Friends with an EJ Advisor

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TRC
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Friends with an EJ Advisor

Post by TRC » Sat Jun 02, 2018 9:51 am

I've recently become good friends with an Edward Jones advisor. He knows I have a relatively high net worth for my age and I've made it clear that I got burned by an advisor in the past and am perfectly content with my simple 3 fund index portfolio. We've gotten into a few minor debates about active vs. passive funds, but I mainly just try and change the subject whenever he brings up his business. Recently he asked me to attend an upcoming open house / dinner for potential new clients. I said I'd talk it over with my wife. I know I have no intentions of going, though I don't want to hurt his feelings and have a hard time being direct with him. I really like the guy and truly appreciate our friendship, but I have no intentions of ever deviating from my index fund approach. A very small part of me skeptically wonders if he's pursuing me as a prospect more so than a friend. Anyhow, this is more of a rant than a question. If anyone has advice on how to politely make it clear that I'm not interested the next time he brings it up, I'd welcome suggestions on how to handle this.

TheAncientOne
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Re: Friends with an EJ Advisor

Post by TheAncientOne » Sat Jun 02, 2018 9:59 am

The easiest time to say No is at the very outset. Just tell him that you're not interested in having a financial adviser. The whole idea of dinners like this is to create a sense of obligation on your part. Everyone should read Robert Cialdini's book, Influence, which discusses how people are made to do things that they otherwise would rather not. You're trying to avoid 30 seconds of unpleasantness that you will regret for the evening at the least, and far longer if you feel you have no option but to give him business.

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cheese_breath
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Re: Friends with an EJ Advisor

Post by cheese_breath » Sat Jun 02, 2018 9:59 am

Learn to be direct with him. Tell him directly you're not interested in becoming an EJ client. If he's really your friend he'll respect your wishes. If he keeps after you he's not really your friend and is only interested in signing up another client.
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.

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prudent
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Re: Friends with an EJ Advisor

Post by prudent » Sat Jun 02, 2018 10:31 am

Agree that clear and direct is the way to go because you'll be happier as soon as he stops pursuing your business. "I'm very satisfied with how my investment plan is going and there's no chance I would use an advisor. I'm not going to take up a seat at the dinner knowing I won't ever become a customer. Thanks for the invite, but no thanks."

He may come back and say just come anyway, grab a free meal, It's a business writeoff anyway. If so, just repeat the above.

The important thing is to get him to understand you will NEVER use an advisor. Until he gets that, you are still a prospect that hasn't signed on yet.

You'll find out soon enough if you are actual friends or just a business prospect. But be prepared to learn you're just a prospect, and no hard feelings. He's just trying to make a living, and has to spend much of his time trying to make sales.

livesoft
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Re: Friends with an EJ Advisor

Post by livesoft » Sat Jun 02, 2018 10:39 am

I have to laugh. Every EJ person that I have met, I have gotten them to change jobs. You should be on a crusade to get this guy to change his job and by doing so help all his clients, too. My philosophy is that if someone is going to use me and try to change my mind, then it is fair game for me to go on the offensive and be offensive and get try to do the same thing to them. Seriously. If he is a friend, then he will enjoy the repartee; if he is simply looking out for himself, then ....
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Pajamas
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Re: Friends with an EJ Advisor

Post by Pajamas » Sat Jun 02, 2018 10:59 am

If he is truly a good friend, you might make two points, saying something like this, "Edward ( :happy ), you know that I manage my own investments and don't need or want assistance with my portfolio. Even if I did need assistance, I value our friendship too much to risk it by using your firm."

Ideally, any business or professional dealings between friends should be initiated by the one who is the customer, if it is to be undertaken at all. However, the fact that you have "recently become good friends" makes it likely that from his viewpoint, you are a potential customer rather than a friend. If he were your friend, he wouldn't keep badgering you about becoming a customer.

You might want to review this information if you haven't already:

Edward Jones Compensation & Fees

https://www.edwardjones.com/disclosures ... -fees.html

Also, you might want to think of him as a financial salesperson rather than as a financial advisor.

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celia
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Re: Friends with an EJ Advisor

Post by celia » Sat Jun 02, 2018 11:14 am

"Why don't we agree to disagree when it comes to finances? By the way, that reminds me of a thread recently posted on Bogleheads ...". Then change the subject to something interesting you read here.

In other words, if you can't sway him to a simpler, more productive style, just introduce him to us!

