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Met with a CFP, not too impressed.

Posted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 6:05 pm
by MrMojoRisin
Some time back I took an evening class taught by a local CFP that typically does AUM agreements but does do for fee as well.

I gave him all the investment information and paperwork for my pension plan, which I have yet to draw on.

I told him that upon retirement I wanted to transition all of my spouse's employer funds to Vanguard (Currently with Mass Mutual and NationWide) and to change my AA from 55/45 to 40/60.

In the class he had made mention of an annuity that could be used in place of long term care insurance. Although skeptical I asked him to include the details of that in his work.

We had asked for a couple of scenarios....one retiring in a month or two...the other in about 4 years.

Anyway we met today.

He had not read my pension plan at all. I clearly outlines that if I retire now, @58 I would get about 1700 a month...if retire at 62 I would receive more.
He also did not factor in my wife continuing to make contributions if she worked to 62, he had to add that into the mix.

He did not show me a 40/60 allocation with most everything transferred out of MassMutual and NationWide....like he had never even heard me.

He also did not present anything showing the LTC annuity product, although skeptical I wanted to hear more about it.

I don't think he has had many "Work for Fee" clients....

Not sure I want to continue with him. Nice guy but his presentation was just taking all the numbers I had given him and stuffing them into his software. No real analysis or advice.

Re: Met with a CFP, not too impressed.

Posted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 6:22 pm
by michaeljc70
I take it this was a free consultation? Not particularly defending them, but for a free consultation they are not going to spend countless hours scouring over everything.

Re: Met with a CFP, not too impressed.

Posted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 6:22 pm
by samsoes
Via email: thank him for his time, tell him you've decided to do business neither with him nor his firm, and have nothing to do with him again.

Re: Met with a CFP, not too impressed.

Posted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 6:58 pm
by badbreath
He has failed at even giving you rough numbers of what you asked so he should not be your adviser . Run from him.

Re: Met with a CFP, not too impressed.

Posted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:36 pm
by MrMojoRisin
michaeljc70 wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 6:22 pm
I take it this was a free consultation? Not particularly defending them, but for a free consultation they are not going to spend countless hours scouring over everything.
I hear ya but actually we signed a contract that contains an estimate and a billing rate. Basically all he did was plug our numbers into his RetireUp brand software package. I was hoping for more than that. I think I will ask what we owe at this point and then pay him. I will list the reasons we have decided not to continue the relationship.

Re: Met with a CFP, not too impressed.

Posted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:44 pm
by Jack FFR1846
I signed the same thing with an adviser back before finding Bogleheads. It was supposed to be a set $1500 and it turned out that he was simply selling a whole life policy. I asked here, went back and cancelled our meeting for me to sign the final papers to buy the WL. We never had any bill and never paid a dime.

Re: Met with a CFP, not too impressed.

Posted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:44 pm
by Fallible
MrMojoRisin wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:36 pm
michaeljc70 wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 6:22 pm
I take it this was a free consultation? Not particularly defending them, but for a free consultation they are not going to spend countless hours scouring over everything.
I hear ya but actually we signed a contract that contains an estimate and a billing rate. Basically all he did was plug our numbers into his RetireUp brand software package. I was hoping for more than that. I think I will ask what we owe at this point and then pay him. I will list the reasons we have decided not to continue the relationship.
Is that all the contract states - estimate and billing rate? It doesn't say what you discussed or expected from him?

Re: Met with a CFP, not too impressed.

Posted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:16 pm
by Sandtrap
MrMojoRisin wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:36 pm
michaeljc70 wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 6:22 pm
I take it this was a free consultation? Not particularly defending them, but for a free consultation they are not going to spend countless hours scouring over everything.
I hear ya but actually we signed a contract that contains an estimate and a billing rate. Basically all he did was plug our numbers into his RetireUp brand software package. I was hoping for more than that. I think I will ask what we owe at this point and then pay him. I will list the reasons we have decided not to continue the relationship.
You are not obligated to give reasons for discontinuing so that he can counter with reasons not to.
Just thank him for his time and say you need to take a break to think about things and will call him if you require his services in the future.
Pay the bill. Count as an inexpensive lesson. Then log into Bogleheads and do it yourself. :D

Re: Met with a CFP, not too impressed.

Posted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 11:22 pm
by Teague
From the website of the software you said he used, an article quotes an adviser who uses that program:

"“I can get through that thing in 15 minutes and have a full financial plan, he said."

Re: Met with a CFP, not too impressed.

