Can't do this alone-need a financial planner-please help!

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novice111
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Joined: Mon Jun 03, 2019 12:45 am

Can't do this alone-need a financial planner-please help!

Post by novice111 » Mon Jun 03, 2019 1:18 am

hi,
i've just started reading bogleheads and taylor larimore's book and i KNOW:

1. i can't manage my finances successfully in the short or long term by myself
investing in index funds seems simple enough but managing the tax implications, different asset classes etc is not something i'll ever be sure and confident of doing in this lifetime.
I'm 35 and financially illiterate- it will take me too long to learn and i'll lose valuable time.

i'm new to this country and i can barely understand all the differences between Roth IRA , IRA, 401k etc
How to set up a college fund for kids?
Can a HSA grow your money?
What's 403b?
What's FSA?
is life insurance a good investment tool?
What else is out there that i don't know that i'll probably learn about too late?
i must be really stupid because all this stuff is really hard to grasp for me- no amount of articles i can read will clearly explain it-i need a person who can answer according to my situation.

2. Last year i put about $100k in an ameriprise brokerage account and $35k this year in a self 401k
luckily no life or disability insurance bought yet

the financial advisor is a CFP and fiduciary, and also used by my cousin who's a lawyer from Yale who specializes in financial fraud and writes for nerdwallet for god's sake

but the management fees and the lack of index funds in my portfolio and the stuff i'm reading on bogleheads is alarming me.

i really need somebody i can trust to tell me exactly what to do with my money, make a financial plan and sort out all the tax-implications.
i CANNOT do it by myself- i would never be sure i'm doing the right thing, and i have a demanding job and am a single mom with two kids.

What do i do ? i feel so lost :(

longleaf
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Re: Can't do this alone-need a financial planner-please help!

Post by longleaf » Mon Jun 03, 2019 3:09 am

First off, be calm! This is not something you grasp overnight. You don't have to jump in immediately. Keep reading the forum and wiki for several months until you are confident in yourself. The Bogleheads Guide to Investing is another excellent tool.

Do you have an emergency fund? 6-12 months of cash in a money market fund can enable you to be prepared for the unexpected.

Decide on an asset allocation. This is % stocks, % bonds. This relates to your risk tolerance. Typically people select their age in bond %, but depending on your risk tolerance, a different percentage may be chosen.

Don't fret your age. People have started a lot later than you.

Insurance and investments should be kept separate.

A college fund for your children can be setup through a 529 plan. The gains within a 529 are not subject to taxes, and usage is limited to education per child.

If you want advice pertaining specifically to your situation, please follow this template
Frugality, indexing, time.

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Wiggums
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Re: Can't do this alone-need a financial planner-please help!

Post by Wiggums » Mon Jun 03, 2019 3:32 am

Welcome to the forum.

The previous response is a great place to start. If you tell your us more, we can help you.

Here is done information on Vanguard PAS

https://investor.vanguard.com/advice/personal-advisor

One of the nice things about pas is that you can leave at anytime and your funds will still be in vanguard’s low cost index funds. They’ll also do tax loss harvesting for you.

Old_Dollar
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Re: Can't do this alone-need a financial planner-please help!

Post by Old_Dollar » Mon Jun 03, 2019 4:52 am

Nothing wrong with seeking out someone need help. Most importantly seek out someone who will help teach you. Someone who will teach you Why certain investment choices and vehicles are better or worse than others. Not just someone who merely tells you What you should do. Understanding the difference between everything in this arena is key in the ability to be calm and make decisions with confidence.
I am here solely to learn about investing.

student
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Re: Can't do this alone-need a financial planner-please help!

Post by student » Mon Jun 03, 2019 5:34 am

I agree with others who said take some time to think about it. Give yourself 3 months to learn the basic, then decide what to do. For example, here are some ideas:
1) Transfer to Merrill Edge to get a transfer bonus and enroll in the preferred rewards, and use a 3-fund portfolio.
2) Transfer to Vanguard or Fidelity and use a target date index fund.
3) Use a robo advisor at Vanguard, Fidelity or Schwab

blackholescion
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Re: Can't do this alone-need a financial planner-please help!