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Re: Friends with an EJ Advisor

Post by Nate79 » Sat Jun 02, 2018 11:18 am

If you are really friends you should be able to discuss other things/change the subject away from finance. Or at least be more blunt with him that you are fine and enjoy managing your own money. But understand part of EJ is for these advisors to sell to their friends/family. Honestly if you are not really clear with him you are giving him the chance to continue to push his services onto you. Remember, he is a salesman first and foremost - aka used car salesman.....

Veritas Simplex
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Re: Friends with an EJ Advisor

Post by Veritas Simplex » Sat Jun 02, 2018 11:18 am

Tell him that you don't mix business with pleasure. Leave it at that.

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Re: Friends with an EJ Advisor

Post by oldcomputerguy » Sat Jun 02, 2018 11:22 am

Be upfront. Look him in the face and say in no uncertain terms that you are not interested in letting EJ manage anything and that you will never be an EJ client. If he's your friend, he will understand and respect that. On the other hand, if he's only feigning friendship hoping to get your business, it's best if you find that out sooner rather than later.
It’s taken me a lot of years, but I’ve come around to this: If you’re dumb, surround yourself with smart people. And if you’re smart, surround yourself with smart people who disagree with you.

Katietsu
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Re: Friends with an EJ Advisor

Post by Katietsu » Sat Jun 02, 2018 11:30 am

I would be comfortable letting him know that you are committed to managing your investments yourself. I would find it more awkward if I was using a different advisor.

livesoft
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Re: Friends with an EJ Advisor

Post by livesoft » Sat Jun 02, 2018 11:52 am

I'm curious: What if you worked for MorganStanley, or JPMorganChase, or Fidelity? How would this play out?
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Pancakes-Eggs-Bacon
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Re: Friends with an EJ Advisor

Post by Pancakes-Eggs-Bacon » Sat Jun 02, 2018 12:10 pm

Tell him you just became an EJ client and signed up under [local competitor]. But no hard feelings, since it's all the same company anyways! :twisted:

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dwickenh
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Re: Friends with an EJ Advisor

Post by dwickenh » Sat Jun 02, 2018 12:20 pm

You don't recently become good friends. Real friendships takes time to adjust to each other and make memories to share.

He is a recent acquaintance that is using your trust to make a possible business deal.

I would separate the business from the discussion as soon as possible.

If this continues, it could become a friendship after the boundaries are set by you.

Best of luck,

Dan
The market is the most efficient mechanism anywhere in the world for transferring wealth from impatient people to patient people.” | — Warren Buffett

Beat The Street
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Re: Friends with an EJ Advisor

Post by Beat The Street » Sat Jun 02, 2018 1:14 pm

I am a financial planner, who has friends and family members that manage their own portfolios (although a few of them shouldn’t be :D )

I’m happy for them if they can do it, and they’ll sometimes ask me minor questions. I actually have never solicited any business from anyone I’m close with but do provide help if they come to me.

There are plenty of clients out there for a good planner and if they need your business THAT badly maybe they just aren’t that successful?

I would be direct with him, without being offensive. If he wants to continue to question your debate your philosophy then tell him you don’t want to discuss it any further with him.
“Never ask anyone for their opinion, forecast, or recommendation. Just ask them what they have—or don’t have—in their portfolio.” -Taleb

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Re: Friends with an EJ Advisor

Post by bloom2708 » Sat Jun 02, 2018 2:11 pm

Katietsu wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 11:30 am
I would be comfortable letting him know that you are committed to managing your investments yourself. I would find it more awkward if I was using a different advisor.
+1

Each time it comes up, shrug and repeat “I am a do it yourself guy”. Deflect, deflect, deflect.

I spent 3 hours this morning undoing a crazily complex mess transferred from Edward Jones to Vanguard for my parents.

It will take weeks and planning to sell all the junk funds they were in.

Don’t let him wear you down. The attempts will come. I like the idea of hinting at different careers as a counterpoint. Stay on your toes.
"We are here not to please but to provoke thoughtfulness" Unknown Boglehead

aqan
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Re: Friends with an EJ Advisor

Post by aqan » Sat Jun 02, 2018 2:27 pm

I’d tell him that I’d rather not mix business and friendship. In most cases it ends in disaster.

student
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Re: Friends with an EJ Advisor

Post by student » Sat Jun 02, 2018 2:29 pm

TRC wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 9:51 am
A very small part of me skeptically wonders if he's pursuing me as a prospect more so than a friend
I think you are very smart to wonder about this. I agree with others that you should give him a firm no.