Posted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 6:58 am
by MrMojoRisin
Is that all the contract states - estimate and billing rate? It doesn't say what you discussed or expected from him?
Pretty much. Was not too impressed with it, seemed more like legal boilerplate than a contract for services.
Then log into Bogleheads and do it yourself. :D
Good advice.... I joined this forum when I decided to cut ties with Amerprise. I'm not a financial person by nature but like to think I have a decent understandings of the fundamentals. My background in electrical/machinery automation. What my wife and I are looking for is someone to do a critical review of where we are at, where we want to be and how our financials will work. We have two employer accounts for where my wife works and all my stuff is now with Vanguard. My wife has opened a Vanguard Roth IRA. Our biggest concern is health care insurance. We just can't seem to get a straight answer and with the ever changing situation with ACA we cannot make definite plans.

We plan on traveling a lot (2-3 month out, 1 month at home) in our RV so we need things to kind of run on auto pilot.

There are no For Fee CFP near us. Everyone is AUM. I suspect I am about the first "For Fee" client this man has had.

Re: Met with a CFP, not too impressed.

Posted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 7:02 am
by MrMojoRisin
Teague wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 11:22 pm
From the website of the software you said he used, an article quotes an adviser who uses that program:

"“I can get through that thing in 15 minutes and have a full financial plan, he said."
Yeah, that was my impression. He loaded all the numbers I gave him, read none of the pension information or delved very deep into our situation. I told him if he had question to email me. Never heard from him. I suspect that since I am not going to be an AUM client he was not too gung ho. One case is my wife is 57 and one the schedule he showed us he had her retiring at 62 but making no further contributions to her employers retirement plan. Basically 3-5 years of not contributions when she is earning a premium wage. My wife had to point that out to him and once we estimated the contributions it made a big difference.

Re: Met with a CFP, not too impressed.

Posted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 7:12 am
by oldcomputerguy
MrMojoRisin wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2017 6:58 am
Good advice.... I joined this forum when I decided to cut ties with Amerprise. I'm not a financial person by nature but like to think I have a decent understandings of the fundamentals.
Welcome to the forum. You'll find many, many people here who are educated and willing to help.
What my wife and I are looking for is someone to do a critical review of where we are at, where we want to be and how our financials will work. We have two employer accounts for where my wife works and all my stuff is now with Vanguard. My wife has opened a Vanguard Roth IRA.
I'd suggest you start by creating a post following the guidelines given here. This will help the folks here give you better suggestions.
Our biggest concern is health care insurance. We just can't seem to get a straight answer and with the ever changing situation with ACA we cannot make definite plans.
Believe me, many, many people feel your pain. Unfortunately at this particular point in time there are no clear answers.
There are no For Fee CFP near us. Everyone is AUM. I suspect I am about the first "For Fee" client this man has had.
In your original post, you mentioned that
In the class he had made mention of an annuity that could be used in place of long term care insurance.
This reminds me of the first (and only) time DW and I sat down with a "financial advisor" to discuss our future. He spent the entire time pushing their annuity product. DW and I left, and in the time it took to reach the car, we had both decided against.

I believe you'll find that "advisors" from financial institutions who offer "retirement seminars" for free are not doing so out of the goodness of their hearts. To be fair, there are those who will help with financial matters because they just want to help (you'll find most of them hanging around here :wink: ), but the guys who work a job for a financial company don't generally fall into that class.

Re: Met with a CFP, not too impressed.

Posted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 8:40 am
by dbr
Why do you have to "think" that you will or won't employ this person?

Re: Met with a CFP, not too impressed.

Posted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 10:12 am
by Katietsu
MrMojoRisin wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2017 6:58 am

We plan on traveling a lot (2-3 month out, 1 month at home) in our RV so we need things to kind of run on auto pilot.

There are no For Fee CFP near us. Everyone is AUM. I suspect I am about the first "For Fee" client this man has had.

I can see value in getting advice on such a transition. You are on the Bogleheads forum, you plan to do a lot of traveling and you have not found an acceptable local option. It seems like you might be an ideal candidate for working remotely with one of the few well regarded planners who have built their practice on the hourly model.

Re: Met with a CFP, not too impressed.

Posted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 10:38 am
by tibbitts
Katietsu wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2017 10:12 am
MrMojoRisin wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2017 6:58 am

We plan on traveling a lot (2-3 month out, 1 month at home) in our RV so we need things to kind of run on auto pilot.

There are no For Fee CFP near us. Everyone is AUM. I suspect I am about the first "For Fee" client this man has had.

I can see value in getting advice on such a transition. You are on the Bogleheads forum, you plan to do a lot of traveling and you have not found an acceptable local option. It seems like you might be an ideal candidate for working remotely with one of the few well regarded planners who have built their practice on the hourly model.
There are lots of locations you're likely to end up with in an RV that have no cell service, and satellite is still extremely expensive, so remote access can be challenging.

