Wow. Just Wow.

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
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muddlehead
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Wow. Just Wow.

Post by muddlehead » Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:15 pm

I don't want to get too specific. I live in a city of 175,000 people. Our county has almost 500,000. Not super podunky. The main city/county newspaper recently published its "Best of County" awards in many categories. Best burger, best garden store ... I'm sure your paper has something very similar. One category was for "Best Financial Planner/Investment Advisor". Would you believe the winner was a firm no Boglehead in his/her right mind would ever recommend except to a bitter enemy. My heart goes out to a customer not knowing where to turn for financial advice when he/she sees that kind of apparent strong endorsement. The winner. Edward Jones.

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Alexa9
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Re: Wow. Just Wow.

Post by Alexa9 » Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:21 pm

If you haven't discovered Vanguard and Index funds by now, you deserve what's coming to you. :mrgreen: not serious

ResearchMed
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Re: Wow. Just Wow.

Post by ResearchMed » Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:21 pm

muddlehead wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:15 pm
I don't want to get too specific. I live in a city of 175,000 people. Our county has almost 500,000. Not super podunky. The main city/county newspaper recently published its "Best of County" awards in many categories. Best burger, best garden store ... I'm sure your paper has something very similar. One category was for "Best Financial Planner/Investment Advisor". Would you believe the winner was a firm no Boglehead in his/her right mind would ever recommend except to a bitter enemy. My heart goes out to a customer not knowing where to turn for financial advice when he/she sees that kind of apparent strong endorsement. The winner. Edward Jones.
There may be pressure from "business connections".

I was horrified a few years ago when a family member, a real estate broker, felt obligated to use EJ for "networking purposes, or [she'd] be ostracized by the other businesses and no one would refer..."

I tried to convince her just to put a small amount of money there, but nooooo... "it's a small town" (even though it really isn't, but it's that networking....).

:annoyed

ETA: I forgot... I was somewhat "official", by way of the Chamber of Commerce, where I guess "Everybody Knows Your Financial Advisor's Name" or something.

RM
Last edited by ResearchMed on Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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barnaclebob
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Re: Wow. Just Wow.

Post by barnaclebob » Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:22 pm

muddlehead wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:15 pm
I don't want to get too specific. I live in a city of 175,000 people. Our county has almost 500,000. Not super podunky. The main city/county newspaper recently published its "Best of County" awards in many categories. Best burger, best garden store ... I'm sure your paper has something very similar. One category was for "Best Financial Planner/Investment Advisor". Would you believe the winner was a firm no Boglehead in his/her right mind would ever recommend except to a bitter enemy. My heart goes out to a customer not knowing where to turn for financial advice when he/she sees that kind of apparent strong endorsement. The winner. Edward Jones.
Well Vanguard sure as heck isn't paying for any best of lists in podunk towns. The burger place paid too btw. Spoiler alert: the best dr. lists in the airplane magazines aren't free to be on either...

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obafgkm
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Re: Wow. Just Wow.

Post by obafgkm » Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:25 pm

muddlehead wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:15 pm
I don't want to get too specific. I live in a city of 175,000 people. Our county has almost 500,000. Not super podunky. The main city/county newspaper recently published its "Best of County" awards in many categories. Best burger, best garden store ... I'm sure your paper has something very similar. One category was for "Best Financial Planner/Investment Advisor". Would you believe the winner was a firm no Boglehead in his/her right mind would ever recommend except to a bitter enemy. My heart goes out to a customer not knowing where to turn for financial advice when he/she sees that kind of apparent strong endorsement. The winner. Edward Jones.
Was it based on readers voting? Or Edward Jones named by the newspaper itself? If so, what were the reasons mentioned? In my area there are honorable mentions. Were any other advisors honorably mentioned?

And frankly, are there any financial planners or investment advisors and Boglehead here would recommend? I almost always see "you can do it better yourself."

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FiveK
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Re: Wow. Just Wow.

Post by FiveK » Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:26 pm

Of course, because a million flies can’t be wrong. In other words, the popular choice is not always the best choice.

muddlehead
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Re: Wow. Just Wow.

Post by muddlehead » Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:35 pm

** Was it based on readers voting? **
Good question.
"Our readers nominate and vote for their favorite businesses, venues ..."

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FraggleRock
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Being specific

Post by FraggleRock » Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:36 pm


Doom&Gloom
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Re: Wow. Just Wow.