Post by blackholescion » Mon Jun 03, 2019 7:09 am

Rick Ferri is a poster on here who is a low cost CFA. He charges a flat fee per hour but it’s generally on you to manage the funds long term. That said, you can always call him up every year and get advice on rebalancing and all that. He can also help find a low cost investment advisor to manage the portfolio after a plan is set.

Good luck.
Last edited by blackholescion on Mon Jun 03, 2019 7:22 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Stinky
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Re: Can't do this alone-need a financial planner-please help!

Post by Stinky » Mon Jun 03, 2019 7:16 am

Welcome to the Forum! I'm glad that you found us. There are so many people here who are more than willing to offer you their advice and thoughts. And there is a ton of information on the Wiki that you can read at your convenience.

Lots of good advice given by prior posts. I would add that EVERYONE on this site was a financial neophyte at one time in their lives. They all learned how to manage their money, and they didn't do it all in one day or at one time.

You have a lot going for you. You're relatively young. You realize that you have some learning to do. And you've joined this Forum, which will give you excellent advice.

Take a deep breath. Don't panic. If you follow suggestions posted here, you'll be fine financially.

We look forward to helping you on your journey.
It's a GREAT day to be alive - Travis Tritt

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ruralavalon
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Re: Can't do this alone-need a financial planner-please help!

Post by ruralavalon » Mon Jun 03, 2019 7:19 am

Welcome to the forum :) .

Calm down, and be patient, there is no rush to learn it a all by the weekend.

I was pretty ignorant at age 35, and didn't really start investing until almost age 40. Now age 73 comfortably retired. You can probably do this.

I agree with longleaf, start by posting your information on this forum using the "Asking Portfolio Questions" format for some planning and investing suggestions from us.


novice111 wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 1:18 am
hi,
i've just started reading bogleheads and taylor larimore's book and i KNOW:

1. i can't manage my finances successfully in the short or long term by myself
investing in index funds seems simple enough but managing the tax implications, different asset classes etc is not something i'll ever be sure and confident of doing in this lifetime.
I'm 35 and financially illiterate- it will take me too long to learn and i'll lose valuable time.

i'm new to this country and i can barely understand all the differences between Roth IRA , IRA, 401k etc
How to set up a college fund for kids?
Can a HSA grow your money?
What's 403b?
What's FSA?
is life insurance a good investment tool?
What else is out there that i don't know that i'll probably learn about too late?
i must be really stupid because all this stuff is really hard to grasp for me- no amount of articles i can read will clearly explain it-i need a person who can answer according to my situation.

2. Last year i put about $100k in an ameriprise brokerage account and $35k this year in a self 401k
luckily no life or disability insurance bought yet

the financial advisor is a CFP and fiduciary, and also used by my cousin who's a lawyer from Yale who specializes in financial fraud and writes for nerdwallet for god's sake

but the management fees and the lack of index funds in my portfolio and the stuff i'm reading on bogleheads is alarming me.

i really need somebody i can trust to tell me exactly what to do with my money, make a financial plan and sort out all the tax-implications.
i CANNOT do it by myself- i would never be sure i'm doing the right thing, and i have a demanding job and am a single mom with two kids.

What do i do ? i feel so lost :(
Here is a guide to help in deciding if you want or need an advisor: "The great paradox of using an advisor is that you must know some basics in order to evaluate the advice, and once you do, you also know enough to consider doing your own management." "Chapter 10 – On Your Own or Hire an Advisor".

1) You could post your financial details on this forum for ideas on investments and financial planning. Please see this for format: "Asking Portfolio Questions". I think that you will fund that simply gathering together all of your information together in one place will be helpful to you in understanding your situation and what you need to do.

2) Vanguard offers a ”Personal Advisory Service” (PAS) that will give you advice and manage your investments for an annual fee of 0.3% of your investments. Fidelity and Schwab offer a similar service.