Re: Met with a CFP, not too impressed.

Posted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 2:07 pm
by Dottie57
OP,

I signed a contract with a wealth management company for designing a plan. Cost was $500. Before signing, we talked about expectations. Low fees, indexes, insurance (ltc). He understood what I wanted.

He came back with a plan for using proprietary funds from his company at a fairly heavy AUM. His talk was good, his plan terrible for me. I held my ground. I asked why the result was so different than I asked for. You can guess the answer.

Told him thank you, but no thanks. Walked out of the meeting. Learned to not trust CFP.

OP Learn enough that you can make your own plans.

Re: Met with a CFP, not too impressed.

Posted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 2:27 pm
by nedsaid
Sometimes these reviews turn out better than expected. A friend of mine was in the insurance business for a few years and I had my insurance business with him. That company did a full review of my retirement investments and I was very pleasantly surprised. Thought I would get the big pitch for whole life insurance and instead what I got were nice retirement projections based on my age, savings rate, and investment returns. I got detailed reports on my investments as well as an X-Ray and efficient frontier produced from Morningstar software. Their number one comment was that I have very little in Small-Cap stocks. I dutifully purchased an S&P 600 Small-Cap Index EFT and that solved that problem.

Broker #4 did reviews a couple of times for my entire portfolio, including investments outside of accounts held with him. He used Morningstar Software too and pretty much he told me to keep doing what I was doing. He noted that the portfolios account by account were "model" portfolios.

My favorite mutual fund company did a similar analysis of my whole portfolio and for the most part was please what they came up with. One time they used financial engines and another time they used Morningstar Software.

The free reviews actually were pretty good. I also used an Ameriprise Advisor to put together more comprehensive financial plans for me which were pretty good but I did get recommendations to use their high cost products. I did not invest with them but learned a lot going over things with their financial advisor.

It was amazing, the free reviews were better than the financial plans that I paid for.

The large mutual fund companies will sometimes provide you with free help. I believe Fidelity and T. Rowe Price will provide free guidance, not sure about Vanguard. I am also a fan of using Target Risk and Target Date funds as a template to model your own portfolio after.

Re: Met with a CFP, not too impressed.

Posted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 3:22 pm
by Sandtrap
Some helpful links:
Bogle Philosophy
https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Boglehe ... philosophy
Here are links to the wiki's "Getting Started" and "Investing Startup Kit" pages:
https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Getting_started
https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Boglehe ... art-up_kit
Define General Investment Goals and Objectives
https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Invest ... _statement
Suggested Reading List
https://www.bogleheads.org/RecommendedReading.php
Post format
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=6212

Re: Met with a CFP, not too impressed.

Posted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 9:36 pm
by MrMojoRisin
dbr wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2017 8:40 am
Why do you have to "think" that you will or won't employ this person?
I tend to contemplate too much. I won't be using this guy.

Re: Met with a CFP, not too impressed.

Posted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 9:41 pm
by MrMojoRisin
It seems like you might be an ideal candidate for working remotely with one of the few well regarded planners who have built their practice on the hourly model.
...and they would be?

Re: Met with a CFP, not too impressed.

Posted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 9:55 pm
by Mel Lindauer
MrMojoRisin wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2017 6:58 am
Is that all the contract states - estimate and billing rate? It doesn't say what you discussed or expected from him?
Pretty much. Was not too impressed with it, seemed more like legal boilerplate than a contract for services.
Then log into Bogleheads and do it yourself. :D
Good advice.... I joined this forum when I decided to cut ties with Amerprise. I'm not a financial person by nature but like to think I have a decent understandings of the fundamentals. My background in electrical/machinery automation. What my wife and I are looking for is someone to do a critical review of where we are at, where we want to be and how our financials will work. We have two employer accounts for where my wife works and all my stuff is now with Vanguard. My wife has opened a Vanguard Roth IRA. Our biggest concern is health care insurance. We just can't seem to get a straight answer and with the ever changing situation with ACA we cannot make definite plans.

We plan on traveling a lot (2-3 month out, 1 month at home) in our RV so we need things to kind of run on auto pilot.

There are no For Fee CFP near us. Everyone is AUM. I suspect I am about the first "For Fee" client this man has had.
You might check out Boglehead author, columnist and fee-only financial advisor, Allan Roth. AFAIK, he deals with clients from all over the country.

Re: Met with a CFP, not too impressed.

