Edward Jones a Review and Analysis: Can Edward Jones be Used for a Boglehead Three Fund Portfolio?

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Benjamin Buffett
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Edward Jones a Review and Analysis: Can Edward Jones be Used for a Boglehead Three Fund Portfolio?

Post by Benjamin Buffett » Sun Dec 02, 2018 5:27 pm

Edward Jones Fee Comparisons of Account Options

Tax deferred accounts at Edward Jones:

The IRA and money management accounts charge a yearly fee, and charge high commissions, these are only an option really for a non-boglehead investor with a large balance of roll over money that they wish to be actively managed. Honestly as a Boglehad I would stay far away from this type of account unless I had a very large balance and wanted to strategically rebalance every month or more. If I am paying them for churning and managing my accounts I would use it to the fullest extent possible.......but annual rebalancing is more than good enough for me.

Rebalancing monthly or weekly is great for accounts that are tax deferred and that are flat percentage fee. Most bogleheads including myself would probably never want such an exhausting process....... So IRA and wealth management accounts at Edward Jones are out for most boglehads.........for tax deferred IRAs I would take my roll over to Fidelity or Charles Schwab.

Individual Brokerage Accounts, Commission Based:

Individual Brokerage Account Fees: Very low mutual fund purchase costs, but beware you will be strongly encouraged to move to American Funds or Franklin Templeton to compensate your advisor. There is no annual fee, but there are loads and 121-b fees on the funds they offer. ETFs are hard to purchase and you will likely only want to use Edward Jones as a boglehead if you like index mutual funds instead of ETFs. The commission cost on stock trades is around $2 a trade and there is no minimum balance. If you watch your portfolio and read the fine print on the mutual funds that are offered you, you can construct a three fund portfolio using mutual funds. I personally use DCA and rebalance using contributions to dodge most commission costs.

Edward Jones can provide some funds cheaper than their competitors, especially TD Ameritrade, but I recommend reading the fine print. So long as you the investor holds the reigns and makes sure that your portfolio steers clear of fees and loads you can make a boglehad three fund at Edward Jones. My current cost at TD Ameritrade is about equal to what I pay at Edward Jones, but this is only because I carefully scrutinize the fee schedules.

I would use the day trading individual commission based brokerage accounts at Edward Jones as a permanent buy and hold account and carefully select and research two or three funds. I usually toss a little into FT funds so that my FA gets at least a little commission, but keep most my money to the funds I select personally. A good FA can add value for an investor, and point out some useful things, and an Edward Jones investor will provide advice over holdings in all accounts, even ones not associated with Edward Jones. Price is what you pay, value is what you get: by choosing what products you purchase as Edward Jones, when, and how, you control what you pay to a large extent.

Edward Jones Conflicts of Interest and Hidden Fees

All commission based brokers have a conflict of interest, any broker, buyer beware. Most of the fees come from purchasing products with loads and expense ratios. BONDS have a hidden fee built into them sometimes as well, so I would only buy Munis bonds sparingly, and mostly stick to mutual index funds for total us bond market rather than directly buying bonds from Edward Jones. Honestly I rarely directly buy bonds at all anymore, index funds do the job so well with better diversification.

Building the Boglehead Portfolio at Edward Jones Cheaply Summary
* Commission Based individual brokerage accounts are where the value seeker should go, steer clear of the IRA and managed solutions unless you want to churn and balance and trade often(a boglehead could tolerate this if they thought rebalancing weekly or monthly for a flat fee would give them an advantage(, or desire active trading(not boglehead)
* If you want ETFs hold those at a place like TD Ameritrade or Fidelity, you *can* hold them at Edward Jones but its a painful process
* I personally favor Index mutual funds to ETFs because an ETF can go down in price even if what it invests in goes up if people start selling shares of the ETF, and holding index mutual funds is easy at Edward Jones, in fact its cheaper than what I pay to invest in the at TD Ameritrade
* Consider any money you put into American Funds or Franklin Templeton funds a tip for your financial advisor, if you like them toss a reasonable amount their way, but make no mistake, even if the expense ratio is low the preload will chew into your profits. FT's FR almost behaves like an index mutual fund, except the preload of 5.25%.
* Do not keep you entire portfolio at Edward Jones, if you want both a three fund in ETFs and a three fund in Index mutual funds, using Edward Jones for index mutual funds wont cost you, but if you want ETFs, I would consider fidelity. Honestly I don't like keeping my entire portfolio with any one broker, I have three go to funds I use to construct my portfolios, and three goto ETFs, at my brokers. If one broker changes policy in such a way that moving money out of it becomes expensive, my entire portfolio isn't "trapped". and switching brokers when you already have money and accounts at another makes the process easier and faster. I suppose I would call this broker diversification.

My Own Fund Selections
* At TD Ameritrade I purchase SPDRs for my three fund portfolio.
* At Edward Jones I use FT products in a very limited way, and mostly put money into my branch's discount index mutual funds. Not all branches may offer the same economical index mutual funds, read the fine print, and when those change switch over to the cheap mutual funds. At Edward Jones I keep money in a Total US Stock Index Passive Mutual fund and a Total Bond Market mutual fund. The entire portfolio is four funds. I put only 50 a month or so into Edward Jones my bulk deposited are into my Merril Lynch 401k and TD Ameritrade SPDRs.

I like the in person advice I get from Edward Jones, but I also contain my costs aggressively. I don't mind paying my financial advisor what a FA is worth, but you have to be smart about fees. Its one reason I only buy ETFs at Ameritrade and wont buy mutual funds from them at their $50 purchase charge.

