Meeting with a Fidelity Financial planner, is it useful?

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
Post Reply
hmw
Posts: 521
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2014 11:44 am

Meeting with a Fidelity Financial planner, is it useful?

Post by hmw » Thu Apr 14, 2016 6:43 pm

I have my investments at Fidelity and TDA. A CFP working for Fidelity contacted me recently wanting to discuss financial planning with me. He wanted a one hour appt over the phone. This was unsolicited. My first instinct was to ignore it. Has anyone had any experience with them? Was it useful or was it just a way to get me to sign up for their more expensive services?

TDA also contacted me a few days ago about the same thing. Is April the month to drum up business for brokerage firms?

JoinToday
Posts: 754
Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2007 9:59 pm

Re: Meeting with a Fidelity Financial planner, is it useful?

Post by JoinToday » Thu Apr 14, 2016 6:48 pm

Send me 1/2% AUM every year, and we will both come out ahead. :wink:

(waste of time. Get your investment advice from this forum; you will save 1% AUM)
I wish I had learned about index funds 25 years ago

User avatar
Ozonewanderer
Posts: 636
Joined: Mon Apr 12, 2010 12:27 am
Location: Central NY, South FL

Re: Meeting with a Fidelity Financial planner, is it useful?

Post by Ozonewanderer » Thu Apr 14, 2016 7:40 pm

I have most of my money with Fidelity and I have an account manager who does not charge me anything. I have been very happy with them.

Having said that, however, Fidelity does offer fee based services. I would just have the conversation with the rep and see what he has to say. Fidelity has some great online tools that are better than flesh and blood advisers so if all they do is explain these to you, you could end up ahead.

GoFish
Posts: 143
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2015 7:48 pm

Re: Meeting with a Fidelity Financial planner, is it useful?

Post by GoFish » Thu Apr 14, 2016 9:39 pm

Yes, useful to me. No cost, and I like having a face-to-face with the folks who are my most direct representatives at FD.

I appreciate having a second set of eyes looking at my portfolio on a yearly basis.

User avatar
LowER
Posts: 678
Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2012 12:43 pm

Re: Meeting with a Fidelity Financial planner, is it useful?

Post by LowER » Thu Apr 14, 2016 10:40 pm

JGG wrote:Yes, useful to me. No cost, and I like having a face-to-face with the folks who are my most direct representatives at FD.

I appreciate having a second set of eyes looking at my portfolio on a yearly basis.
+1

My Fido account is through my employer so no AUM and pretty darn good investment choices. No pressure the few times I have called, and each person refers me back to "John," who knows my situation and why my asset allocation with Fido makes sense.

I'm all Spartan and have never had pressure to change that.

If I didn't spend so much time here and reading the great books, I would probably find it very useful - their advice has always, and continues to feel, rock solid, especially for a newbie investors.

I remain impressed, just as I have been with Vanguard.

DVMResident
Posts: 1254
Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2011 8:15 pm

Re: Meeting with a Fidelity Financial planner, is it useful?

Post by DVMResident » Fri Apr 15, 2016 12:07 am

I met with one.

It was really useful because the planner had more information about company compensation bands and average raises than is available to the employees or even my manager (who's pretty chatty about this stuff). That was useful from a career stand point.

Their Fidelity related stuff was 'meh...okay. There's a calculator that projects out your final 401(k) value. The advice was decent enough. But I find the BH the forum is better. There was a soft ball pitch for medium expense fund (Puritan bond fund-don't think was any incentive for him) and to bring all my VG IRAs under Fidelity to make them easier to manage. But these pitches were very soft and took up very little time once rejected.

Ryerle
Posts: 20
Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2015 7:29 am

Re: Meeting with a Fidelity Financial planner, is it useful?

Post by Ryerle » Fri Apr 15, 2016 12:13 am

Don't know the whole story, but I feel like Fidelity has really done my in-laws wrong. Charging my FIL 1% AUM for a 30/70 collection of 18 funds that is constantly churned. Have tried to explain to them the issues but FIL won't budge. Expense ratio not as bad as I imangined ~0.7%,but when you add in the 1%, that really adds up.

traveltoomuch
Posts: 516
Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2013 5:48 am

Re: Meeting with a Fidelity Financial planner, is it useful?