Posted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 1:13 am
by TravelGeek
Dottie57 wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2017 2:07 pm
I signed a contract with a wealth management company for designing a plan. Cost was $500. Before signing, we talked about expectations. Low fees, indexes, insurance (ltc). He understood what I wanted.

He came back with a plan for using proprietary funds from his company at a fairly heavy AUM. His talk was good, his plan terrible for me. I held my ground. I asked why the result was so different than I asked for. You can guess the answer.

Told him thank you, but no thanks. Walked out of the meeting. Learned to not trust CFP.
I am curious - did you pay him the $500 for the plan that wasn't what you "ordered"? Sounds to me like you went to a restaurant, ordered a steak, explained how you wanted it cooked, and got a pork chop instead.

Re: Met with a CFP, not too impressed.

Posted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 1:22 pm
by tfb
Dottie57 wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2017 2:07 pm
Told him thank you, but no thanks. Walked out of the meeting. Learned to not trust CFP.
Your experience and the OP's experience just showed not all CFPs are created equal. I learned the best bet are CFPs who don't manage money. They are truly in it for giving advice.

Re: Met with a CFP, not too impressed.

Posted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 1:52 pm
by Alexa9
tfb wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 1:22 pm
Dottie57 wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2017 2:07 pm
Told him thank you, but no thanks. Walked out of the meeting. Learned to not trust CFP.
Your experience and the OP's experience just showed not all CFPs are created equal. I learned the best bet are CFPs who don't manage money. They are truly in it for giving advice.
Not all CFP's are equal. There are good and bad in every profession. The ones that charge by the hour are generally better. AUM and insurance salesmen are generally the worst. If you have a difficult scenario, they can be helpful. Although you can usually get pretty good free advice here as well.

Re: Met with a CFP, not too impressed.

Posted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 2:08 pm
by Dottie57
TravelGeek wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 1:13 am
Dottie57 wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2017 2:07 pm
I signed a contract with a wealth management company for designing a plan. Cost was $500. Before signing, we talked about expectations. Low fees, indexes, insurance (ltc). He understood what I wanted.

He came back with a plan for using proprietary funds from his company at a fairly heavy AUM. His talk was good, his plan terrible for me. I held my ground. I asked why the result was so different than I asked for. You can guess the answer.

Told him thank you, but no thanks. Walked out of the meeting. Learned to not trust CFP.
I am curious - did you pay him the $500 for the plan that wasn't what you "ordered"? Sounds to me like you went to a restaurant, ordered a steak, explained how you wanted it cooked, and got a pork chop instead.
Yes I did. Payment due before the plan. Well regarded by a couple I know and respect. I wanted. low cost well regarded funds. We did not talk about fees to advisor past a plan. My 401k was fine. IRA was in a mess of funds, which I really wanted hekp with.

My cousin is a CFP and she spent about 4 hours -trying to convey what I should look forin a plan and advisor. It was interesting information. Unfortunately she didn't want family as customers. So I went to the wealth mgmt co. Mistake I will never make again.

Re: Met with a CFP, not too impressed.

Posted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 2:32 pm
by cherijoh
MrMojoRisin wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2017 7:02 am
Teague wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 11:22 pm
From the website of the software you said he used, an article quotes an adviser who uses that program:

"“I can get through that thing in 15 minutes and have a full financial plan, he said."
Yeah, that was my impression. He loaded all the numbers I gave him, read none of the pension information or delved very deep into our situation. I told him if he had question to email me. Never heard from him. I suspect that since I am not going to be an AUM client he was not too gung ho. One case is my wife is 57 and one the schedule he showed us he had her retiring at 62 but making no further contributions to her employers retirement plan. Basically 3-5 years of not contributions when she is earning a premium wage. My wife had to point that out to him and once we estimated the contributions it made a big difference.
I think you would find many CFP will rely on planning software, but this guy appears to be lazy and with poor attention to detail. He sounds more like a salesperson who got the CFP designation so he could add some in initials to his business card. I wouldn't have any further dealings with him.

Re: Met with a CFP, not too impressed.

Posted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 10:12 pm
by Mispoken
This is a good thread for me. I'm considering hiring a fee only CFP simply because I have so many possible scenarios to choose from. The tax implications of the various scenarios turn my brain into a knot. I've found a CFP/EA husband/wife combo that I'm going to test out to see if they can accept my money to help me work through these scenarios without trying to get me to buy something other than their time. We will see! I can also do this with a person via e-mail and phone, so if you folks know anyone that fits this bill I'd be interested in checking out your referral.

Re: Met with a CFP, not too impressed.