Longdog
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Re: Friends with an EJ Advisor

Post by Longdog » Sat Jun 02, 2018 2:39 pm

Was there ever a time in your recent friendship when his job at EJ or your net worth were not discussed? If not, then he probably saw you as a prospective client the whole time. If so, then great-he is a friend and will drop the idea of pursuing you as a client when you tell him you are not interested one final time.
Steve

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Re: Friends with an EJ Advisor

Post by NotWhoYouThink » Sat Jun 02, 2018 3:33 pm

Some people do well with subtlety and nuance, and some respond only to very direct communications. In case this guy is in the latter category, take the advice given multiple places above and tell him clearly and dispassionately that there is zero chance you would ever hire him to manage your portfolio, at EJ or anywhere else. Then change the subject.

If he is still your friend after that, you can eventually start trying to improve his career choices. Is there something else you would hire him to sell?

mortfree
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Re: Friends with an EJ Advisor

Post by mortfree » Sat Jun 02, 2018 3:39 pm

I would text him a link to thread on here where the EJ advisor locked a client out of their own account when EJ realized they were going to do business elsewhere.

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Re: Friends with an EJ Advisor

Post by drk » Sat Jun 02, 2018 3:52 pm

TRC wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 9:51 am
I've recently become good friends with an Edward Jones advisor. He knows I have a relatively high net worth for my age and I've made it clear that I got burned by an advisor in the past and am perfectly content with my simple 3 fund index portfolio. We've gotten into a few minor debates about active vs. passive funds, but I mainly just try and change the subject whenever he brings up his business. Recently he asked me to attend an upcoming open house / dinner for potential new clients. I said I'd talk it over with my wife. I know I have no intentions of going, though I don't want to hurt his feelings and have a hard time being direct with him. I really like the guy and truly appreciate our friendship, but I have no intentions of ever deviating from my index fund approach. A very small part of me skeptically wonders if he's pursuing me as a prospect more so than a friend. Anyhow, this is more of a rant than a question. If anyone has advice on how to politely make it clear that I'm not interested the next time he brings it up, I'd welcome suggestions on how to handle this.
I bolded all of the things triggering alarm bells in my head. You two aren't friends. He thinks you're a sap potential customer. If you want to become friends, say "Listen, I'm not looking for any help with my finances, and they aren't an appropriate topic for discussion, so please stop bringing them up." If that doesn't work, move on.

Loik098
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Re: Friends with an EJ Advisor

Post by Loik098 » Sat Jun 02, 2018 4:00 pm

dwickenh wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 12:20 pm
You don't recently become good friends. Real friendships takes time to adjust to each other and make memories to share.

He is a recent acquaintance that is using your trust to make a possible business deal.
This, +1000.

I've had several acquaintances over the past few years who I thought were friends. We would play poker together, go out to eat, spend time with each others' families, exchange birthday/Christmas gifts, etc. All outward signs pointed to the fact that I would maintain friendships with these people regardless of whether situations changed.

About a year ago, one "friend" (a co-worker) asked if he could use my work in an interview for his own promotion. I helped him (hey, I'm a nice guy), and he got the promotion. That began a pattern of bringing by gifts/food/etc whenever he needed something from me. I rarely hear from him now, and when I do, he's asking if he can stop by with something for me. Mutual acquaintances tell me he "uses" them too, or at least sees relationships as some sort of a transaction. I don't help him with things anymore and don't initiate contact.

Another "friend" would spend time mostly talking about himself and his own interests when we were together (even though he knows I couldn't care less about most of them), while simultaneously rarely expressing interest in what I was doing. He'd ask for help around his house or with various tasks. I would often help him with his financial questions, or relationship issues. However, when I needed help with things, excuses were made, and/or hard work was usually avoided. He was also a habitual liar (lies of omission, mostly), to me and to his own family. I eventually confronted him about it, and explained that friendship should be a two-way street and trust is a big part of it. He didn't like that and now doesn't talk to me.

Another "friend" got a promotion and moved to another city 90 minutes away. He'd always call me "brother" but I haven't heard from him since, despite a couple of attempts at contact. Seems more and more people are like this now: superficially friends.

These are just a few of several experiences I've had with others in the past 5-10 years.

True friends are harder to come by as we get older. Based on my own experiences, and sadly, I have great suspicion when others are friendly. For me, there has rarely NOT been more than one motive behind it. My opinion: some will want to sell you something, some want your brain and ears, some want manual labor. Very few will like you for who you are and just want to spend time together. I make no time for folks who are just looking out for themselves. Be cautious, and don't get used.