3) Harry Sit, who sometimes posts here, offers a service thru his blog to help people locate an advisor in their locality. "Advice-Only Search and Screening".

4) Here are two more places to look for an an adviser:

National Association of Professional Financial Advisors
; and
Garrett PlNning Network.
"Everything should be as simple as it is, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein | Wiki article link:Getting Started

FI4LIFE
Posts: 68
Joined: Sun Apr 28, 2019 9:27 am

Re: Can't do this alone-need a financial planner-please help!

Post by FI4LIFE » Mon Jun 03, 2019 8:03 am

If you break everything down into pieces it is not too complex.

Your retirement account: Sounds like you are self-employed? You can contribute up to $19000 per year to a self-directed 401k (if that is what you opened). If you are not interested in monitoring investments just pick a low-fee target date fund near your estimated year of retirement. You can search on your account website to see what your broker offers.

Your health savings account:. You can contribute up to $7000 per year. Funds that you don't anticipate using this year can be invested. Log onto your HSA website and pick a low-fee total market or S&P index fund.

Your college savings account:. Google your state 529 plan and open an account. To keep things simple, do not contribute more than $15000 per year. Invest in a low-cost target date fund with your child's anticipated college start year.

Your life insurance (I would recommend a term policy). Call an insurance company and don't let them talk you into a whole life policy. Tell them you want a TERM policy.

Worry about tax implications at tax time. An accountant or your tax software will have no problem dealing with these accounts.

pkcrafter
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Location: CA
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Re: Can't do this alone-need a financial planner-please help!

Post by pkcrafter » Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:19 am

Welcome, yes it can seem overwhelming at first, but you certainly can learn what to do. No one is more responsible for your money than you. You have to at least know if someone is trying to take advantage of you.
novice111 wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 1:18 am
hi,
i've just started reading bogleheads and taylor larimore's book and i KNOW:

Good, step 1.!

1. i can't manage my finances successfully in the short or long term by myself
investing in index funds seems simple enough but managing the tax implications, different asset classes etc is not something i'll ever be sure and confident of doing in this lifetime.

For the tax issues, you can hire a CPA when needed.


For the investing basics, it's all here. The major asset classes are stocks, bonds, and cash. Within the stock classes are large cap, mid cap and small cap. They can all be accessed with our recommended 3-fund portfolio which contains, total stock market (large mid, small) total international, and bonds.

viewtopic.php?f=10&t=88005


I'm 35 and financially illiterate- it will take me too long to learn and i'll lose valuable time.

No, it won't. But if you really don't wish to manage your own money we can help you find an advisor.

i'm new to this country and i can barely understand all the differences between Roth IRA , IRA, 401k etc
How to set up a college fund for kids?

Again, answers are right here.

Can a HSA grow your money?
What's 403b?
What's FSA?
is life insurance a good investment tool?
What else is out there that i don't know that i'll probably learn about too late?
i must be really stupid because all this stuff is really hard to grasp for me- no amount of articles i can read will clearly explain it-i need a person who can answer according to my situation.

It's hard at first and can be overwhelming for any new investor/poster, just ask. The very fact that you have posted is a first step. Take your time, don't get rattled. Posters here can answer your questions. You can post a specific question and get help. Many posters here are professionals in various areas of finance.


2. Last year i put about $100k in an ameriprise brokerage account and $35k this year in a self 401k
luckily no life or disability insurance bought yet

We probably would not recommend Amerprise, but a self-managed 401k is good. You probably should have life insurance and maybe disability insurance, but you don't want to combine these with investments like whole life policies.

Vanguard's self-employed 401k and other options


https://investor.vanguard.com/small-bus ... -solo-401k

the financial advisor is a CFP and fiduciary, and also used by my cousin who's a lawyer from Yale who specializes in financial fraud and writes for nerdwallet for god's sake

:happy


but the management fees and the lack of index funds in my portfolio and the stuff i'm reading on bogleheads is alarming me.