Posted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 11:10 pm
by obgraham
I'm actually married to a CPA who took out CFP credentials, and I have a couple of friends with CFP's. Though I wouldn't say it to their face (especially the spouse!), I'm just not that impressed with the program, much of which is online learning stuff.

In my experience they get hooked into some sort of computer planning system -- "at this age do this, and that age do that" which is essentially what we Bogleheads do by going to Vanguard. There's little original thinking involved, or else it is all about convincing the client to get into whatever investment vehicle rewards the CFP the best. Without much risk, we can all do that job ourselves.

For a plan with an AUM fee, say 1.5% (typical), and a suggested ideal retirement withdrawal of 4-5%, why give up a third of your annual income to a planner who isn't really doing anything for you?

Re: Met with a CFP, not too impressed.

Posted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 9:43 am
by MrMojoRisin
UPDATE:

After reading Mel Lindauer's post I went to Allan S. Roth's website. I'm am now pulling together data needed so they can review our situation and tell us what they may be able to do for us.

I thank every one for their input.

Best wishes

Re: Met with a CFP, not too impressed.

Posted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 3:35 pm
by MrMojoRisin
I went by the CFP office today and picked up my report and settled our account.

I was presented with a print out from Retireup.
It's 48 pages printed landscape on both sides with a staple in the upper left corner. A very nice staple, but still just a staple none the less.
I had hoped at least to have it printed single sided and in a ring binder so I could flip through it easily.

I had had asked him to figure out how to invest our accounts with the various financial institutions involved so as to best achieve a 40/60 AA. That was not done. The AA shown is the current 57/43 that we set up.

I had asked him to present the Long Term Care annuity option. I am skeptical of it but no reference to it is made in the report.

Although he had the pension plan paperwork in his hand and the paperwork shows the different benefits I get based on age he has my pension income being the same regardless of when I retire. Major complication with that.

So he charged me six hours of labor at $225.00 an hour....I'm now about $1350.00 wiser. 2.5 hours of meeting time, the rest working his magic with his software.

Re: Met with a CFP, not too impressed.

Posted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 1:25 pm
by MrMojoRisin
UPDATE:

Well since I last posted in October of 2017 here is what has happened.
There were several members that advised me to try various online and other CFP groups.

I decided to look into the Garrett Financial Network group and see who I could find nearby. I live in central Oklahoma and there are not many CFP's in this area that are strictly "Hourly Fee Only" advisors. I elected to not do a strictly online CFP as I wanted an "Eyeball to Eyeball" relationship.

I found one in Texas we decided to go with. WIfe and I drove down and spent two hours in the initial consultation and review of our situation.
After that my wife and I decided to allow him to go ahead and work up a plan. He was familiar with the "Bogelhead" philosophy and expressed no opposition to it as our preferred course of action.

We went down again for a second meeting. This went much better than the plan a local CFP had worked up for us. He presented us with a well put together binder that listed what we had defined as our primary questions and concerns. He included an executive summary of his plan for us in the binder along with "Investment Recommendations" document that clearly listed what items he recommends should be changed. We are currently at a 42/58 AA but he makes and argument that we should transition closer to a 60/40 over the next few years. He also recommends that with the new tax law and being at the 12% bracket we should convert some of our investments into Roth at a rate that keeps us at or below the 12% tax rate.

All of his investment recommendations involve the investment groups we use now, Vanguard, Mass Mutual, NationWide. He does suggest we look at a new challenger to Betterment, a business named as M1Finance, as a place for our taxable account.

I feel much better with this CFP. Our questions were directly answered and a clear, concise methodology was outlined for us to use in the future.
There are still some big variables, mostly dealing with health insurance until wife and I can qualify for Medicare, but he has given us a list of questions we need to answer before we go on from here.

Again, I appreciate the time and advice of the members of this forum that have allowed my wife and I to put ourselves in a much better place financially.

Best wishes,

Mr. MojoRisin

Re: Met with a CFP, not too impressed.

Posted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 1:40 pm
by Alexa9
There is a CFP in my town with a CFA and MBA that is highly reviewed and is not taking any more clients.
Some are more competent than others like any service provider.
Also consider that the average investor is not as competent as the average Boglehead.
He may not be aware that you're a three fund w/ small value tilt guru.

Re: Met with a CFP, not too impressed.

Posted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 1:54 pm
by MrMojoRisin
Alexa9,

I'm flattered anyone would even consider me an "average Bogelhead".....
Any tilt I have is unintentional. My focus is more on AA and having some international in my equity mix.
After I rebalance I will run my numbers to see where I am at, the changes he suggest were not of major proportions, just moving out of some slightly higher ER funds in wife's employer program and compensating for that with our Vanguard.