Post by traveltoomuch » Fri Apr 15, 2016 5:19 am

I have done this. And, after the first guy left Fidelity, I've done it with two more. No one has tried to sell me any higher-priced services (yet), though one has gently pitched annuities ("fixed expenses should be met with fixed income"). I've found the advice to be marginal.

The first CFP made a deal with me: move more of my money to Fidelity and get ongoing financial planning services, including (as I understood it) a full financial plan. He did not deliver. His replacements have been moderately clueless, but at least they haven't made any promises they didn't deliver on. When I've had questions re: beneficiary planning, they've been FAR less helpful than Jim Lange's "Retire Secure" book. The current one wasn't aware of how tIRA assets interfere with backdoor Roth. They have helped me find my way around Fidelity's online tools. After my last f2f meeting, which they initiated ("a six-month review"), I decided that going back is probably a waste of my time.

With all that said: I'd do it. You might learn something. But go in with low expectations and high skepticism. If nothing else, you'll probably get your account flagged for "Fidelity Premium Services" which gives you access to a set of call center reps who are pretty decent.

carolinaman
Posts: 3208
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2011 9:56 am
Location: North Carolina

Re: Meeting with a Fidelity Financial planner, is it useful?

Post by carolinaman » Fri Apr 15, 2016 7:49 am

I had an account with Fidelity for many years. When I got close to retirement, I used their financial planning software and reviewed the results with my assigned adviser. I found this entire exercise very helpful. Their FP software is very detailed and much more thorough than others I have used including Vanguard. The adviser discussed the results with me and gently pitched an appropriate AA comprised of Fidelity funds. There was no cost to me and I found her advise to be good and generally objective.

After that, I would meet with her once a year to review my portfolio and needs. I found all of this very useful and would recommend that you give it a try. I had the option to contact her whenever I had questions but once a year was usually sufficient. There was never any cost to these services. I never got any hard sell from Fidelity and always found their advice and insight helpful.

User avatar
Toons
Posts: 12931
Joined: Fri Nov 21, 2008 10:20 am
Location: Hills of Tennessee

Re: Meeting with a Fidelity Financial planner, is it useful?

Post by Toons » Fri Apr 15, 2016 7:52 am

JoinToday wrote:Send me 1/2% AUM every year, and we will both come out ahead. :wink:

(waste of time. Get your investment advice from this forum; you will save 1% AUM)
+1 :mrgreen:
"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee

User avatar
nisiprius
Advisory Board
Posts: 36467
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2007 9:33 am
Location: The terrestrial, globular, planetary hunk of matter, flattened at the poles, is my abode.--O. Henry

Re: Meeting with a Fidelity Financial planner, is it useful?

Post by nisiprius » Fri Apr 15, 2016 8:19 am

I'll say, "Yeah, if it doesn't cost you anything out of pocket, it's worth a shot to try and and see what you think."

When I worked at a company with a Fidelity-managed 401(k) plan, they had a no-cost-to-me "annual retirement checkup" with a CFP whose Fidelity card said something about his being from their "retirement services" group.

I'd give it a mixed review. I thought the guy was helpful, pretty straight, not pushy, and did not push Fidelity products to any noticeable extent. Most of the conversation was about "retirement," not about "Fidelity funds." I thought it was worth the time. But the next year I had an opportunity for another session and didn't bother to do it.

An interesting example of being "straight." I had turned 62-1/2 and our plan allowed in-service rollover to a Fidelity rollover account. The conversation went something like this:

Him: "So you can roll your 401(k) holdings into a rollover IRA. It has to be at Fidelity, if you want to roll it over to some other firm you must first roll it over to Fidelity and then transfer the holdings. In any case, you definitely should do the rollover into the Fidelity rollover IRA. It is to your advantage to do so."

Me: [innocent and stupid] "Because that way I'll have a wider choice of funds to invest in?"

Him: [Pregnant pause] "Uh... because it will be to your advantage to do so."

The pregnant pause was the place at which he failed to mention the fairly-well-hidden fee in my 401(k) plan. The plan might simply an expense ratio of, let's say, 0.80% for a fund, and I assumed that was "the" expense ratio. However, if I'd had the wit to log into Fidelity not as a plan participant, I'd have seen that their regular public website listed the same fund ticker symbol with only an 0.50% ER.
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.

dbr
Posts: 27207
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 9:50 am

Re: Meeting with a Fidelity Financial planner, is it useful?