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FGal
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Re: Friends with an EJ Advisor

Post by FGal » Sat Jun 02, 2018 4:20 pm

TRC wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 9:51 am
I've recently become good friends with an Edward Jones advisor. He knows I have a relatively high net worth for my age and I've made it clear that I got burned by an advisor in the past and am perfectly content with my simple 3 fund index portfolio. We've gotten into a few minor debates about active vs. passive funds, but I mainly just try and change the subject whenever he brings up his business. Recently he asked me to attend an upcoming open house / dinner for potential new clients. I said I'd talk it over with my wife. I know I have no intentions of going, though I don't want to hurt his feelings and have a hard time being direct with him. I really like the guy and truly appreciate our friendship, but I have no intentions of ever deviating from my index fund approach. A very small part of me skeptically wonders if he's pursuing me as a prospect more so than a friend. Anyhow, this is more of a rant than a question. If anyone has advice on how to politely make it clear that I'm not interested the next time he brings it up, I'd welcome suggestions on how to handle this.
Red text. This should be more than "a small part of me" and should be more along the lines of "of course he's pretending to be my friend since he's aware of my net worth and seems intent in bringing up/arguing about investing after I've already told him I am not interested."

Stop thinking about not hurting his feelings for violating a boundary you asked him to respect. He is the one at fault, and he needs to apologize to you if he really does value your friendship.

Because he has fooled you into thinking he is your friend, he feels comfortable about ignoring your boundaries. So even tho you're in the right and should be upset and have told him an emphatic NO and don't bring that garbage up again, you feel like you need to preserve his feelings... which would never be the case if this was a simple business interaction. A regular adviser called you up and told you they wanted you to attend a sale pitch meeting? Thanks, but no thanks, not interested. Where's the fear of hurting their feelings? Right, this is business. But the insidious part is that EJ trains their reps to "become friends" and ingratiate themselves with their clients EXACTLY so they can push, and bully and whine and complain and make their clients feel guilty about questioning them, or turning them down, or heaven forbid... LEAVING EJ. They send cards and invite you out to things. They take notes on family names, events, and personal details so they can appear to be your buddy, your friend, and then slide into the trusted adviser slot. This is all salesmanship for EJ, and it stinks and is super slimy.

You could try to give him one more chance and be up front about how you do not want to be a client and never, ever, EVER to discuss investing with you again. If he wants to argue over it, then you'll have your answer. (but most likely your answer will come in the form of him disappearing from your life completely since you are removing yourself from the hook and he's got to recast his line in more naive waters)
Last edited by FGal on Sat Jun 02, 2018 4:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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BolderBoy
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Re: Friends with an EJ Advisor

Post by BolderBoy » Sat Jun 02, 2018 4:29 pm

TRC wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 9:51 am
A very small part of me skeptically wonders if he's pursuing me as a prospect more so than a friend.
Yes, he is.
If anyone has advice on how to politely make it clear that I'm not interested the next time he brings it up, I'd welcome suggestions on how to handle this.
Yes, politely tell him that the next time he brings it up that you will end the friendship, forever.

Then be prepared to do so because he will bring it up again. You already have all the proof of his motivations that you need.
"Never underestimate one's capacity to overestimate one's abilities" - The Dunning-Kruger Effect

TwstdSista
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Re: Friends with an EJ Advisor

Post by TwstdSista » Sat Jun 02, 2018 4:36 pm

I'd call him out. Politely, of course. But simply say something along the lines of "I really like you and truly appreciate our friendship, but I sometimes feel like you're only friends with me in order to get my business. I hope that's not the case, because I really like you and truly appreciate our friendship. I have no intentions of ever deviating from my index fund approach, so I hope that's not the case."

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Pancakes-Eggs-Bacon
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Re: Friends with an EJ Advisor

Post by Pancakes-Eggs-Bacon » Sat Jun 02, 2018 6:34 pm

Seems like it'd be easier to prey on the financially illiterate people to become EJ clients than to prey on people who DIY and know what index funds are. This guy must be clueless.

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Re: Friends with an EJ Advisor

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Sat Jun 02, 2018 6:41 pm

My first thought....he's not your friend. He is an acquaintance. Acquaintances who solicit business from you, they are salespeople. My typical response to a salesperson, "sorry, I'm not interested". How does your acquaintance know of your financial status? :confused

The next time he pursues you, calmly state there is no need for you/spouse to attend, you have no need for an adviser, your affairs are in order.
If he continues the pursuit, be upfront, as a matter of practice, you don't mix business with pleasure. You appreciate your companionship only as it relates to mutual interests outside of personal finances.

If you decide to continue this relationship, my advice is to stop conversing about index funds, talk about golf instead.
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions

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ChowYunPhat
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Re: Friends with an EJ Advisor

Post by ChowYunPhat » Sat Jun 02, 2018 6:48 pm

I'm probably an outlier here. If you are confident in your approach there is no harm leaning into the discussion or doing a dinner / meet up. You've been forthcoming with him so his expectations should be in line. You never know where your next great friendship may come from.