My wife and I have a AA of about 40/60 between us. She holds more of the bond investments and I hold most of mine in equity, but this is to keep our expenses low.

Re: Met with a CFP, not too impressed.

Posted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 4:54 pm
by HJG0989
We went to a Garrett Financial Network planner. I think we paid $2,300 but I could be wrong. We went back for a second meeting to go over the plan. The next weekend I sat down with the plan and a calculator. Our Social Security payments were off by $10k, our pension amounts were wrong, she had mixed in pre-tax dollars with post tax dollars and declared that our annual income. There were tables with no column headers and sentences that had been left in from cutting and pasting. I ended up getting a full refund. In addition, the projected growth rate was linear and very elementary. I was not impressed at all.

Re: Met with a CFP, not too impressed.

Posted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 5:15 pm
by dbr
HJG0989 wrote:
Sat Jan 20, 2018 4:54 pm
We went to a Garrett Financial Network planner. I think we paid $2,300 but I could be wrong. We went back for a second meeting to go over the plan. The next weekend I sat down with the plan and a calculator. Our Social Security payments were off by $10k, our pension amounts were wrong, she had mixed in pre-tax dollars with post tax dollars and declared that our annual income. There were tables with no column headers and sentences that had been left in from cutting and pasting. I ended up getting a full refund. In addition, the projected growth rate was linear and very elementary. I was not impressed at all.
At one point I dipped my toe in the adviser water. I consulted two planners listed by NAPFA. One was incompetent with respect to making some of the same kind of mistakes you mentioned. The other, who was listed as hourly fee, told me point blank that he would not do any serious planning without an AUM agreement.

Re: Met with a CFP, not too impressed.

Posted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 5:27 pm
by nedsaid
dbr wrote:
Sat Jan 20, 2018 5:15 pm
HJG0989 wrote:
Sat Jan 20, 2018 4:54 pm
We went to a Garrett Financial Network planner. I think we paid $2,300 but I could be wrong. We went back for a second meeting to go over the plan. The next weekend I sat down with the plan and a calculator. Our Social Security payments were off by $10k, our pension amounts were wrong, she had mixed in pre-tax dollars with post tax dollars and declared that our annual income. There were tables with no column headers and sentences that had been left in from cutting and pasting. I ended up getting a full refund. In addition, the projected growth rate was linear and very elementary. I was not impressed at all.
At one point I dipped my toe in the adviser water. I consulted two planners listed by NAPFA. One was incompetent with respect to making some of the same kind of mistakes you mentioned. The other, who was listed as hourly fee, told me point blank that he would not do any serious planning without an AUM agreement.
Unfortunately, having a credential does not guarantee competence. Being associated with a planning network doesn't guarantee competence either. You still have to interview the advisor and do whatever research that you can. Still credentials are a good indicator. Being aligned with a network like Garrett or a firm like DFA is a good sign. But ultimately it boils down to the individual's competence. Reputation means everything.

Re: Met with a CFP, not too impressed.

Posted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 5:35 pm
by nedsaid
You also have to consider that for a business to work, there has to be a certain economy of scale. A planner will use certain tools. Most that I have seen use Morningstar Principia Pro software to evaluate portfolios but there are other tools out there as well. An advisor also will work with a certain philosophy, the best use many of the principles discussed here. So a DFA Advisor won't recommend individual stocks. To a degree, you will get a certain cookie cutter effect and you will see similarities in the recommendation from client to client. It really can't be any other way. This is why you need to be in philosophical alignment with your advisor or you are wasting his time and wasting your time. You also need to carefully interview the advisor to see if he has the experience and expertise to help you with your particular situation. Nobody knows everything and everyone has their areas of expertise.

Re: Met with a CFP, not too impressed.

Posted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 5:42 pm
by MrMojoRisin
nedsaid wrote:
Sat Jan 20, 2018 5:27 pm

Unfortunately, having a credential does not guarantee competence. Being associated with a planning network doesn't guarantee competence either. You still have to interview the advisor and do whatever research that you can. Still credentials are a good indicator. Being aligned with a network like Garrett or a firm like DFA is a good sign. But ultimately it boils down to the individual's competence. Reputation means everything.
Very true. The first one we went to had various credentials and consumer poll awards.
The second one had an impressive resume where he had for years served in financial positions in large corporations.
He has been in the same location for 16 years and had some awards from local journals for his work.

What made me comfortable with this CFP was he knew the Bogelhead thought process and was fine with it.