Post by dbr » Fri Apr 15, 2016 8:22 am

traveltoomuch wrote: The first CFP made a deal with me: move more of my money to Fidelity and get ongoing financial planning services, including (as I understood it) a full financial plan. He did not deliver.
Did you at least get some hundreds of thousands of frequent flyer miles or some cash in your account. On second thought, those miles might not be that helpful in your case.

truenorth418
Posts: 397
Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2012 7:38 am

Re: Meeting with a Fidelity Financial planner, is it useful?

Post by truenorth418 » Fri Apr 15, 2016 8:52 am

Useful in the sense that it gave me a chance to say "No" to the annuity product he was trying to sell me.

User avatar
midareff
Posts: 5712
Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2010 10:43 am
Location: Biscayne Bay, South Florida

Re: Meeting with a Fidelity Financial planner, is it useful?

Post by midareff » Fri Apr 15, 2016 9:14 am

It's all useful in the beginning in that it exposes you to differing opinions of those looking to take your money. Just remember who signs his pay check.

User avatar
AAA
Posts: 1025
Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2008 8:56 am

Re: Meeting with a Fidelity Financial planner, is it useful?

Post by AAA » Fri Apr 15, 2016 9:23 am

I recently transferred an inherited account I had at a full-service broker to Fidelity, to have a little diversification from Vanguard. When I first called to find out the procedure, I was surprised when the rep started asking me questions about my investment goals, assets, etc, which I politely declined to answer, saying I just wanted to get the transfer done at that time. About an hour later, I got a call from the local Fidelity rep inviting me to meet with him to discuss the same things, which I also politely declined. I've had a small mutual fund account at Fidelity for many years, pretty much on auto-pilot with no interaction with them and so I was surprised by the degree of inquisitiveness on their part.

arsenalfan
Posts: 627
Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2013 12:26 am

Re: Meeting with a Fidelity Financial planner, is it useful?

Post by arsenalfan » Fri Apr 15, 2016 9:25 am

I did it once. It was educational. Soft sell on some items to consider, pleasant and no hard pressure.

For me, it was worth it to make a personal connection that later on I could ask specific questions.

e.g. every year I call and he walks me through the tax loss harvesting transactions, no fee. Also I use the Fidelity platform to alert me about individual state muni bonds myself when issued, and we review the offerings together and how it fits into the muni bond ladder.

DA200
Posts: 148
Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2015 3:47 pm

Re: Meeting with a Fidelity Financial planner, is it useful?

Post by DA200 » Fri Apr 15, 2016 9:44 am

I found my first meeting with a Fidelity planner to be extremely helpful. He shared a great deal of information regarding ways to save taxes (maxing contributions to tax-def accounts, HSA, fund placement in taxable vs tax-def, 529, etc). He told me to do the Ohio 529 and buy a low cost Vanguard fund! He briefly mentioned their advisory services and annuities.
However, the 2nd meeting a few weeks later was not as pleasant. He tried to sell Fidelity Variable Annuities to me and would not give up. He was also pushing a couple of high expense ratio bond funds.

Overall it was a great success for me because the Fidelity rep opened my eyes to all of the areas I should be thinking about related to investing and taxes. This caused me to do further homework and that is how I found the Bogleheads :sharebeer

Now I don't answer when I get a call from the Fidelity rep...

Spirit Rider
Posts: 8568
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2007 2:39 pm

Re: Meeting with a Fidelity Financial planner, is it useful?

Post by Spirit Rider » Fri Apr 15, 2016 9:58 am

Ryerle wrote:Don't know the whole story, but I feel like Fidelity has really done my in-laws wrong. Charging my FIL 1% AUM for a 30/70 collection of 18 funds that is constantly churned. Have tried to explain to them the issues but FIL won't budge. Expense ratio not as bad as I imangined ~0.7%,but when you add in the 1%, that really adds up.
Fidelity has not done your in-laws wrong. Your in-laws have done themselves wrong. Also, with Fidelity managed service, I believe there is at least a partial credit for the individual fund expense ratios against the AUM fee. If this is a tax-advantaged account, there are no loads and there is no tax cost to the churning. If it is in taxable they should be in a tax-managed service.

Now, this not to say that I recommend any Boglehead use such a service, but for those who choose someone else to manage their portfolio, there are fare worse choices.