I had a similar EJ friend (still my friend) and we would bounce ideas off of each other from time to time. He knew I was DIY investor and couldn't offer me much, but we would connect on financial matters from time to time. There was a couple of times we discussed term-life policies but I self insure now. There is also the future prospect of my wife needing financial advice or estate counsel which my friend could help provide referrals. Other than that, our relationship was purely social and I enjoyed his company.

For some people, EJ may be better than going alone. Just as there was a time when certain PC users exploring the internet with a partner like AOL rather than going alone. Not a perfect analogy, but you get the point.
A wise man and his money are friends forever...

Dottie57
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Re: Friends with an EJ Advisor

Post by Dottie57 » Sat Jun 02, 2018 7:08 pm

ChowYunPhat wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 6:48 pm
I'm probably an outlier here. If you are confident in your approach there is no harm leaning into the discussion or doing a dinner / meet up. You've been forthcoming with him so his expectations should be in line. You never know where your next great friendship may come from.

I had a similar EJ friend (still my friend) and we would bounce ideas off of each other from time to time. He knew I was DIY investor and couldn't offer me much, but we would connect on financial matters from time to time. There was a couple of times we discussed term-life policies but I self insure now. There is also the future prospect of my wife needing financial advice or estate counsel which my friend could help provide referrals. Other than that, our relationship was purely social and I enjoyed his company.

For some people, EJ may be better than going alone. Just as there was a time when certain PC users exploring the internet with a partner like AOL rather than going alone. Not a perfect analogy, but you get the point.
Why in the world would you send your wife to EJ advisor for financial advice?

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ChowYunPhat
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Re: Friends with an EJ Advisor

Post by ChowYunPhat » Sat Jun 02, 2018 7:25 pm

Dottie57 wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 7:08 pm
ChowYunPhat wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 6:48 pm
Why in the world would you send your wife to EJ advisor for financial advice?
A fair question Dottie57 and an explanation is worth sharing. This EJ advisor is a dear friend, and more importantly there would be parameters in place before such an arrangement would be struck (he offers fee based service as well as AUM). My wife has indicated an interest in having professional support when I'm gone and he would not be a bad choice. Important thing is to make sure you have such an arrangement made before it's needed in case a loved one is at risk of needing support. I'm in the process of helping my parents separate from less savory financial advisors and appreciate good advice vs. someone simply trying to extract value off a family portfolio. For someone reading this thread, simply walking into an EJ branch or using an EJ aquaintance is probably unwise...an important distinction.
A wise man and his money are friends forever...

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cheese_breath
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Re: Friends with an EJ Advisor

Post by cheese_breath » Sat Jun 02, 2018 7:48 pm

Pancakes-Eggs-Bacon wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 6:34 pm
Seems like it'd be easier to prey on the financially illiterate people to become EJ clients than to prey on people who DIY and know what index funds are. This guy must be clueless.
Most financially illiterate people might not have the money OP has.
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.

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Re: Friends with an EJ Advisor

Post by arcticpineapplecorp. » Sat Jun 02, 2018 8:07 pm

ChowYunPhat wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 7:25 pm
Dottie57 wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 7:08 pm
ChowYunPhat wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 6:48 pm
Why in the world would you send your wife to EJ advisor for financial advice?
A fair question Dottie57 and an explanation is worth sharing. This EJ advisor is a dear friend, and more importantly there would be parameters in place before such an arrangement would be struck (he offers fee based service as well as AUM). My wife has indicated an interest in having professional support when I'm gone and he would not be a bad choice. Important thing is to make sure you have such an arrangement made before it's needed in case a loved one is at risk of needing support. I'm in the process of helping my parents separate from less savory financial advisors and appreciate good advice vs. someone simply trying to extract value off a family portfolio. For someone reading this thread, simply walking into an EJ branch or using an EJ aquaintance is probably unwise...an important distinction.
I think the fact that you think "fee based" is somehow better tells me everything I need to know, which is you have more to learn, but I wouldn't want to learn through EJ. That would be an expensive lesson.

In the event you feel you need some help, you actually want a fee-only, not a fee-based relationship. If EJ is fee-based, they will fee you to death in a few different ways. One is through churning your account collecting commissions every time they buy and sell and the other time is when they put you in expensive loaded funds (a load is a commission that goes to the person that sold you the fund). A load can cost as much as 5.75%. So instead of investing 100% of your money (as you do with Vanguard, which incidentally is a completely no-load mutual fund company, meaning absolutely no Vanguard funds have any loads whatsoever), you would only be investing 94.25% of your money with EJ. Read articles at the link below:

https://www.google.com/search?q=fee+bas ... fox-b-1-ab

Learn the difference between fee-based and fee-only. It will cost you dearly if you fail to understand this.

