor truly is a friend she won’t try to convince you of anything investment related - particularly if you have history on your side (which you do if you invest like a Boglehead).

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Re: How do you talk to investment advisors socially?

Post by DaftInvestor » Thu Jun 06, 2019 11:42 am

As others have stated - I simply talk about non-investment topics.
If the person asks me how I invest - I simply tell them that I consider the topic a bit personal and not comfortable talking about it. Do you follow sports? Have kids? What do you do for fun? So many other topics...

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Re: How do you talk to investment advisors socially?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Thu Jun 06, 2019 12:25 pm

I think I'd talk to her in an open and condescending way. "So your strategy is thoroughly stuck in the 1950's. Surprising as you don't look that old. I'm sorry you're unable to read anything published over the last 30 years about index funds....perhaps you can get an audio book and listen to one, if you're unable to read.".

If she didn't walk away, I'd start some personal insults. Comment about how she smells bad. Ask how long she's had the skin condition and if she's being treated.
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Re: How do you talk to investment advisors socially?

Post by Goal33 » Thu Jun 06, 2019 12:38 pm

megabad wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 2:58 pm
I have been very close friends with an investment advisor for many years (maybe a decade) and he has never (and will never) manage my money.
This still scares me... he may manage your spouses money when you're no longer around. This is another reason why I only use Vanguard - they never call me.
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Re: How do you talk to investment advisors socially?

Post by magicrat » Thu Jun 06, 2019 12:59 pm

I speak to them slowly, using simple words and short sentences.

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Re: How do you talk to investment advisors socially?

Post by Teague » Thu Jun 06, 2019 1:01 pm

Mention your thriving outdoor adventure business. Perhaps they need some new smoke-screens. Or a double-edged falling knife. How about a few bond tents? Unfortunately, the hardest sell is always the moral compass.
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Re: How do you talk to investment advisors socially?

Post by Doom&Gloom » Thu Jun 06, 2019 1:08 pm

Was at a gathering of people (intended just to meet up and hang out)

Doesn't sound as if it was a howling success.

In such a circumstance I do my best to avoid discussing religion, politics, and money.

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Re: How do you talk to investment advisors socially?

Post by SGM » Thu Jun 06, 2019 3:54 pm

We have a friend coming over tonight who is a financial advisor. She knows we are successful investors and she wouldn't try to recruit us as clients. She manages the trusts of two extended family members who are incapable of handling investments or land. She keeps them both out of trouble and we hope she will not retire soon as she would be difficult to replace.

Mostly we will talk about hobbies, vacations, cruises, second homes, travel, food, wine, antiques, volunteerism, the state of the nation and maybe the French Open. This FA has worked years for a local bank and is an attorney who has given us some free advice about taxation and our role as an executor of an estate of recently deceased relative.

We just received a dozen soft shell crabs and will give a few to our friend to take home. Of course there will be a discussion of the best way to prepare them.

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Re: How do you talk to investment advisors socially?

Post by Meg77 » Thu Jun 06, 2019 4:11 pm

NotWhoYouThink wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 5:34 pm
Do you talk to doctors about medicine? Lawyers about lawsuits? Aerospace engineers about laminar flow?

Usually at social events we'll talk about kids or dogs or the local sports or weather situations. With good friends, and in small groups, we can talk about politics. But seldom about how we go (or went) about our work. The doctor doesn't want the hear your opinion about vaccines, the lawyer doesn't want to hear your negotiation strategy for a traffic-related injury, and the financial advisor doesn't want to hear about bogleheads.
This. The fact that you struggle to trust anyone who works as an investment advisor is more of a reflection of your hang ups (preoccupation or possibly even obsession) related to investing. Not everyone is great at their jobs; not everyone has experience in their career yet. Many physicians long out of training can't explain the latest and greatest surgical or pharmaceutical revolutions. Many investment advisors are still stock/sector picking and charging higher fees. This doesn't make them terrible people you should avoid. Do you detest or mistrust the attorney who bills you by the hour instead of directing you to LegalZoom or Nolo? Do you scoff at the nutritionist or personal trainer who doesn't promote the blogs or youtube videos where you could get "all the same info" for free? Does it make your blood boil if those folks attempt to explain their comparative advantage and the benefit of designing you a customized plan? Well, it shouldn't.

People hire financial advisors and investment managers of their own free will. Those professional charge more for their services than the 3 fund portfolio costs. Their added value is sometimes worth it, even if their returns don't exceed that of a three fund portfolio. There are bound to be incompetent apples in the bunch, but most are well intentioned. There are plenty of much more concerning instances of people being systematically misled or taken advantage of which could use your righteous indignation and attention.

For the record, I'm friends with lots of financial planners and investment professionals. Generally we stick to broad topics such as the increasing or decreasing likelihood of recession, whether the fed is bound to raise/lower rates, the latest unemployment figures, or even new developments in the industry such as the fiduciary rule or robo-advisor websites. It's nice to have relatively educated sources to ask their opinion about things like Bitcoin, tax changes, tariff consequences or any other issue. As a bunch of finance nerds, we do also share tips about things like discount websites, high interest rate savings accounts, asset allocation strategies or rewards credit cards (it's funny at happy hours or lunches when a group of 6 all pull out the Chase Sapphire Reserve card).

Of course as we are all financial services professionals, we rarely try to convince one other to invest with us, so it is a bit different (even though we are all technically prospects or future prospects of one another - bankers, accountants, estate/tax attorneys, investment analysts, wealth advisors). I get that as a potential customer the conversation may go differently. But these days, financial professionals are used to the idea that a certain subset of people prefer to manage their own portfolios and intent to continue to do so. I would simply identify yourself as such, and the pitch will be over. Phrasing it as a "what do you think of Bogleheads" opens the door to debate or unwanted conversation on the topic, even if the person isn't trying to pitch you. Just say, "Oh that's interesting. I enjoy managing my own finances."
Last edited by Meg77 on Thu Jun 06, 2019 4:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: How do you talk to investment advisors socially?

Post by stoptothink » Thu Jun 06, 2019 4:16 pm

Two of my closest friends are financial advisors. One of them is every ounce the Boglehead with his own investing, neither one is (obviously) in their career. We simply don't discuss investing at all, ever.

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