Overall rating of Edward Jones and competing brokers from a boglehead's perspective:
Edward Jones: 7/10 stars but only for their individual commission based brokerage account for Index Mutual Fund Purchase with the added value of a FA...................Edward Jones as a whole pie would get 4/10 stars.
I give Fidelity 8/10 stars
Vanguard 8/10 stars (high minimum balance makes them a poor option for those with little starting capital, once they have enough transferring to Vanguard could be very good)


A wise investor who reads the fine print and contains costs can do well with Edward Jones, and with no minimum deposit. If you have enough for Vanguard it is a much simpler and easier choice, as would Fidelity. If you want financial advice for full service you can get good value for a low price if you pay attention to costs and fees. As always buyer beware.

If I were talking to a beginner investor wanting to start a boglehead three fund portfolio I would point them towards Fidelity or TDA for their ETFs. An experienced investor wanting the additional services of a FA could do well with Edward Jones if they were diligent in researching the fee structure.

Of course great investment advice can be found here for free, so if you don't need someone in person to work with your tax preparer or accountant or lawyer I would recommend to a friend Fidelity for its $0 starting balance and bogleheads.org for the advice. This combination should be competitive against most broker and full service brokers.
Last edited by Benjamin Buffett on Wed Dec 05, 2018 6:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Beat The Street
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Re: Edward Jones a Review and Analysis: Can Edward Jones be Used for a Boglehead Three Fund Portfolio?

Post by Beat The Street » Sun Dec 02, 2018 6:03 pm

You toss money into FT so your FA can get a commission?
You don’t mind paying an FA what they’re worth but you have opted for Edward Jones over a fee only planner?
“Never ask anyone for their opinion, forecast, or recommendation. Just ask them what they have—or don’t have—in their portfolio.” -Taleb

Nate79
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Re: Edward Jones a Review and Analysis: Can Edward Jones be Used for a Boglehead Three Fund Portfolio?

Post by Nate79 » Sun Dec 02, 2018 6:56 pm

Edward Jones is one of the worst FA firms. There is zero reason for someone to use them. There are much better choices for any investor. Any advice otherwise is a bunch of hogwash.

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Random Musings
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Re: Edward Jones a Review and Analysis: Can Edward Jones be Used for a Boglehead Three Fund Portfolio?

Post by Random Musings » Sun Dec 02, 2018 8:00 pm

I just can not see any rational reason to utilize Edward Jones as a steward of my money with better options available in the marketplace.

RM
I figure the odds be fifty-fifty I just might have something to say. FZ

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dogagility
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Re: Edward Jones a Review and Analysis: Can Edward Jones be Used for a Boglehead Three Fund Portfolio?

Post by dogagility » Sun Dec 02, 2018 8:29 pm

Yes, no rationale reason to use EJ under any circumstances. If one needs a FA, better advice is available at a much lower cost through Vanguard or a fee-only advisor.

Suggesting any investor use EJ is throwing this person to the financial wolves and irresponsible.
Taking "risk" since 1995.

sambb
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Re: Edward Jones a Review and Analysis: Can Edward Jones be Used for a Boglehead Three Fund Portfolio?

Post by sambb » Sun Dec 02, 2018 8:38 pm

edward jones is designed to take your money, not make you money, nice try though

jacoavlu
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Re: Edward Jones a Review and Analysis: Can Edward Jones be Used for a Boglehead Three Fund Portfolio?

Post by jacoavlu » Sun Dec 02, 2018 11:08 pm

Benjamin Buffett wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 5:27 pm
The commission cost on stock trades is around $2 a trade and there is no minimum balance.
Are you sure about that?

https://www.edwardjones.com/images/ETY-1714E-A-MA.pdf

This document suggests the fee for a small trade is 2.5%

For trades $100,000 and up the fee is 0.5% + $705.

A trade of one share BRK-A would cost about $2,335.

Now I cannot make a claim as to the veracity of that fee schedule. I found it via google and could not find a link to it navigating around Edward Jones’ website.

Edit: I was able to find it through EJ’s site here: https://www.edwardjones.com/planfees/fe ... -fees.html

The minimum commission on a stock or ETF trade is $50 per this document.

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Watty
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Re: Edward Jones a Review and Analysis: Can Edward Jones be Used for a Boglehead Three Fund Portfolio?

Post by Watty » Sun Dec 02, 2018 11:44 pm

That is sort of like asking if you can get a healthy organic meal at McDonalds.

If you dig through the details if might look like there is something in the fineprint that might sort of kinda make that possible but you would be looking at the wrong place for that.
Last edited by Watty on Mon Dec 03, 2018 1:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Edward Jones a Review and Analysis: Can Edward Jones be Used for a Boglehead Three Fund Portfolio?

Post by PrettyCoolWorkshop » Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:09 am

I imagine this thread is meant to stir the pot a bit... which I approve of. Considering alternatives to the consensus is a good exercise in creativity and planning.


One factor you haven't considered is that if you pass away or become incapacitated, your heirs/ guardians will have to manage your portfolio while in a "den of lions."
Be greedy and fearful. All the time.

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Re: Edward Jones a Review and Analysis: Can Edward Jones be Used for a Boglehead Three Fund Portfolio?

Post by Dottie57 » Mon Dec 03, 2018 11:58 am

Note: OP joined this forum in late November.

I’m going to ignore since the forum has seen what Edward Jones accounts look like. EJ seems to prey on ndividuals with little knowledge. This is a no go.

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Re: Edward Jones a Review and Analysis: Can Edward Jones be Used for a Boglehead Three Fund Portfolio?

Post by nedsaid » Mon Dec 03, 2018 12:15 pm

Pretty much, if you go to a Chinese restaurant, you don't order Italian food. This is what the original poster is trying to do. Edward Jones is not a discount broker and is not a good place to implement a Boglehead strategy. They are a full service firm and you will have an advisory relationship. You won't get $4.95 trades here.
A fool and his money are good for business.