You should want a fee-only fiduciary. Some you don't pay ongoing fees, but just once to help you set up a plan to implement yourself. Much cheaper over the long run. You can find some around you through www.napfa.org or www.garrettplanningnetwork.com or you can use Vanguard's PAS (personal advisory service) for 0.30% per year.
"Invest we must." -- Jack Bogle | “The purpose of investing is not to simply optimise returns and make yourself rich. The purpose is not to die poor.” -- William Bernstein

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ChowYunPhat
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Re: Friends with an EJ Advisor

Post by ChowYunPhat » Sat Jun 02, 2018 8:26 pm

I think I touched a sensitive nerve with some posters when it comes to EJ. Not trying to lead anyone down a harmful path and I'll try to clarify further. :happy

My wife and I invest through Vanguard and Fidelity exclusively, utilize no-load index funds, dollar cost averaging, and simplified portfolios consistent with a Bogle-ish approach. That approach would not change whether I pass before my wife or not. However, there is a value to guiding loved ones through the process of tax efficient / compliant withdrawals, estate planning, and wealth transfer which they might not be able to get on their own.

Ultimately, my EJ friend (also a CPA) can help provide such services to my wife for a "fixed annual fee" without unnecessary fund churn or moving funds between firms. I don't believe Vanguard PAS / Admiral services will be able to provide the full extent of services my wife would need nor would the brick-and-mortar Fidelity branch. If there are other service providers in the Houston area which someone could recommend for these services I'm always open to new connections.

Hopefully, I didn't offend anyone with the previous posts. My original point was that BolderBoy might benefit in some way from his new relationship. However, only he can ultimately understand his EJ friend's true intentions. Would be disappointing if the friendship was only struck to win business. :(
A wise man and his money are friends forever...

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nedsaid
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Re: Friends with an EJ Advisor

Post by nedsaid » Sat Jun 02, 2018 8:47 pm

ChowYunPhat wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 8:26 pm
I think I touched a sensitive nerve with some posters when it comes to EJ. Not trying to lead anyone down a harmful path and I'll try to clarify further. :happy

Nedsaid: This is mostly a do-it-yourself forum so obviously there will be static when somebody mentions Edward Jones, Ameriprise, or another full-service brokerage firm. This comes from bitter experience from high fees and underperformance. I actually have had a stock broker for about 30 years now, I have been with Broker #4 for 21 years. Not the optimal way to invest but I learned an awful lot along the way. I also worked with an Ameriprise advisor for portfolio review and financial planning but never invested with him. So my mind is more open to such folks than other people on the forum but on the other hand, I was never taken advantage of.

My wife and I invest through Vanguard and Fidelity exclusively, utilize no-load index funds, dollar cost averaging, and simplified portfolios consistent with a Bogle-ish approach. That approach would not change whether I pass before my wife or not. However, there is a value to guiding loved ones through the process of tax efficient / compliant withdrawals, estate planning, and wealth transfer which they might not be able to get on their own.

Nedsaid: Getting good comprehensive financial advice is difficult. First, there is a lack of objectivity from many advisors as they will tend to push the products with the highest commission and also what they are told to sell by their sales managers. Many advisors are just salesmen who sell financial products. Second, no one knows everything no matter how smart they are. Narrow expertise doesn't work when you need big picture advice.

Ultimately, my EJ friend (also a CPA) can help provide such services to my wife for a "fixed annual fee" without unnecessary fund churn or moving funds between firms. I don't believe Vanguard PAS / Admiral services will be able to provide the full extent of services my wife would need nor would the brick-and-mortar Fidelity branch. If there are other service providers in the Houston area which someone could recommend for these services I'm always open to new connections.

Nedsaid: Though my various advisory relationships have been less than optimal from a Boglehead perspective, I found that if I just kept an open mind that I would learn something. Edward Jones advisors are always prospecting and are friendly people. You might choose not to do business with them but that doesn't mean you can't form some kind of relationship. You just have to realize the nature of the job. Problem is with full-service firms is that they are expensive and the expenses are a big drag on performance.

Hopefully, I didn't offend anyone with the previous posts. My original point was that BolderBoy might benefit in some way from his new relationship. However, only he can ultimately understand his EJ friend's true intentions. Would be disappointing if the friendship was only struck to win business. :(
A fool and his money are good for business.