Once my wife hangs it up we will move all of her employer plans over to Vanguard, with the exception of the one MassMutual product we are using for our bond allocation. We have discussed the issues with that (all bond eggs in one basket, so to speak) and have decided we are comfortable with that risk element.

Re: Met with a CFP, not too impressed.

Posted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 5:46 pm
by Emilyjane
I had an experience with an advisor in the Garrett network a few years ago, much more positive. It was pre-my Bogleheads days.

My dad wanted to sell me a variable annuity, seemed like “too good to be true”. I decided to get a 5 year retirement preview consultation, found a CFP on the Garrett page, was $3000. She was great. Told me I was doing well saving, keep up with the vanguard index funds, and don’t buy a variable annuity from anyone, even your dad. Don’t think I would have needed the consult had I known what I do now, but I didn’t.

In my dad’s defense, I think that like many in his insurance business, he totally buys the company line on benefits of VAs. I’m glad Lisa was able to explain why I could do better.

Re: Met with a CFP, not too impressed.

Posted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 6:06 pm
by MrMojoRisin
Emilyjane wrote:
Sat Jan 20, 2018 5:46 pm
I had an experience with an advisor in the Garrett network a few years ago, much more positive. It was pre-my Bogleheads days.
I wish to be clear, the CFP that I was disappointed in was NOT part of the Garrett Network, the one that we have since retained and are pleased with is.

Re: Met with a CFP, not too impressed.

Posted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 6:15 pm
by itstoomuch
Look at my signature line below.
I knew and assure you that we could not have done it by ourselves.
Spouse is changing back to previous used RE agent. She didn't like the RE agent that son chose.
I am recommending that we change to a local but interstate lender. I am tired of internet and phone conversations.

Re: Met with a CFP, not too impressed.

Posted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 6:33 pm
by Katietsu
MrMojoRisin wrote:
Sat Jan 20, 2018 1:25 pm



We are currently at a 42/58 AA but he makes and argument that we should transition closer to a 60/40 over the next few years.
I am curious about the arguments for and against. I am in this area between your current and the suggested. The discussions about the “retirement red zone” or sequence of return risk are resonating with me. This is leading me to the possibility of a more conservative allocation leading into retirement and for a few year after.

Re: Met with a CFP, not too impressed.

Posted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 7:00 pm
by MrMojoRisin
Katietsu wrote:
Sat Jan 20, 2018 6:33 pm
MrMojoRisin wrote:
Sat Jan 20, 2018 1:25 pm



We are currently at a 42/58 AA but he makes and argument that we should transition closer to a 60/40 over the next few years.
I am curious about the arguments for and against. I am in this area between your current and the suggested. The discussions about the “retirement red zone” or sequence of return risk are resonating with me. This is leading me to the possibility of a more conservative allocation leading into retirement and for a few year after.
Basically he ran Monte Carlo simulations using the same return and inflation values and the "success rate" only dropped 3% when going from 40/60 to 60/40 and both were still well above the 80% threshold. This was using the same family of funds we use currently and the same make up of funds, just changing the AA ratio.

I wish I could give you a more detailed analysis but that is basically what it boiled down to.

I intend to go this route after the next "market correction" and rebalance yearly.

Re: Met with a CFP, not too impressed.

Posted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 7:14 pm
by MrMojoRisin
I wish to correct something. The network I used to find the CFP that we went with is called"

The Garrett Planning Network.....

Sorry for any confusion....it's just what I do.....nothing personal....

Re: Met with a CFP, not too impressed.

Posted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 7:55 pm
by Emilyjane
MrMojoRisin wrote:
Sat Jan 20, 2018 6:06 pm

I wish to be clear, the CFP that I was disappointed in was NOT part of the Garrett Network, the one that we have since retained and are pleased with is.
Sorry Mr Mojo, I was responding to subsequent poster, but wasn’t clear about that. You, on the other hand, were perfectly clear. :happy

Re: Met with a CFP, not too impressed.

Posted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 1:33 am
by j0nnyg1984
MrMojoRisin wrote:
Thu Oct 19, 2017 3:35 pm
I went by the CFP office today and picked up my report and settled our account.

I was presented with a print out from Retireup.
It's 48 pages printed landscape on both sides with a staple in the upper left corner. A very nice staple, but still just a staple none the less.
I had hoped at least to have it printed single sided and in a ring binder so I could flip through it easily.

I had had asked him to figure out how to invest our accounts with the various financial institutions involved so as to best achieve a 40/60 AA. That was not done. The AA shown is the current 57/43 that we set up.

I had asked him to present the Long Term Care annuity option. I am skeptical of it but no reference to it is made in the report.