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Re: Edward Jones a Review and Analysis: Can Edward Jones be Used for a Boglehead Three Fund Portfolio?

Post by bloom2708 » Mon Dec 03, 2018 12:37 pm

The original poster is in the "discovery" phase. That has to run it's course.

As you un-peel the fees, you will move to "disgust/shock/unable to sleep" phase.

Then you will move to an "action" phase. Action phase may take several weeks or a month to implement.

Fees kill. You can do a myriad of index fund/3-4 fund style portfolios with or without tilts at Vanguard/Fidelity/Schwab for pennies on the dollar compared to EJ. Run kicking and screaming once you progress through the phases.

It doesn't have to be expensive or complicated. Good luck!
"We are not here to please, but to provoke thoughtfulness." --Unknown Boglehead

baritone
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Re: Edward Jones a Review and Analysis: Can Edward Jones be Used for a Boglehead Three Fund Portfolio?

Post by baritone » Mon Dec 03, 2018 12:49 pm

Benjamin Buffett wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 5:27 pm
Edward Jones Fee Comparisons of Account Options

Tax deferred accounts at Edward Jones:

The IRA and money management accounts charge a yearly fee, and charge high commissions, these are only an option really for a non-boglehead investor with a large balance of roll over money that they wish to be actively managed. Honestly as a Boglehad I would stay far away from this type of account unless I had a very large balance and wanted to strategically rebalance every month or more. If I am paying them for churning and managing my accounts I would use it to the fullest extent possible.......but annual rebalancing is more than good enough for me.

Rebalancing monthly or weekly is great for accounts that are tax deferred and that are flat percentage fee. Most bogleheads including myself would probably never want such an exhausting process....... So IRA and wealth management accounts at Edward Jones are out for most boglehads.........for tax deferred IRAs I would take my roll over to Fidelity or Charles Schwab.

Individual Brokerage Accounts, Commission Based:

Individual Brokerage Account Fees: Very low mutual fund purchase costs, but beware you will be strongly encouraged to move to American Funds or Franklin Templeton to compensate your advisor. There is no annual fee, but there are loads and 121-b fees on the funds they offer. ETFs are hard to purchase and you will likely only want to use Edward Jones as a boglehead if you like index mutual funds instead of ETFs. The commission cost on stock trades is around $2 a trade and there is no minimum balance. If you watch your portfolio and read the fine print on the mutual funds that are offered you, you can construct a three fund portfolio using mutual funds. I personally use DCA and rebalance using contributions to dodge most commission costs.

Edward Jones can provide some funds cheaper than their competitors, especially TD Ameritrade, but I recommend reading the fine print. So long as you the investor holds the reigns and makes sure that your portfolio steers clear of fees and loads you can make a boglehad three fund at Edward Jones. My current cost at TD Ameritrade is about equal to what I pay at Edward Jones, but this is only because I carefully scrutinize the fee schedules.

I would use the day trading individual commission based brokerage accounts at Edward Jones as a permanent buy and hold account and carefully select and research two or three funds. I usually toss a little into FT funds so that my FA gets at least a little commission, but keep most my money to the funds I select personally. A good FA can add value for an investor, and point out some useful things, and an Edward Jones investor will provide advice over holdings in all accounts, even ones not associated with Edward Jones. Price is what you pay, value is what you get: by choosing what products you purchase as Edward Jones, when, and how, you control what you pay to a large extent.

Edward Jones Conflicts of Interest and Hidden Fees

All commission based brokers have a conflict of interest, any broker, buyer beware. Most of the fees come from purchasing products with loads and expense ratios. BONDS have a hidden fee built into them sometimes as well, so I would only buy Munis bonds sparingly, and mostly stick to mutual index funds for total us bond market rather than directly buying bonds from Edward Jones. Honestly I rarely directly buy bonds at all anymore, index funds do the job so well with better diversification.

Building the Boglehead Portfolio at Edward Jones Cheaply Summary
* Commission Based individual brokerage accounts are where the value seeker should go, steer clear of the IRA and managed solutions unless you want to churn and balance and trade often(a boglehead could tolerate this if they thought rebalancing weekly or monthly for a flat fee would give them an advantage(, or desire active trading(not boglehead)
* If you want ETFs hold those at a place like TD Ameritrade or Fidelity, you *can* hold them at Edward Jones but its a painful process
* I personally favor Index mutual funds to ETFs because an ETF can go down in price even if what it invests in goes up if people start selling shares of the ETF, and holding index mutual funds is easy at Edward Jones, in fact its cheaper than what I pay to invest in the at TD Ameritrade
* Consider any money you put into American Funds or Franklin Templeton funds a tip for your financial advisor, if you like them toss a reasonable amount their way, but make no mistake, even if the expense ratio is low the preload will chew into your profits. Franklin Rising Dividends A almost behaves like an index mutual fund, except the preload of 5.25%.
* Do not keep you entire portfolio at Edward Jones, if you want both a three fund in ETFs and a three fund in Index mutual funds, using Edward Jones for index mutual funds wont cost you, but if you want ETFs, I would consider fidelity. Honestly I don't like keeping my entire portfolio with any one broker, I have three go to funds I use to construct my portfolios, and three goto ETFs, at my brokers. If one broker changes policy in such a way that moving money out of it becomes expensive, my entire portfolio isn't "trapped". and switching brokers when you already have money and accounts at another makes the process easier and faster. I suppose I would call this broker diversification.