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ChowYunPhat
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Re: Friends with an EJ Advisor

Post by ChowYunPhat » Sat Jun 02, 2018 9:14 pm

nedsaid wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 8:47 pm
Though my various advisory relationships have been less than optimal from a Boglehead perspective, I found that if I just kept an open mind that I would learn something.
That. I appreciate the thoughtful response NedSaid and agree with your points. Nearly all financial advisors who have prospected me in the past were in it to make a buck and didn't have my best interests at heart once we explored the "opportunity" in greater depth. I also have an appreciation for the BH forum as I'm a hardcore DIY BH guy and the thought of paying someone for financial advice of any kind is painful. As you said, keeping an open mind in these matters usually leads to learning of some kind...if nothing more than who to stay away from. :)
A wise man and his money are friends forever...

PhilosophyAndrew
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Re: Friends with an EJ Advisor

Post by PhilosophyAndrew » Sat Jun 02, 2018 9:31 pm

OP, can you say more about your relationship with this individual?

You say that you and he are close friends, but that you are uncomfortable speaking directly with him. Are you similarly uncomfortable speaking with other close friends? If so, perhaps improving your communication skills would be a useful project for you. If, however, you are less comfortable talking with this individual than with other close friends, perhaps your friendship with him isn’t as strong or close as you think.

You also say that you recently became close friends with this individual. Did you recently meet him, or have you recently become closer with someone you had known for some time? Is the progression of this friendship over time typical of your close friendships? Reflecting on this might provide useful insight.

How confident are you that your friends’ friendliness is genuine as opposed to cloaked salesmanship? Those are two very different things, of course, and a salesman is unlikely to respect your interests and wants in ways that a friend should respect.

If you are confident that the friendship is strong and genuine, I would think that it should be able to handle a direct request to stop talking about investments, if that is what you want.

Andy.

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Watty
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Re: Friends with an EJ Advisor

Post by Watty » Sat Jun 02, 2018 11:00 pm

A good case can be made for not doing business with friends.

david
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Re: Friends with an EJ Advisor

Post by david » Sun Jun 03, 2018 4:12 am

I've found that some EJ folks that I've interacted with are not really experts on personal finance. They know buzzwords and can sound professional, but at the end of the day they are in sales not investment analysis and push products to people. I don't talk finance with them.

minimalistmarc
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Re: Friends with an EJ Advisor

Post by minimalistmarc » Sun Jun 03, 2018 4:35 am

TwstdSista wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 4:36 pm
I'd call him out. Politely, of course. But simply say something along the lines of "I really like you and truly appreciate our friendship, but I sometimes feel like you're only friends with me in order to get my business. I hope that's not the case, because I really like you and truly appreciate our friendship. I have no intentions of ever deviating from my index fund approach, so I hope that's not the case."
That doesn’t seem a very polite thing to say to a good friend

TwstdSista
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Re: Friends with an EJ Advisor

Post by TwstdSista » Sun Jun 03, 2018 5:29 am

minimalistmarc wrote:
Sun Jun 03, 2018 4:35 am
TwstdSista wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 4:36 pm
I'd call him out. Politely, of course. But simply say something along the lines of "I really like you and truly appreciate our friendship, but I sometimes feel like you're only friends with me in order to get my business. I hope that's not the case, because I really like you and truly appreciate our friendship. I have no intentions of ever deviating from my index fund approach, so I hope that's not the case."
That doesn’t seem a very polite thing to say to a good friend
Ha! I guess that depends on the friendship and the personalities involved. My friends would appreciate this -- because my usual form of communication would be something much more *direct*.
Last edited by TwstdSista on Sun Jun 24, 2018 5:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

carolinaman
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Re: Friends with an EJ Advisor

Post by carolinaman » Sun Jun 03, 2018 6:08 am

That free dinner could become the most expensive meal you ever had. Give him a polite but firm No for his invite. It seems he is subtly using your friendship to put pressure on you to attend the event. Do not succumb to that pressure. Just say NO.

It sounds like he is prospecting you. Otherwise, he would not continue trying to discuss active vs passive investing with you.

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William4u
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Re: Friends with an EJ Advisor

Post by William4u » Sun Jun 03, 2018 6:11 am

The whole EJ shtick is to pretend to be your good friend. Beware of EJ "friends." I'd end the quasi-friendship.

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stemikger
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Re: Friends with an EJ Advisor

Post by stemikger » Sun Jun 03, 2018 6:20 am

In Friendships like any other relationship there are boundaries. A real friend respects those. Be direct, if he gets offended and does not want your friendship any longer, he was only pursuing you as a client and not as a friend. Move on if that is the case. If he is a real friend, he would understand. Good Luck.