Good, it should alarm you! One step at a time.

i really need somebody i can trust to tell me exactly what to do with my money, make a financial plan and sort out all the tax-implications.

Posters here can help with the moeny management and investing, and then you can hire a tax-expert as needed.

i CANNOT do it by myself- i would never be sure i'm doing the right thing, and i have a demanding job and am a single mom with two kids.

What do i do ? i feel so lost :(

It's not unusual, lots of new posters feel just like you do, but you have found your way here and have taken a major first step by posting and becoming a member of the community. You can post according to this recommended format, and you can ask one question at a time.


viewtopic.php?f=1&t=6212

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=282473

Paul

When times are good, investors tend to forget about risk and focus on opportunity. When times are bad, investors tend to forget about opportunity and focus on risk.

Topic Author
novice111
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Jun 03, 2019 12:45 am

Re: Can't do this alone-need a financial planner-please help!

Post by novice111 » Thu Jun 13, 2019 7:29 pm

Thanks for all the valuable replies. Each was useful. i think i'll take a deep breath, calm down and start educating myself. a few more months isn't going to make a difference i suppose, before i change things over.

Elle06
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Joined: Thu Jun 13, 2019 6:07 pm

Re: Can't do this alone-need a financial planner-please help!

Post by Elle06 » Thu Jun 13, 2019 7:35 pm

It seems very overwhelming altogether but remember that saying about eating an elephant one bite at a time? Take your time, you’ll learn. You are doing something right to have that much invested! And I can honestly say, I started really trying to grasp all this within the last 6 months and I have learned more on this website than in the books I’ve read. You can do it!

CFM300
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Re: Can't do this alone-need a financial planner-please help!

Post by CFM300 » Thu Jun 13, 2019 11:58 pm

novice111 wrote:
Thu Jun 13, 2019 7:29 pm
Thanks for all the valuable replies. Each was useful. i think i'll take a deep breath, calm down and start educating myself. a few more months isn't going to make a difference i suppose, before i change things over.
I recommend that you go to your local library and look for these two books by Eric Tyson:

Personal Finance for Dummies

Investing for Dummies

Look through the Table of Contents. Read one of the sections that interests you. I think that you'll find that he does a very good job of explaining things.

While you're at the library, look at similar books in the same area.

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ruralavalon
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Location: Illinois

Re: Can't do this alone-need a financial planner-please help!

Post by ruralavalon » Fri Jun 14, 2019 8:58 am

novice111 wrote:
Thu Jun 13, 2019 7:29 pm
Thanks for all the valuable replies. Each was useful. i think i'll take a deep breath, calm down and start educating myself. a few more months isn't going to make a difference i suppose, before i change things over.
That's a good idea.
"Everything should be as simple as it is, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein | Wiki article link:Getting Started

Dottie57
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Re: Can't do this alone-need a financial planner-please help!

Post by Dottie57 » Fri Jun 14, 2019 9:20 am

Welcome,

Investing in a simple 2 or 3 fund portfolio is not rocket science.

Major provider used her are Vanguard , Fidelity, and Schwab. Some like Merrill Edge too. I have a Fidelity office 2 blocks from me, so I go there. Fidelity also has a great web site. Don’t know much about the others. Vanguard funds are freak. I like Fidelity too.

No need to panic. Start reading the forum and Wiki.

suemarkp
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Re: Can't do this alone-need a financial planner-please help!

Post by suemarkp » Fri Jun 14, 2019 4:33 pm

Financial Advisors don't help with taxes. If you ever subscribe to investing newsletters, they many times steer you to things that have annoying tax consequences (K-1 forms) and forms that come much later than most others (REITs, K-1's).

What is your Ameriprise account costing you? Do you have an "advisor" there? Is he charging a fee based on the amount of money you have there? If not fee, what are the fees (expense ratio, 12B1, loads) of the funds you are in?