My Own Fund Selections
* At TD Ameritrade I purchase SPDRs for my three fund portfolio.
* At Edward Jones I use FT products in a very limited way, and mostly put money into my branch's discount index mutual funds. Not all branches may offer the same economical index mutual funds, read the fine print, and when those change switch over to the cheap mutual funds. At Edward Jones I keep money in a Total US Stock Index Passive Mutual fund and a Total Bond Market mutual fund. The entire portfolio is four funds. I put only 50 a month or so into Edward Jones my bulk deposited are into my Merril Lynch 401k and TD Ameritrade SPDRs.

I like the in person advice I get from Edward Jones, but I also contain my costs aggressively. I don't mind paying my financial advisor what a FA is worth, but you have to be smart about fees. Its one reason I only buy ETFs at Ameritrade and wont buy mutual funds from them at their $50 purchase charge.

Overall rating of Edward Jones and competing brokers from a boglehead's perspective:
Edward Jones: 7/10 stars but only for their individual commission based brokerage account for Index Mutual Fund Purchase with the added value of a FA...................Edward Jones as a whole pie would get 4/10 stars.
I give Fidelity 8/10 stars
Vanguard 8/10 stars (high minimum balance makes them a poor option for those with little starting capital, once they have enough transferring to Vanguard could be very good)


A wise investor who reads the fine print and contains costs can do well with Edward Jones, and with no minimum deposit. If you have enough for Vanguard it is a much simpler and easier choice, as would Fidelity. If you want financial advice for full service you can get good value for a low price if you pay attention to costs and fees. As always buyer beware.

If I were talking to a beginner investor wanting to start a boglehead three fund portfolio I would point them towards Fidelity or TDA for their ETFs. An experienced investor wanting the additional services of a FA could do well with Edward Jones if they were diligent in researching the fee structure.

Of course great investment advice can be found here for free, so if you don't need someone in person to work with your tax preparer or accountant or lawyer I would recommend to a friend Fidelity for its $0 starting balance and bogleheads.org for the advice. This combination should be competitive against most broker and full service brokers.
Edward Jones is like the shady auto repair business that tells you that you need a new $400 turn-pivot on your stratified winkle valve when you really just need a $5 filter.

wolf359
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Re: Edward Jones a Review and Analysis: Can Edward Jones be Used for a Boglehead Three Fund Portfolio?

Post by wolf359 » Mon Dec 03, 2018 1:14 pm

Benjamin Buffett wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 5:27 pm
Edward Jones Fee Comparisons of Account Options

Tax deferred accounts at Edward Jones:

The IRA and money management accounts charge a yearly fee, and charge high commissions, these are only an option really for a non-boglehead investor with a large balance of roll over money that they wish to be actively managed. Honestly as a Boglehad I would stay far away from this type of account unless I had a very large balance and wanted to strategically rebalance every month or more. If I am paying them for churning and managing my accounts I would use it to the fullest extent possible.......but annual rebalancing is more than good enough for me.

Rebalancing monthly or weekly is great for accounts that are tax deferred and that are flat percentage fee. Most bogleheads including myself would probably never want such an exhausting process....... So IRA and wealth management accounts at Edward Jones are out for most boglehads.........for tax deferred IRAs I would take my roll over to Fidelity or Charles Schwab.

Individual Brokerage Accounts, Commission Based:

Individual Brokerage Account Fees: Very low mutual fund purchase costs, but beware you will be strongly encouraged to move to American Funds or Franklin Templeton to compensate your advisor. There is no annual fee, but there are loads and 121-b fees on the funds they offer. ETFs are hard to purchase and you will likely only want to use Edward Jones as a boglehead if you like index mutual funds instead of ETFs. The commission cost on stock trades is around $2 a trade and there is no minimum balance. If you watch your portfolio and read the fine print on the mutual funds that are offered you, you can construct a three fund portfolio using mutual funds. I personally use DCA and rebalance using contributions to dodge most commission costs.

Edward Jones can provide some funds cheaper than their competitors, especially TD Ameritrade, but I recommend reading the fine print. So long as you the investor holds the reigns and makes sure that your portfolio steers clear of fees and loads you can make a boglehad three fund at Edward Jones. My current cost at TD Ameritrade is about equal to what I pay at Edward Jones, but this is only because I carefully scrutinize the fee schedules.

I would use the day trading individual commission based brokerage accounts at Edward Jones as a permanent buy and hold account and carefully select and research two or three funds. I usually toss a little into FT funds so that my FA gets at least a little commission, but keep most my money to the funds I select personally. A good FA can add value for an investor, and point out some useful things, and an Edward Jones investor will provide advice over holdings in all accounts, even ones not associated with Edward Jones. Price is what you pay, value is what you get: by choosing what products you purchase as Edward Jones, when, and how, you control what you pay to a large extent.

Edward Jones Conflicts of Interest and Hidden Fees

All commission based brokers have a conflict of interest, any broker, buyer beware. Most of the fees come from purchasing products with loads and expense ratios. BONDS have a hidden fee built into them sometimes as well, so I would only buy Munis bonds sparingly, and mostly stick to mutual index funds for total us bond market rather than directly buying bonds from Edward Jones. Honestly I rarely directly buy bonds at all anymore, index funds do the job so well with better diversification.