For the record, I too have a hard time putting up boundaries, but the older I get the more important I see them.
Choose Simplicity ~ Stay the Course!! ~ Press on Regardless!!!

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Friends with an EJ Advisor

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Sun Jun 03, 2018 6:28 am

I'd ask the EJ advisor to read this and then comment:

http://kronstantinople.blogspot.com/p/e ... -saga.html

I think there is an awful lot of fear that once one is gone, that their spouse is a clueless child. A very simple instruction to a spouse after you're gone might be: Leave everything where it is. When you need money, take it from one of the accounts.

Maybe not optimized. Maybe some more tax consequences. But better, in my opinion than some clown putting a spouse into 5.95% front end mediocre funds with high ERs in a company known for not allowing its advisors to create portfolios.....they have to get that from the mother ship who will craft a package meant specifically to enrich that mother ship.
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid

keepingitsimple
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Re: Friends with an EJ Advisor

Post by keepingitsimple » Sun Jun 03, 2018 10:52 am

TRC wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 9:51 am
I've recently become good friends with an Edward Jones advisor. He knows I have a relatively high net worth for my age and I've made it clear that I got burned by an advisor in the past and am perfectly content with my simple 3 fund index portfolio. We've gotten into a few minor debates about active vs. passive funds, but I mainly just try and change the subject whenever he brings up his business. Recently he asked me to attend an upcoming open house / dinner for potential new clients. I said I'd talk it over with my wife. I know I have no intentions of going, though I don't want to hurt his feelings and have a hard time being direct with him. I really like the guy and truly appreciate our friendship, but I have no intentions of ever deviating from my index fund approach. A very small part of me skeptically wonders if he's pursuing me as a prospect more so than a friend. Anyhow, this is more of a rant than a question. If anyone has advice on how to politely make it clear that I'm not interested the next time he brings it up, I'd welcome suggestions on how to handle this.
I question whether or not this is a legit friend. Friend and friendly are not the same thing. I fear what you may consider a good-friendship is what is referred to in sales as "building rapport" with a prospect. The reason you may feel this is a good friendship is because you are approaching it without an agenda. I do not believe this goes both ways.

I have several very close friends and we have never discussed finance or investing, so I question how your minor debates regarding active vs. passive funds were even brought up. If I had to guess, I would say the EJ advisor brought it up. So, to answer your question, I advise you simply tell your friend that you appreciate their interest in helping you invest but that you believe friends and money don't mix. Leave it at that.

The small part of you that wonders if he's pursuing you as a prospect is your gut feeling, intuition or whatever you want to call it. It's rare that a gut feeling is wrong. This EJ Advisor is a salesperson. Remember this in regard to how you interact, what he says, conversations that are brought up, etc.

Let's remove the EJ Advisor from the equation for a moment. Imagine your friend sells cars at the local Mercedes dealer. The first time he brings it up to you, knowing you fit the Mercedes demographic, he might just be sharing. The second time he brings it up and you make it clear you don't like Mercedes, he is fishing. The third time he brings it up and you have a debate about the pros and cons of Mercedes vs another car brand, he is trying to overcome objections. When he invites you to the dealership for an open house, he is trying to sell you on the brand. So, I ask you, do you think your friend is trying to sell you on investing with EJ? I do.

Regarding this open house / dinner for potential new clients: If you look to your left and see a potential new EJ client and then you look to you right and see a potential new EJ client, then I think it is reasonable to expect this is also how you are viewed. My fear is that this is the extent of your new friendship.

keepingitsimple
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Re: Friends with an EJ Advisor

Post by keepingitsimple » Sun Jun 03, 2018 10:53 am

William4u wrote:
Sun Jun 03, 2018 6:11 am
The whole EJ shtick is to pretend to be your good friend. Beware of EJ "friends." I'd end the quasi-friendship.
+1 !

sls239
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Re: Friends with an EJ Advisor

Post by sls239 » Sun Jun 03, 2018 11:06 am

How about something like this - "I know that EJ is your employer, but they are not a company I would ever do business with and so I won't go to the open house because that is what I would have to tell anyone who asked me."

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TxAg
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Re: Friends with an EJ Advisor

Post by TxAg » Sun Jun 03, 2018 11:19 am

Just tell him to search "Edward Jones" on bogleheads. Haha

sport
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Re: Friends with an EJ Advisor

Post by sport » Sun Jun 03, 2018 11:43 am

ChowYunPhat wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 7:25 pm
This EJ advisor is a dear friend, and more importantly there would be parameters in place before such an arrangement would be struck (he offers fee based service as well as AUM).
If he was really a "dear friend", he would provide assistance to your widow at no charge.

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