Fidelity is currently testing a robo-advisor service and tentatively plans to roll it out in the second half of this year. They will use Fidelity Spartan index funds in tax-advantaged accounts and BlackRock iShare ETFs in taxable. The fee in the former will be up to 0,35%, in the latter it will be up to 0.39%

This would be a lower cost option that maybe they might be more willing to consider.

f35phixer
Posts: 88
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2015 12:41 pm

Re: Meeting with a Fidelity Financial planner, is it useful?

Post by f35phixer » Fri Apr 15, 2016 11:43 am

I'm with Fidelity, How can i tell if i'm being charged an AUM. I do have a planner, see him once a year if that, do my own buying and selling....

JoinToday
Posts: 754
Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2007 9:59 pm

Re: Meeting with a Fidelity Financial planner, is it useful?

Post by JoinToday » Fri Apr 15, 2016 12:42 pm

JoinToday wrote:Send me 1/2% AUM every year, and we will both come out ahead. :wink:

(waste of time. Get your investment advice from this forum; you will save 1% AUM)
I have to add additional info to my post above:

1. I agree with some of the posters that it can be worthwhile to have a review of your portfolio, or have a financial planner give you guidance, but if the OP knows next to nothing, he won't likely be able to discern the gold nuggets from the BS. So I would say: the more you know, the more useful you will find a meeting. And the less likely you will be taken in by the BS.
2. I don't feel comfortable telling people how much money I have. I went to a financial seminar once (free lunch, it wasn't worth it), and have been getting mailings to my house for probably 3 years or more. He had my work number, and called me. I asked what his fee was: 1.5% AUM. I told him it was a non-starter, I currently pay 0.08% at Vanguard. Thank heavens he doesn't have my home number (I retired, he doesn't have my home number).
3. I still believe you will get better info on this site.
I wish I had learned about index funds 25 years ago

NMJack
Posts: 836
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2016 1:22 pm

Re: Meeting with a Fidelity Financial planner, is it useful?

Post by NMJack » Fri Apr 15, 2016 1:34 pm

We have a brick and mortar Fidelity office on the other side of town (about 30 minute drive). I meet with one of their reps once or twice a year. I've found two primary advantages:
a) A second set of eyes on my long term financial plan with some free advice (usually just things I should consider or learn more about)
b) I take my wife along so that she knows where to get help/guidance/etc. if someday I'm not able to take care of our investments
We do get some soft sell from time to time, but that's GOOD because my wife learns what to expect and how to say no thank you. Never any pressure. I would rather she someday meet with a Fidelity rep in this context rather than wind up with some 1.5% AUM "advisor" that some friend recommends. We're strictly index funds, and I've educated both my wife and adult children accordingly.

User avatar
bengal22
Posts: 1414
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2011 6:20 pm
Location: Ohio

Re: Meeting with a Fidelity Financial planner, is it useful?

Post by bengal22 » Fri Apr 15, 2016 2:07 pm

I had an in-person no=cost meeting with a Fidelity planner. They helped me populate the retirement planner and overall I found the session value added. They did not push any high ER funds but this is something you have to sense check with your experience.
"Earn All You Can; Give All You Can; Save All You Can." .... John Wesley

traveltoomuch
Posts: 516
Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2013 5:48 am

Re: Meeting with a Fidelity Financial planner, is it useful?

Post by traveltoomuch » Fri Apr 15, 2016 2:25 pm

nisiprius wrote: Him: [Pregnant pause] "Uh... because it will be to your advantage to do so."

The pregnant pause was the place at which he failed to mention the fairly-well-hidden fee in my 401(k) plan.
I've gotten a similar impression at least once. The fact that the Fidelity advisors feel that they have to resist giving you obviously good advice is one of the reasons I'm leery about turning to them.
dbr wrote: Did you at least get some hundreds of thousands of frequent flyer miles or some cash in your account. On second thought, those miles might not be that helpful in your case.
Yes. :D Sadly, the cap with Fidelity is 50k miles every year or so, and they only give miles for money in taxable accounts, not IRAs. And getting a promo in one account (e.g. cash for an IRA transfer) blocks getting a promo in a different account (e.g. miles for a taxable account transfer).
Last edited by traveltoomuch on Fri Apr 15, 2016 2:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
CABob
Posts: 4584
Joined: Sun Feb 25, 2007 8:55 pm
Location: Southern California

Re: Meeting with a Fidelity Financial planner, is it useful?