Building the Boglehead Portfolio at Edward Jones Cheaply Summary
* Commission Based individual brokerage accounts are where the value seeker should go, steer clear of the IRA and managed solutions unless you want to churn and balance and trade often(a boglehead could tolerate this if they thought rebalancing weekly or monthly for a flat fee would give them an advantage(, or desire active trading(not boglehead)
* If you want ETFs hold those at a place like TD Ameritrade or Fidelity, you *can* hold them at Edward Jones but its a painful process
* I personally favor Index mutual funds to ETFs because an ETF can go down in price even if what it invests in goes up if people start selling shares of the ETF, and holding index mutual funds is easy at Edward Jones, in fact its cheaper than what I pay to invest in the at TD Ameritrade
* Consider any money you put into American Funds or Franklin Templeton funds a tip for your financial advisor, if you like them toss a reasonable amount their way, but make no mistake, even if the expense ratio is low the preload will chew into your profits. Franklin Rising Dividends A almost behaves like an index mutual fund, except the preload of 5.25%.
* Do not keep you entire portfolio at Edward Jones, if you want both a three fund in ETFs and a three fund in Index mutual funds, using Edward Jones for index mutual funds wont cost you, but if you want ETFs, I would consider fidelity. Honestly I don't like keeping my entire portfolio with any one broker, I have three go to funds I use to construct my portfolios, and three goto ETFs, at my brokers. If one broker changes policy in such a way that moving money out of it becomes expensive, my entire portfolio isn't "trapped". and switching brokers when you already have money and accounts at another makes the process easier and faster. I suppose I would call this broker diversification.

My Own Fund Selections
* At TD Ameritrade I purchase SPDRs for my three fund portfolio.
* At Edward Jones I use FT products in a very limited way, and mostly put money into my branch's discount index mutual funds. Not all branches may offer the same economical index mutual funds, read the fine print, and when those change switch over to the cheap mutual funds. At Edward Jones I keep money in a Total US Stock Index Passive Mutual fund and a Total Bond Market mutual fund. The entire portfolio is four funds. I put only 50 a month or so into Edward Jones my bulk deposited are into my Merril Lynch 401k and TD Ameritrade SPDRs.

I like the in person advice I get from Edward Jones, but I also contain my costs aggressively. I don't mind paying my financial advisor what a FA is worth, but you have to be smart about fees. Its one reason I only buy ETFs at Ameritrade and wont buy mutual funds from them at their $50 purchase charge.

Overall rating of Edward Jones and competing brokers from a boglehead's perspective:
Edward Jones: 7/10 stars but only for their individual commission based brokerage account for Index Mutual Fund Purchase with the added value of a FA...................Edward Jones as a whole pie would get 4/10 stars.
I give Fidelity 8/10 stars
Vanguard 8/10 stars (high minimum balance makes them a poor option for those with little starting capital, once they have enough transferring to Vanguard could be very good)


A wise investor who reads the fine print and contains costs can do well with Edward Jones, and with no minimum deposit. If you have enough for Vanguard it is a much simpler and easier choice, as would Fidelity. If you want financial advice for full service you can get good value for a low price if you pay attention to costs and fees. As always buyer beware.

If I were talking to a beginner investor wanting to start a boglehead three fund portfolio I would point them towards Fidelity or TDA for their ETFs. An experienced investor wanting the additional services of a FA could do well with Edward Jones if they were diligent in researching the fee structure.

Of course great investment advice can be found here for free, so if you don't need someone in person to work with your tax preparer or accountant or lawyer I would recommend to a friend Fidelity for its $0 starting balance and bogleheads.org for the advice. This combination should be competitive against most broker and full service brokers.
Have you read "The Edward Jones Saga"? http://kronstantinople.blogspot.com/p/e ... -saga.html

Your pros and cons contradict each other.

You state that you can do well at EJ if you have little starting capital, because of the no minimum deposit. However, you would steer a beginner away from EJ because of the need to read the fine print, manage your advisor, and choose your funds/fees carefully. Beginners are typically the ones with little money; experienced investors have more than the minimum. If you're experienced, you can watch out for bad EJ advice. In that case, what are you paying an advisor for? EJ is NOT a fiduciary, and is not obligated to provide advice that puts the clients interests first. Such an FA is not worth much, are they? Then why stay with EJ in the first place?

If you're serious about investing, Vanguard's $1,000 minimum (for the STAR fund) shouldn't be a barrier to entry. Their commission-free ETFs and investing into Vanguard funds shouldn't bar entry either.

As you mentioned, Fidelity has a $0 minimum for fund investing as well. I don't see any case for Edward Jones, beginner or expert. The value proposition of paying a reasonable price for biased advice is beyond me.
Last edited by wolf359 on Mon Dec 03, 2018 3:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Benjamin Buffett
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Re: Edward Jones a Review and Analysis: Can Edward Jones be Used for a Boglehead Three Fund Portfolio?

Post by Benjamin Buffett » Mon Dec 03, 2018 2:50 pm

To be honest the review and pros and cons for the whole pie of EJ would be dismal, but for the very tiny selection I mentioned it is "passing". The biggest advantage is found, for me, in largely disregarding the stock picking advice and using the FA to work with my tax preparers and lawyers. I have a very complicated financial situation I have been trying to simplify........real estate holdings in probate, high tax brackets with deprectiation, tax discrepancies from inherited land without proper will planning. I should clarify that the only reason an in person paid FA is worth the money is for when the stuff gets deep, and when a financial situation that should be simple isn't.

I wanted to try to point out the way EJ could be adapted to use a boglehead portfolio, but I suppose if I had to narrow my recommendation down to ease simplicity and lowest risk of being taken advantage of I would narrow it down to Fidelity for the services and boglehads.org for the advice. However if you have an exceedingly complicated situation falling into your lap you run into the need for an in person advisor, and you can squeeze a lot of value out of a commission based advisor by picking and choosing the advice they give.......But I suspect unless you are a really tenacious person that reads every fee schedule and second guesses every piece of advice, a fee based FA may be much better.

The purpose of this post was indeed to spark some conversation, and also point out that Edward Jones "can" be used to institute a boglehead portfolio. But just because we can build a quality house on a foundation of sand, does this mean we should? Of course the fact that it can even be built at EJ is something interesting.

Benjamin Buffett
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Re: Edward Jones a Review and Analysis: Can Edward Jones be Used for a Boglehead Three Fund Portfolio?