Although he had the pension plan paperwork in his hand and the paperwork shows the different benefits I get based on age he has my pension income being the same regardless of when I retire. Major complication with that.

So he charged me six hours of labor at $225.00 an hour....I'm now about $1350.00 wiser. 2.5 hours of meeting time, the rest working his magic with his software.
I can't believe you actually paid for that. There's no way I would have paid for incompetent work.

Re: Met with a CFP, not too impressed.

Posted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 1:35 am
by j0nnyg1984
Dottie57 wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 2:08 pm
TravelGeek wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 1:13 am
Dottie57 wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2017 2:07 pm
I signed a contract with a wealth management company for designing a plan. Cost was $500. Before signing, we talked about expectations. Low fees, indexes, insurance (ltc). He understood what I wanted.

He came back with a plan for using proprietary funds from his company at a fairly heavy AUM. His talk was good, his plan terrible for me. I held my ground. I asked why the result was so different than I asked for. You can guess the answer.

Told him thank you, but no thanks. Walked out of the meeting. Learned to not trust CFP.
I am curious - did you pay him the $500 for the plan that wasn't what you "ordered"? Sounds to me like you went to a restaurant, ordered a steak, explained how you wanted it cooked, and got a pork chop instead.
Yes I did. Payment due before the plan. Well regarded by a couple I know and respect. I wanted. low cost well regarded funds. We did not talk about fees to advisor past a plan. My 401k was fine. IRA was in a mess of funds, which I really wanted hekp with.

My cousin is a CFP and she spent about 4 hours -trying to convey what I should look forin a plan and advisor. It was interesting information. Unfortunately she didn't want family as customers. So I went to the wealth mgmt co. Mistake I will never make again.
And jeez, same here. I can't believe you didn't demand a refund of your money.

Case in point as to why everything I buy goes on a credit card. If this person hadn't refunded my $500 immediately, I would have disputed the charge before I even left their office.

Re: Met with a CFP, not too impressed.

Posted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 8:40 am
by Dottie57
j0nnyg1984 wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2018 1:35 am
Dottie57 wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 2:08 pm
TravelGeek wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 1:13 am
Dottie57 wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2017 2:07 pm
I signed a contract with a wealth management company for designing a plan. Cost was $500. Before signing, we talked about expectations. Low fees, indexes, insurance (ltc). He understood what I wanted.

He came back with a plan for using proprietary funds from his company at a fairly heavy AUM. His talk was good, his plan terrible for me. I held my ground. I asked why the result was so different than I asked for. You can guess the answer.

Told him thank you, but no thanks. Walked out of the meeting. Learned to not trust CFP.
I am curious - did you pay him the $500 for the plan that wasn't what you "ordered"? Sounds to me like you went to a restaurant, ordered a steak, explained how you wanted it cooked, and got a pork chop instead.
Yes I did. Payment due before the plan. Well regarded by a couple I know and respect. I wanted. low cost well regarded funds. We did not talk about fees to advisor past a plan. My 401k was fine. IRA was in a mess of funds, which I really wanted hekp with.

My cousin is a CFP and she spent about 4 hours -trying to convey what I should look forin a plan and advisor. It was interesting information. Unfortunately she didn't want family as customers. So I went to the wealth mgmt co. Mistake I will never make again.
And jeez, same here. I can't believe you didn't demand a refund of your money.

Case in point as to why everything I buy goes on a credit card. If this person hadn't refunded my $500 immediately, I would have disputed the charge before I even left their office.
They wanted a check so That paid for a check. No CC. It was a life lesson.

Re: Met with a CFP, not too impressed.

Posted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:57 am
by boridi
If you want 40/60, why not just dump everything in Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (or other LifeStrategy funds to get something besides 40/60)? It seems anti-low-cost to pay thousands of dollars or drive to different states for portfolio suggestions that don't even meet the desired AA.

Re: Met with a CFP, not too impressed.

Posted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:30 am
by desiderium
MrMojoRisin wrote:
Sat Jan 20, 2018 1:25 pm
UPDATE:

... He also recommends that with the new tax law and being at the 12% bracket we should convert some of our investments into Roth at a rate that keeps us at or below the 12% tax rate.
I think this is where financial advice can be valuable. Last year I looked into partnering with an advisor and shopped around a bit, focusing on lower % AUM relationships. The emphasis I kept hearing is that one needs to think through tax scenarios for each phase of retirement and optimize strategies. It is at least as important as asset allocation. I talked with good people who emphasized this aspect of financial planning and gave me some valuable free advice. I spent enough time shopping for an advisor, studying these issues and looking at advice from this forum that I ended up feeling like I could do this without paying an AUM fee.