Post by Doom&Gloom » Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:36 pm

IME advertising revenues often play a major role in these things.

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CABob
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Re: Wow. Just Wow.

Post by CABob » Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:38 pm

A couple of newspapers in my area do the "best of" thing yearly (in fact I'm wondering if you are in the same area as I). The votes are from the readers but I can see how EJ could "win" such a survey. I live in a very small community and I believe there are at least three EJ offices. They are typically small local offices with a broker who is active in the community. I do participate is these types of surveys occasionally but frankly I don't think it would occur to me to put in a company contact that is 3000 miles away.
Bob

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MP123
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Re: Wow. Just Wow.

Post by MP123 » Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:39 pm

I bet you'll find a nice big fat EJ ad in the paper every day for the next year.

Kind of the way "news" works these days.

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Mlm
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Re: Wow. Just Wow.

Post by Mlm » Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:53 pm

I live in a small city. Today I visited my local Dollar Tree store in a strip mall. I noticed that EJ just opened a new store next to the dollar tree. I left thinking oh that’s where they get their clients from. Not the dollar tree is bad I actually love them
Reality has a way of catching up with you

TravelGeek
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Re: Wow. Just Wow.

Post by TravelGeek » Fri Dec 15, 2017 12:31 am

muddlehead wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:35 pm
** Was it based on readers voting? **
Good question.
"Our readers nominate and vote for their favorite businesses, venues ..."
My guess is that many EJ customers don’t know what they are missing (the money they paid out in fees), and especially after the recent run-up in stocks they are happy with the results. And since EJ probably has a larger customer base than local independent “no-name” advisers, it’s likely the basis for a larger voter base getting them the top spot and award. Resulting in more customers and a repeat next year.

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LittleGreenSoldiers
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Re: Wow. Just Wow.

Post by LittleGreenSoldiers » Fri Dec 15, 2017 12:40 am

muddlehead wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:15 pm
I don't want to get too specific. I live in a city of 175,000 people. Our county has almost 500,000. Not super podunky. The main city/county newspaper recently published its "Best of County" awards in many categories. Best burger, best garden store ... I'm sure your paper has something very similar. One category was for "Best Financial Planner/Investment Advisor". Would you believe the winner was a firm no Boglehead in his/her right mind would ever recommend except to a bitter enemy. My heart goes out to a customer not knowing where to turn for financial advice when he/she sees that kind of apparent strong endorsement. The winner. Edward Jones.
Sad. Just Sad.

Dyloot
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Re: Wow. Just Wow.

Post by Dyloot » Fri Dec 15, 2017 1:21 am

muddlehead wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:15 pm
I don't want to get too specific. I live in a city of 175,000 people. Our county has almost 500,000. Not super podunky. The main city/county newspaper recently published its "Best of County" awards in many categories. Best burger, best garden store ... I'm sure your paper has something very similar. One category was for "Best Financial Planner/Investment Advisor". Would you believe the winner was a firm no Boglehead in his/her right mind would ever recommend except to a bitter enemy. My heart goes out to a customer not knowing where to turn for financial advice when he/she sees that kind of apparent strong endorsement. The winner. Edward Jones.
Santa Rosa? Well, at least we have good beer.

mega317
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Re: Wow. Just Wow.

Post by mega317 » Fri Dec 15, 2017 1:30 am

It sounds like you could do some good for many of those 500,000 people with an op-ed piece. If there were shenanigans behind the vote you could always write it for a competing paper.

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BillyMot
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Re: Wow. Just Wow.

Post by BillyMot » Fri Dec 15, 2017 3:23 am

Money,money...))
Ime advertising revenues often play a major role in these things. :wink:

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just frank
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Re: Wow. Just Wow.

Post by just frank » Fri Dec 15, 2017 5:24 am

We used to read and use those local 'Best of' recs for things. Until every one of them turned out to be awful. Since then we have decides that that is the list of things to avoid.

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climber2020
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Re: Wow. Just Wow.

Post by climber2020 » Fri Dec 15, 2017 6:35 am

It's advertisement. The same thing with all the "Best Doctors awards" in any given city. You pay the company to get put on that list. I know because that's what we did one year before realizing it was a colossal waste of time and money.

grettman
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Re: Wow. Just Wow.

Post by grettman » Fri Dec 15, 2017 6:56 am

Go to ameriprise's website and you will see that the cite numerous "surveys" that show they are the best at everything. The system has to be rigged. No one in their right mind would give ameriprise a thumbs up on anything...

chevca
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Re: Wow. Just Wow.