Post by Benjamin Buffett » Mon Dec 03, 2018 3:01 pm

I imagine this thread is meant to stir the pot a bit... which I approve of. Considering alternatives to the consensus is a good exercise in creativity and planning.


One factor you haven't considered is that if you pass away or become incapacitated, your heirs/ guardians will have to manage your portfolio while in a "den of lions."
One of the biggest concern for me is that my heirs will make terrible decisions with money, its one reason I would choose Vanguard at that stage, just leave the funds in and rebalance as simply as possible, no decisions or risk required.

I like Fidelity, but I would rather pass money on in something like Vanguard, it doesn't seem to have a high risk of changing its policy, unlike for example TDA and its ETF rule changes.

It will be a cheap experiment anyway, maybe it will work out, maybe I will stuff my money back into Fidelity and Merril Lynch.
Last edited by Benjamin Buffett on Wed Dec 05, 2018 6:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Edward Jones a Review and Analysis: Can Edward Jones be Used for a Boglehead Three Fund Portfolio?

Post by Nate79 » Mon Dec 03, 2018 3:06 pm

Sounds like you found a FA at EJ that is just about the complete opposite of every single other EJ advisor out there and is completely against everything EJ stands for. So you found a unicorn. I disagree completely that even someone with a complicated financial life should EVER use EJ as a FA. It would be much lower risk to find a fee only FA that is also a fiduciary and doesn't work for a slime ball salestactic company like EJ.

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Re: Edward Jones a Review and Analysis: Can Edward Jones be Used for a Boglehead Three Fund Portfolio?

Post by RickBoglehead » Mon Dec 03, 2018 3:08 pm

To me, the entire idea, i.e. trying to manage a 3 fund portfolio at an investment firm whose focus is to get you into higher cost funds that they make more money on, is illogical. One could find a truly professional FA if one had a complex financial and tax situation. Flat fee, focused on working with your tax and legal professionals for your best interests. It surely wouldn't be EJ in my book.

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Re: Edward Jones a Review and Analysis: Can Edward Jones be Used for a Boglehead Three Fund Portfolio?

Post by DaftInvestor » Mon Dec 03, 2018 3:24 pm

Benjamin Buffett wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 2:50 pm
To be honest the review and pros and cons for the whole pie of EJ would be dismal, but for the very tiny selection I mentioned it is "passing". The biggest advantage is found, for me, in largely disregarding the stock picking advice and using the FA to work with my tax preparers and lawyers. I have a very complicated financial situation I have been trying to simplify........real estate holdings in probate, high tax brackets with deprectiation, tax discrepancies from inherited land without proper will planning. I should clarify that the only reason an in person paid FA is worth the money is for when the stuff gets deep, and when a financial situation that should be simple isn't.

....
Maybe you should have stated all this in your original post - I read it and scratched my head in wonder why you were talking about using EJ.

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Re: Edward Jones a Review and Analysis: Can Edward Jones be Used for a Boglehead Three Fund Portfolio?

Post by DippityDoo » Mon Dec 03, 2018 3:25 pm

Benjamin Buffett wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 3:01 pm
maybe squeeze some value out of its FA, not sure how much I can get there
Expect no more value than you can get from any other sales rep whose livelihood depends on commissions. Your EJ sales rep has quotas to meet from the home office.

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Re: Edward Jones a Review and Analysis: Can Edward Jones be Used for a Boglehead Three Fund Portfolio?

Post by NotWhoYouThink » Mon Dec 03, 2018 3:31 pm

Are you sure your Edward Jones FA is the person you want to be working with your tax attorney and CPA? Most of them are trained in sales, specifically sales of whatever EJ wants them to sell, not skilled at understanding complicated financial situations.

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Re: Edward Jones a Review and Analysis: Can Edward Jones be Used for a Boglehead Three Fund Portfolio?

Post by greg24 » Mon Dec 03, 2018 3:35 pm

Someone with an exceedingly complicated financial situation is the last person who should use EJ.

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Re: Edward Jones a Review and Analysis: Can Edward Jones be Used for a Boglehead Three Fund Portfolio?

Post by harvestbook » Mon Dec 03, 2018 3:36 pm

After getting bad "advice" from Edward Jones that would be legally actionable as fraud if there was such a thing as a fiduciary standard: no.
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Re: Edward Jones a Review and Analysis: Can Edward Jones be Used for a Boglehead Three Fund Portfolio?

Post by Benjamin Buffett » Mon Dec 03, 2018 4:18 pm

NotWhoYouThink wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 3:31 pm
Are you sure your Edward Jones FA is the person you want to be working with your tax attorney and CPA? Most of them are trained in sales, specifically sales of whatever EJ wants them to sell, not skilled at understanding complicated financial situations.
I figured I would try it, but I check everything manually with research, I may find that his advice is terrible in those areas, or that he is reticent to say anything significant, if so I will probably just hire a CFP and include the results of the experience in the conclusion to my review. I am a firm believer in analysis and examination, It could go badly, but I have the ability to manually research every move before a single thing happens, and if I wind up carrying every decision myself because his advice is so out of touch, or simply avoids saying anything substantive, then that will factor into my conclusion.

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Re: Edward Jones a Review and Analysis: Can Edward Jones be Used for a Boglehead Three Fund Portfolio?