You could just keep your money in cash at this time (use a high yielding money market bank account such as Marcus, CapitalOne, or Ally bank). There are worse places to put your money and this wont cost anything but the interest will be taxable. Figure out what you need in your emergency fund. When you are ready to invest, decide where you can put the money and what the limits are (401K, Traditional IRA, Roth IRA, ...). Some of these are offered only through your employer. Others you can do on your own, but you may still need earned income, and some choices can affect the future (such as having money in a traditional IRA messes up doing a back door Roth). A taxable account always works, and some funds do well in there once you held them for a year or more.

It may take you 6 to 12 months to figure things out. That's OK. I put money in some Vanguard funds that turned out to not be so wise from a tax point of view (didn't fully understand until the tax forms were generated on the Vanguard site). So after a year or so, I sold them, condensed things down, and got out of the REIT. Still made money, but it would have been close to what I would have had just leaving it in a high yielding bank money market account. But sometimes it is better to learn from the mistakes as you may ask better questions next time.
Mark | Kent, WA

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StormShadow
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Re: Can't do this alone-need a financial planner-please help!

Post by StormShadow » Fri Jun 14, 2019 4:47 pm

Step 1. Breathe! You are among friends. Count yourself lucky that you found out about bogleheads (and Ameriprise) as early as you did.
Step 2. Educate yourself. Personally, I like the book Bogleheads Guide to Investing. Simple and affordable.
Step 3. Ditch Ameriprise (and/or Edward Jones and/or any other advisor/parasite service). I would transfer in-kind to Vanguard (or Fidelity or Charles Schwab), so you can clear your head and not worry about churning of your account.
Step 4. Keep breathing! Try not to make any sudden moves like buying/selling until you have figured out your risk tolerance and what kind of portfolio (stock/bond%) you want.

Welcome to bogleheads.

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BL
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Re: Can't do this alone-need a financial planner-please help!

Post by BL » Sat Jun 15, 2019 8:43 am

Here is a quick summary of many of the things new investors need to know in a free 16 page pdf written by recommended author, Dr. William Bernstein:
https://www.etf.com/docs/IfYouCan.pdf

Jane Bryant Quinn is an author I have relied on for common sense personal finance over many years. She has written updated books which you can find to borrow from a library, or buy new or used from Amazon.com (see link here which donates a small amount of your purchase price to Bogleheads). She also has a website under her name.

Boglehead's Guide to Investing is one I have used for quite a while. It covers a variety of financial and investment decisions.

The Wiki (see Getting Started) has solid basic information on many aspects of investing. There are also some videos. See Taylor's Gems for quotes from many investing books:
https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Taylor_ ... tment_Gems

Using a Target Date fund is a good way to get started in retirement accounts. The far-out dates have only 10% bonds, so if you want more bonds you might have to pick a date much closer to now. It has the 3 funds most often recommended here, plus some international bonds as well.

Taylor L. has a long thread here about the 3-fund portfolio; you can search the Wiki for it; it is really all you need to invest: Total stock market (S&P 500 will do if necessary), Total International Stock Market, and Total Bond market are all you need.

I would move funds to Vanguard from A. (I have a friend at A, but there is no way I would invest with them.) Vanguard won't give you bad advice or sell you expensive products. You can hire an advisor there if desired for 0.3%/year AUM who won't do you harm like most advisors/managers can do in advising costly products for investing or insurance. V funds are almost all very low Expense Ratio %
(ER). They have great low-cost funds. Their balanced funds are also outstanding: Target date, Life Strategy, Balanced Fund, also Wellington and Wellesley active funds are much lower cost than most active funds and have a long history of good value. There are no loads for V funds, and no 12b-1 kickbacks included in their ERs, which is what you pay for with many advisors.

See an independent insurance broker (my small town has 3 of them) that can shop term insurance at various companies for you. See term4sale.com for an idea of the low cost of term insurance. Don't let anyone talk you into permanent or any other fancy insurance. Search threads here for ideas on disability insurance companies. Maybe check in here before you sign up for anything.

Those who sell you life insurance or annuities get a huge commission up front, so they have a conflict of interest in advising you on it. There isn't much commission on term insurance, so they may try to up-sell you to something more profitable.

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