Post by chevca » Fri Dec 15, 2017 7:06 am

What's so surprising? There's an EJ in just about every strip mall I drive by where I live. Of course they're going to win stuff like that. It's what people see around.

And, cool story, but is there anything actionable about this or did you have any questions. :happy

gvsucavie03
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Re: Wow. Just Wow.

Post by gvsucavie03 » Fri Dec 15, 2017 7:27 am

This was a major sticking point for changing our 403(b)... the PR with the vendors in our small town - EJ and another local that has grown considerably.

We did add Vanguard, but kept the commercial companies. The gravitational pull is very strong with corporate America.

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nisiprius
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Re: Wow. Just Wow.

Post by nisiprius » Fri Dec 15, 2017 7:27 am

I haven't had any encounters with Edward Jones, but a late elderly inlaw of mine lived in a town of 3,000. Their insurance agent was a really nice guy. When her husband died, he came to her house and helped her sort through papers and find the insurance policies and figure out which were in force. He came to her fiftieth wedding anniversary party and her ninetieth birthday. He worked for New York Life which I think is an OK company. She was not wealthy at all. I don't believe he was a social friend in any sense (AFAIK didn't go to her church or anything like that), but he had certainly won her trust.

At one point he sold her a so-called "CD-type annuity." Eh, it worked out OK.

Anyway, my point is that people like him do sort of work that way. They kind of insinuate themselves into the social fabric of the town. I would say that this particular insurance agent did not seem predatory to me, although I'm sure that he would have been glad to sell her crappy variable annuities and so forth, but at least he worked hard to earn his retail markup.
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Shallowpockets
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Re: Wow. Just Wow.

Post by Shallowpockets » Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:09 am

Well a ranking like that may give pause to the "best burger" too.

Mr.BB
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Re: Wow. Just Wow.

Post by Mr.BB » Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:24 am

Years ago I used to belong to a small networking group and the problem was if you didn't believe in a person's company or product (they might be a nice person) but let's say they were a representative of Edward Jones or Ameriprise you might feel pressured to recommending people for them because you were in their group; especially if they had recommended people to you.
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Steelersfan
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Re: Wow. Just Wow.

Post by Steelersfan » Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:30 am

muddlehead wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:35 pm
** Was it based on readers voting? **
Good question.
"Our readers nominate and vote for their favorite businesses, venues ..."
In my area two hospital chains dominate and doctors typically align with one or the other. They are of comparable quality but one is somewhat larger and much more aggressive in their business practices. The larger one has their doctors always end up with 90% of the "Best of" entries in all categories. I doubt if money changes hands but I'm positive one of the them stuffs the ballots box to get the results they want.

likegarden
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Re: Wow. Just Wow.

Post by likegarden » Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:34 am

We had an EJ next to a Starbucks in a strip mall, but then Starbucks moved out, and I do not see EJ at their new location.

Da5id
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Re: Wow. Just Wow.

Post by Da5id » Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:41 am

muddlehead wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:15 pm
The winner. Edward Jones.
Well, maybe not lots of competition (locally)? For people who need/want to see someone in person to literally have their hand held (while their pocket is picked), I guess having a local brick and mortar wins. Wonder what the criteria was and what the (local) alternatives were?

alfaspider
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Re: Wow. Just Wow.

Post by alfaspider » Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:44 am

chevca wrote:
Fri Dec 15, 2017 7:06 am
What's so surprising? There's an EJ in just about every strip mall I drive by where I live. Of course they're going to win stuff like that. It's what people see around.

And, cool story, but is there anything actionable about this or did you have any questions. :happy
Curious as to the size of your town. I've never seen an EJ storefront in my city of 4+ million, but visiting relatives in a smaller city (~100k people) I saw a half dozen. Do they just concentrate on smaller communities or is it more regional?

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prudent
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Re: Wow. Just Wow.

Post by prudent » Fri Dec 15, 2017 9:05 am

This thread has run its course and is locked (not personal nor actionable). General comment threads are off topic in the forums with "Personal" in the title. See: A reminder that non-investing general comment threads are OT
- It must be personal. In other words, you must be asking about your own situation. You can also ask on behalf of someone specific, such as a family member.

- It must be actionable. You must be able to do something specific with the replies that will make a difference in your situation.

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