Post by CABob » Fri Apr 15, 2016 2:42 pm

f35phixer wrote:I'm with Fidelity, How can i tell if i'm being charged an AUM. I do have a planner, see him once a year if that, do my own buying and selling....
On your statement there would be a charge or deduction for a fee. This might be annually, semi annually, or quarterly. I might be called an account maintenance fee or something similar.
Bob

LetItRide
Posts: 40
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2015 3:36 pm

Re: Meeting with a Fidelity Financial planner, is it useful?

Post by LetItRide » Fri Apr 15, 2016 2:56 pm

Reading all the comments, it basically boils down to "who the advisor happens to be". I had a bad experience. Have 401K/IRA with them and wanted to discuss non-retirement assets with them. They tried to hard to get me into the "managed accounts" but they found it difficult to explain their fees. In addition, they tried to show me how compound interest works (making me think of how stupid do I come across)!

Anyway, I suggest that you meet the representative (hopefully you will get a good one), worse case is one hour that you will not get back.

User avatar
nisiprius
Advisory Board
Posts: 36467
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2007 9:33 am
Location: The terrestrial, globular, planetary hunk of matter, flattened at the poles, is my abode.--O. Henry

Re: Meeting with a Fidelity Financial planner, is it useful?

Post by nisiprius » Fri Apr 15, 2016 3:16 pm

traveltoomuch wrote:
nisiprius wrote: Him: [Pregnant pause] "Uh... because it will be to your advantage to do so."

The pregnant pause was the place at which he failed to mention the fairly-well-hidden fee in my 401(k) plan.
I've gotten a similar impression at least once. The fact that the Fidelity advisors feel that they have to resist giving you obviously good advice is one of the reasons I'm leery about turning to them.
He did give me good advice. And I did do the rollover. It's a shame that, for whatever reason, he didn't think he could tell me about the hidden fee and thus couldn't give me the reason behind the advice.
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.

SGM
Posts: 2707
Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2011 4:46 am

Re: Meeting with a Fidelity Financial planner, is it useful?

Post by SGM » Sat Apr 16, 2016 2:03 pm

I received false information from a retirement specialist who told me I could only have one solo 401k. Not true. I had an aggressive cold call from a rep who wanted me to purchase an inappropriate annuity.

A relative on retiring with a large 401k under Fidelity had a good planning meeting with a Fidelity agent. The relative prefaced his remarks by saying "I am a BH". He compared that to a meeting I later arranged for him with Vanguard. The advice was comparable.

exoilman
Posts: 684
Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2008 1:38 pm
Location: New Jersey

Re: Meeting with a Fidelity Financial planner, is it useful?

Post by exoilman » Sat Apr 16, 2016 2:09 pm

Ozonewanderer wrote:I have most of my money with Fidelity and I have an account manager who does not charge me anything. I have been very happy with them.

Having said that, however, Fidelity does offer fee based services. I would just have the conversation with the rep and see what he has to say. Fidelity has some great online tools that are better than flesh and blood advisers so if all they do is explain these to you, you could end up ahead.
\\

+1

exoilman
Posts: 684
Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2008 1:38 pm
Location: New Jersey

Re: Meeting with a Fidelity Financial planner, is it useful?

Post by exoilman » Sat Apr 16, 2016 2:21 pm

NMJack wrote:We have a brick and mortar Fidelity office on the other side of town (about 30 minute drive). I meet with one of their reps once or twice a year. I've found two primary advantages:
a) A second set of eyes on my long term financial plan with some free advice (usually just things I should consider or learn more about)
b) I take my wife along so that she knows where to get help/guidance/etc. if someday I'm not able to take care of our investments
We do get some soft sell from time to time, but that's GOOD because my wife learns what to expect and how to say no thank you. Never any pressure. I would rather she someday meet with a Fidelity rep in this context rather than wind up with some 1.5% AUM "advisor" that some friend recommends. We're strictly index funds, and I've educated both my wife and adult children accordingly.
+1
Our fixed income and index funds is at Vanguard, all IRA and Roths. All other investments with Fidelity mostly brand name stocks that all pay dividends that we use as income along with pension, SS, and RMD. We get no pressure from our rep (he knows of our Vanguard acct's) and a lot of good input. I want my wife and children to continue with him when my time is over.