Post by dogagility » Mon Dec 03, 2018 8:05 pm

Benjamin Buffett wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 4:18 pm
NotWhoYouThink wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 3:31 pm
Are you sure your Edward Jones FA is the person you want to be working with your tax attorney and CPA? Most of them are trained in sales, specifically sales of whatever EJ wants them to sell, not skilled at understanding complicated financial situations.
I figured I would try it, but I check everything manually with research, I may find that his advice is terrible in those areas, or that he is reticent to say anything significant, if so I will probably just hire a CFP and include the results of the experience in the conclusion to my review. I am a firm believer in analysis and examination, It could go badly, but I have the ability to manually research every move before a single thing happens, and if I wind up carrying every decision myself because his advice is so out of touch, or simply avoids saying anything substantive, then that will factor into my conclusion.
If you are able to identify bad advice, then why ask for the advice in the first place. Just implement the strategy on your own.

You seem to be doing all of the work but paying someone else to duplicate the work.
Taking "risk" since 1995.

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Re: Edward Jones a Review and Analysis: Can Edward Jones be Used for a Boglehead Three Fund Portfolio?

Post by Strayshot » Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:57 am

So OP’s point is that if you micromanage the Edward Jones relationship, select specific products, and make sure you don’t get intentionally screwed by the assigned Salesman that you might be able to achieve a level of investment service and fees that approach the floor of that offered by other reasonable companies like Vanguard and Fidelity? And that the benefit is you get free advice from the Salesman so it is worth paying those fees?

Why go to all that trouble? That feels like financial masochism!

I’ll take my Fidelity relationship in a heartbeat, where I pay no fees, have broad access to low cost index funds, straightforward access to my accounts, and can call up and talk with a CFP with questions for free if there is something I feel I need a second opinion on.

If the choice was between Edward Jones and nothing (I.e. between investing and not investing) I see the potential value in using Edward Jones. Beyond that I can think of no situation where Edward Jones would or should be chosen over Fidelity, Vanguard, or Schwab except those in which an uninformed person got scammed by a slick-talking salesman (as happens in many industries).

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Re: Edward Jones a Review and Analysis: Can Edward Jones be Used for a Boglehead Three Fund Portfolio?

Post by sergeant » Tue Dec 04, 2018 4:30 pm

Wow! OP has multiple tax preparers and lawyers for his financial situation yet trusts a salesman at EJ. Makes no sense to me.
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Re: Edward Jones a Review and Analysis: Can Edward Jones be Used for a Boglehead Three Fund Portfolio?

Post by Chip » Tue Dec 04, 2018 4:38 pm

Strayshot wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:57 am
Why go to all that trouble? That feels like financial masochism!
Indeed. I can probably drive a nail with an adjustable wrench. But it's a lot more efficient use the hammer I have available. :)

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Re: Edward Jones a Review and Analysis: Can Edward Jones be Used for a Boglehead Three Fund Portfolio?

Post by Benjamin Buffett » Tue Dec 04, 2018 5:19 pm

I try new things on a small scale and see if I like them and feel out the territory before making large decisions, that is precisely how I became a boglehead investor:
I was in economics when I was younger and was asked to follow six stocks for the assignment and choose weather to buy or sell, I was one of the only ones in the class who choose to hold until the end of the six month period, and the only one that asked if there was a stock or fund that tracked the S&P500 to avoid the risks associated with a single business going under.........our class never once discussed index funds or Vanguard. After persistent questioning about diversification and funds my professor finally sighed and gave me the website for Vanguard. I have been a Pro Index and Pro Buy and Hold investor ever since.

I tried Indexing and the Three Fund Portfolio and found with very little struggling I could do very well. I put all my funds into real estate and a three fund portfolio.

My attempt with EJ has been not necessarily been as simple or easy as setting up a three fund portfolio.

Review Update
The longer I have worked with EJ the more I come to the conclusion that EJ only has a few major things going for it:
* some people will not invest in the stock market at all without someone with a prestigious title guiding them in person, my coworkers are an example of this: they simply cram their 401K contributions into savings. Investing with EJ and not investing at all, EJ is better, but that's not a great choice.
* some people require a person to tell them not to sell during a bear market........and not to withdraw for frivolous things

However these "advantages" are not ones that any boglehead would really need, but for those with no skill or knowledge EJ can be better than not investing at all. This doesn't say much or its utility to anyone who is looking for an absolutely low expense approach to investing.

I must agree that I was walking into a Chinese food place and ordering Itallian food, and even though I could set up a relatively low cost investment strategy using their available resources, the people with the knowledge and wisdom to ask for exactly what they want and the very people who may not get any value out of a FA from EJ.




Bottom line: bogleheads and those who want to invest passively can find success with fidelity if they want 0 minimums, and ideally move their funds when they have enough for the three fund portfolio minimums at Vanguard.
Last edited by Benjamin Buffett on Wed Dec 05, 2018 6:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Edward Jones a Review and Analysis: Can Edward Jones be Used for a Boglehead Three Fund Portfolio?

Post by Moochy » Wed Dec 05, 2018 3:18 am

Nate79 wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 6:56 pm
Edward Jones is one of the worst FA firms. There is zero reason for someone to use them. There are much better choices for any investor. Any advice otherwise is a bunch of hogwash.

Truth, run. Run FAR away.

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Re: Edward Jones a Review and Analysis: Can Edward Jones be Used for a Boglehead Three Fund Portfolio?

Post by texasdiver » Wed Dec 05, 2018 12:27 pm

Run a 40-year investment returns analysis of Edward Jones vs Vanguard for you 3-fund porfolio, taking into account the difference in fees. If you are contibuting 10k annually and getting 7% returns, the cost of a 1% fee will be $560,000 over a 40-year investment period. Increase the fee difference to more than 1% or increase your annual contribution to more than 10k and you will quickly exceed $1 million in fees over a 40-year investment life.

