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Subject:  Re: After meeting with a Financial Advisor Date:  10/4/2003  7:00 PM
Author:  PosFCF Number:  37389 of 88441


Excellent post and response!

What follows is not an attempt to be argumentative, but rather, an attempt to foster a discussion of what does constitute a good Financial Advisor and then perhaps generate some ideas on how to find such an individual.

"A good Financial Advisor is like any other good investment, difficult to find but worth the effort. Superior Financial Advisors are just as rare as superior investments." - PosFCF

While I cannot argue with this conclusion, I find the premise severely flawed. How can one find that rare "good financial advisor" without losing many dollars in the search? Since good ones are rare, in your own words, isn't it expensive to sort through all of the bad ones?

I think I would counter here that one doesn't have to buy every stock and lose all that money to discover what constitutes a good (or better) investment. Along that vein, perhaps one doesn't have to kiss all the frogs to find their Prince in the brokerage community.

In my investing career, which began almost 40 years ago, I have worked with at least 25 financial advisors at at least 12 different investment firms. These firms are represented by lots of great and notable big names such as Smith-Barney, Merrill-Lynch, Bear-Stearns, Edward-Jones, A.G. Edwards, Prudential, Raymond James, and Payne Webber. I worked with some local small firms too. I cannot begin to count the money I lost listening to these idiots.

I too, happen to believe that it isn't the name of the firm as much as it is the quality of the person behind the desk that matters most.

Ignorant investors cannot give up their control fast enough. They know how little they really know so they are anxious to leave the decisions to others. That is where the bad experiences begin. For, in the end, after you have been fleeced, you have no one to blame but yourself. For, in the final review, it is your money on which you are giving up control. Who do you honestly think cares as much about your money as you do?

That is too true!

Too bad I can only rec your post once!

So tell me, if you could construct your ideal Financial Advisor, what qualities would you absolutely insist just had to be there in that individual? (It's OK to look in the mirror to help answer that question). Or perhaps if one catalogs what went wrong with all those other brokers, some patterns might also emerge for what to avoid.


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