Sam (72) DW (66) two children in their forties

hmw
Posts: 521
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2014 11:44 am

Re: Meeting with a Fidelity Financial planner, is it useful?

Post by hmw » Sat Apr 16, 2016 2:43 pm

Thanks for all your replies.

I will set up a meeting and see what he has to say. I am not expecting too much.

GoFish
Posts: 143
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2015 7:48 pm

Re: Meeting with a Fidelity Financial planner, is it useful?

Post by GoFish » Sat Apr 16, 2016 2:56 pm

NMJack wrote: b) I take my wife along so that she knows where to get help/guidance/etc. if someday I'm not able to take care of our investments
I do the same. If I go first this is probably her best option for managing our investments.

Ryerle
Posts: 20
Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2015 7:29 am

Re: Meeting with a Fidelity Financial planner, is it useful?

Post by Ryerle » Sat Apr 16, 2016 5:26 pm

Spirit Rider wrote:
Ryerle wrote:Don't know the whole story, but I feel like Fidelity has really done my in-laws wrong. Charging my FIL 1% AUM for a 30/70 collection of 18 funds that is constantly churned. Have tried to explain to them the issues but FIL won't budge. Expense ratio not as bad as I imangined ~0.7%,but when you add in the 1%, that really adds up.
Fidelity has not done your in-laws wrong. Your in-laws have done themselves wrong. Also, with Fidelity managed service, I believe there is at least a partial credit for the individual fund expense ratios against the AUM fee. If this is a tax-advantaged account, there are no loads and there is no tax cost to the churning. If it is in taxable they should be in a tax-managed service.

Now, this not to say that I recommend any Boglehead use such a service, but for those who choose someone else to manage their portfolio, there are fare worse choices.

Fidelity is currently testing a robo-advisor service and tentatively plans to roll it out in the second half of this year. They will use Fidelity Spartan index funds in tax-advantaged accounts and BlackRock iShare ETFs in taxable. The fee in the former will be up to 0,35%, in the latter it will be up to 0.39%

This would be a lower cost option that maybe they might be more willing to consider.

I think if you are getting paid for making senseless trades and charging 1% of AUM when there is no way you are making that up in alpha you are doing people wrong and taking advantage of people. My FIL was going to get rid of the rep, but the rep insisted on meeting in person first. He is obviously putting his needs before his clients. My FIL has to take some ownership in this for sure, but the morals of this individual rep are highly suspect in my opinion. He is slowly a putting him into a bond fond with a ER of 2.5%. I have tried to talk with my FIL but as they say a prophet has no honor in his own country.

JRA
Posts: 188
Joined: Fri Aug 03, 2007 3:29 pm

Re: Meeting with a Fidelity Financial planner, is it useful?

Post by JRA » Sun Apr 17, 2016 12:46 pm

Fidelity advisers are not fiduciaries; that is all the information you need to answer your question.

chald
Posts: 103
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2014 1:38 pm

Re: Meeting with a Fidelity Financial planner, is it useful?

Post by chald » Sun Apr 17, 2016 1:34 pm

I met with one many years ago after going through the online retirement planning exercise via the Fidelity web site. The advisor went through the same information I already went through on their web site asking the same questions the web site program asked me. I felt it was a total waste of time.

It appears that many people had a better experience, though. Perhaps I should give it another try.

retiredjg
Posts: 33550
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2008 12:56 pm

Re: Meeting with a Fidelity Financial planner, is it useful?

Post by retiredjg » Sun Apr 17, 2016 5:49 pm

Some of the absolute worst portfolios I've ever seen were done by people referred to as "Fidelity advisors". Dozens of funds, non-sensical design, high fees, no tax-efficiency, fund churning, loads, etc. And when people wanted to leave, it was difficult because they could not roll their funds to another brokerage firm. They had to sell the funds to get out of the mess, taxes or no taxes.

Often (maybe always) these awful portfolios were filled with the "Fidelity Advisor series" of funds. I'm wondering if these were independent advisors selling the Fidelity Advisor funds - as opposed to Fidelity employed CFPs. I've never been able to figure it out because (as evidenced by this thread) many people have gotten good service from people identified as "Fidelity advisors".

For that reason, I would NEVER suggest a Fidelity advisor - not because all are predatory but because I don't know how to steer people away from the predatory ones who lure people into those awful portfolios.