Ask yourself if it is worth losing over $1 million in fees to gain the following:
The biggest advantage is found, for me, in largely disregarding the stock picking advice and using the FA to work with my tax preparers and lawyers. I have a very complicated financial situation I have been trying to simplify........real estate holdings in probate, high tax brackets with deprectiation, tax discrepancies from inherited land without proper will planning. I should clarify that the only reason an in person paid FA is worth the money is for when the stuff gets deep, and when a financial situation that should be simple isn't.
Last edited by texasdiver on Wed Dec 05, 2018 5:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Edward Jones a Review and Analysis: Can Edward Jones be Used for a Boglehead Three Fund Portfolio?

Post by oldzey » Wed Dec 05, 2018 4:26 pm

I'd recommend simply typing "Edward Jones" into the search box at the upper right of this page and see what you find.

My sister and her husband use Edward Jones, but I bite my tongue, because their FA (like their insurance rep) is a "good friend".
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Re: Edward Jones a Review and Analysis: Can Edward Jones be Used for a Boglehead Three Fund Portfolio?

Post by Greenman72 » Wed Dec 05, 2018 5:12 pm

Sorry if this has been answered--I didn't read anything but the first post.

Why would you use a full-service broker, and pay full-service prices if you wanted to do it yourself? Either let the broker handle it (and pay him to handle it) or do it yourself, and don't pay him.

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Re: Edward Jones a Review and Analysis: Can Edward Jones be Used for a Boglehead Three Fund Portfolio?

Post by UpperNwGuy » Wed Dec 05, 2018 5:26 pm

My advice: move your investments out of Edward Jones immediately. Let 2019 be a fresh start at Vanguard, Fidelity, or Schwab.

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Re: Edward Jones a Review and Analysis: Can Edward Jones be Used for a Boglehead Three Fund Portfolio?

Post by afan » Wed Dec 05, 2018 6:27 pm

I don't get the point of this.

This is a high priced company that does not exist to let investors run 3-fund portfolios. To the extent one could do it at all, the price will be far higher than with any number of brokers that compete on price.

At those normal price brokers the annual fees should be exactly zero and the commissions on ETFs should also be zero.
By matching the broker to the provider whose mutual funds you might want to buy, you can also make mutual fund transaction fees zero.

They will hold your money, send you 1099's at the end of the year, make purchases when you want and charge you nothing. It is easy to find companies that will do this.

EJ is not set up to let an investor park money there, add to it with regular savings, buy funds or ETFs with expense ratios near zero and pay no fees.
Many other brokers are set up to do exactly this.

That being the case, why would someone try to do it at any high priced company?

I don't get it.
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Re: Edward Jones a Review and Analysis: Can Edward Jones be Used for a Boglehead Three Fund Portfolio?

Post by nisiprius » Wed Dec 05, 2018 7:39 pm

The big question is whether Edward Jones will leave you alone in peace once you have it set up.

Fidelity (yes, Fidelity) and Vanguard have always left me in peace.

Before that, I was with Merrill Lynch for some years, then Dean Witter for some years. My portfolio consisted of a conservative portfolio of stocks, it was before the days of discount brokerages and doing anything cost, oh, say, $120 in commissions... plus a very sneaky hidden commission if you were trading an "odd lot" of less than 100 shares... and I clearly grasped the idea of buying and holding in order to avoid getting dinged $120 every time.

They would not leave me alone. They pestered me. They called me, perhaps averaging once a month. They mailed me stuff. They insisted that I "needed" to consider some "opportunities." The Dean Witter guy thought that "Dogs of the Dow" would be the kind of strategy to appeal to me, and he kept mailing me Xerox copies (as we called them then) of articles on Dogs of the Dow, prospectuses for Dogs of the Dow mutual funds, and called me from time to time to make sure I understood Dogs of the Dow. There were actually three or four different Dogs of the Dow funds implementing slightly different flavors, I dunno, one was the ten lowest, one was the five lowest, and didn't I want his help to review them to find which Dogs of the Dow fund would best suit my Dogs of the Dow needs.

It was a long time ago. And it wasn't Edward Jones. But they were seriously annoying, and seemed almost desperate. I got the distinct impression that their bosses were on their back and that their jobs depended on convincing their clients to do something.
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Re: Edward Jones a Review and Analysis: Can Edward Jones be Used for a Boglehead Three Fund Portfolio?

Post by columbia » Wed Dec 05, 2018 8:06 pm

nisiprius wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 7:39 pm
The big question is whether Edward Jones will leave you alone in peace once you have it set up.

Fidelity (yes, Fidelity) and Vanguard have always left me in peace.

Before that, I was with Merrill Lynch for some years, then Dean Witter for some years. My portfolio consisted of a conservative portfolio of stocks, it was before the days of discount brokerages and doing anything cost, oh, say, $120 in commissions... plus a very sneaky hidden commission if you were trading an "odd lot" of less than 100 shares... and I clearly grasped the idea of buying and holding in order to avoid getting dinged $120 every time.

They would not leave me alone. They pestered me. They called me, perhaps averaging once a month. They mailed me stuff. They insisted that I "needed" to consider some "opportunities." The Dean Witter guy thought that "Dogs of the Dow" would be the kind of strategy to appeal to me, and he kept mailing me Xerox copies (as we called them then) of articles on Dogs of the Dow, prospectuses for Dogs of the Dow mutual funds, and called me from time to time to make sure I understood Dogs of the Dow. There were actually three or four different Dogs of the Dow funds implementing slightly different flavors, I dunno, one was the ten lowest, one was the five lowest, and didn't I want his help to review them to find which Dogs of the Dow fund would best suit my Dogs of the Dow needs.

It was a long time ago. And it wasn't Edward Jones. But they were seriously annoying, and seemed almost desperate. I got the distinct impression that their bosses were on their back and that their jobs depended on convincing their clients to do something.
And people complain that others getting a raise in their minimum wage job might be detrimental to the returns of the stock holders....

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