I don't see any reason to avoid the meeting if you are careful and don't sign up for anything without further consideration. But I do think there is something dangerous out there that needs to be avoided. I just don't know how to avoid it.

Monkeyarms
Posts: 27
Joined: Mon Jul 15, 2013 11:29 pm
Location: Vancouver,WA

Re: Meeting with a Fidelity Financial planner, is it useful?

Post by Monkeyarms » Sun Apr 17, 2016 6:14 pm

If you know enough to post here chances are you know more than the rep does. An unsolicited call generally means you are going to pay for something, so ask yourself did you need what they had to offer before they called? If no then no if yes then listen.
My opinion is offered from a place of altruism, please do not take my words as law or my intentions as malicious.

SeekingAPlan
Posts: 124
Joined: Sat Dec 12, 2015 1:03 pm

Re: Meeting with a Fidelity Financial planner, is it useful?

Post by SeekingAPlan » Sun Apr 17, 2016 6:53 pm

I met with a Fidelity rep a couple of times. There was no hard sell either time. It is valuable if you have any questions about their products, their website, withdrawl rates, etc.

They go over your customer profile that you may have already setup online. There is discussion of your ability/desire to take risk, your goals as far as leaving a legacy/charitable donations/etc and your need for income during you lifetime. The advisor plugs all this into the website if you haven't already and discusses each section while answering any questions you have. They'll show you how to buy / sell mutual funds, stocks, cd's, individual bonds, etc.

When you leave there will be a no obligation retirement plan with an estimate of your potential withdrawal rate, shortfall or money remaining at the end of your plan and that sort of thing. They gave me several different proposals 1) completely self directed, 2) self directed combined with a couple of annuities and a bond ladder, 3) Portfolio Advisory Services and 4) managed by Fidelity wealth management services. All have different levels of cost for their services which will be explained. There is no pressure or constant sales calls following this meeting. You either get back to them or you don't.

I actually used to get a lot of calls from the Net Benefits group wanting me to roll over my old Fidelity 401k to an IRA. This makes no sense as my ERs are lower in my large company 401k for all the Spartan funds and such that I want. These calls seems to have stopped in the last year or two as well.

User avatar
Ged
Posts: 3577
Joined: Mon May 13, 2013 1:48 pm
Location: Roke

Re: Meeting with a Fidelity Financial planner, is it useful?

Post by Ged » Sun Apr 17, 2016 7:13 pm

I've had a couple of meetings with a Fidelity Rep. Some of the stuff he did was potentially useful if I hadn't already learned what I needed to know from Bogleheads.

Some of the stuff though was potentially a transfer of wealth from me to Fidelity - that is a push to buy managed funds that are funds of managed funds plus of course and AUM fee. All in all I don't think you could tell how your assets are allocated and what they were charging when you were done, or what the performance vs the market was.

If you can resist the second part it's ok, and it may be helpful if you need somebody to talk to about Fidelity's services to have an established contact.

For financial planning, nah.

retire14
Posts: 254
Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2015 10:27 am

Re: Meeting with a Fidelity Financial planner, is it useful?

Post by retire14 » Sun Apr 17, 2016 8:06 pm

I met with my rep. He tried to sell me Fidelity managed portfolios with pretty steep charges. I did not bite. After that, he kept calling, I never return his calls. He stopped calling after a while.

JW-Retired
Posts: 6880
Joined: Sun Dec 16, 2007 12:25 pm

Re: Meeting with a Fidelity Financial planner, is it useful?

Post by JW-Retired » Sun Apr 17, 2016 8:35 pm

hmw wrote:I have my investments at Fidelity and TDA. A CFP working for Fidelity contacted me recently wanting to discuss financial planning with me. He wanted a one hour appt over the phone. This was unsolicited. My first instinct was to ignore it. Has anyone had any experience with them? Was it useful or was it just a way to get me to sign up for their more expensive services?
I'm certain it was the latter.

We have had a fair amount of money with Fidelity for a long time (1990-something). No complaints at all with the basic no-load & low fee service.

I don't remember ever getting a contact like yours, but if we ever got such a cold call I would have declined and hung up. Maybe that's why they never called again.

I suspect if you go through with the 1-hour appointment it will encourage them to keep after you.
JW
Retired at Last

Post Reply