Hello FoolsI wrote a while back regarding a meeting with a AE Finance Advisor..Well--- went last nite for a hour meeting that lasted over 2 hours...Brought all my statements etc. Bottom line--- I liked the guy. he seemed very knowledgable..We were basically interested in retirement advice and asset allocation...I know I can figure most of this stuff out myself, but I think I just wanted reassurance that I was on the right track...So, for 675 bucks he will get me there. They decide the fee while they are talking to you, so I think its negotiable. The also are available for at least 4 meeting a year to go over any changes , questions etc This is included in the fee..And and phone calls during the year- no charge.( also your money can be refunded with in 2 years if not satisfied). He is not a CFP but was an investment banker at one time. I am wondering-- any other Fools used them and what did they think?? was it worth it? My thought is it may be worth peace of mind knowing i have all the facts right..I want to retire at 55 and not have look back nor have made any mistakes...However I am still not sure..I told him I'll think about it.. I would however not consider spending any more than 500 if I do it at all...Any thought s FOOLS???Debbie
Debbie:I don't like the sound of this. I don't know what an "AE Finance Advisor" is. If they have to spend two hours to sell you their services, I'd hesitate. How reputable are they? Are they presuring you to sign up?I personally don't believe in Finance advisors. I think they will overcharge you to give you confidence but will probably not give you any better advice than you can get for much less. Are they going to sell you life insurance? Are thy promoting Mutual Funds? If so I wouldn't sign up with them. You can do better on your own.I think you would benefit going to the Motley Fool School. There two books I would recommend to you for starters. First, "You Have More Than You Think" and second, "The Motley Fool Investment Guide". Investing isn't as difficult as you may think and The Motley Fools explain things very well. Most of the Mumbo Jumbo Financial jargon is there to obfuscate rather than to educate. In short, put this guy off until you study more yourself. Chuck
I used American Express 6 years ago when I was facing retirement. They were called Am. Express IDS at that time. I actually paid them $500 to do a so called financial plan. My wife transferred her IRA to them. I actually opened an IRA and was feeding it with tax deferred pension money. The Am Exp. people put me and my wife into IDS mutual funds which performed poorly, had front-end and back end loads. I actually thought at first that I was wise in choosing them to do a for-fee financial plan. But I discovered that Am Exp. is a for-profit operation. Their prime goal is not your welfare, but their commission or bonus. Most of their advise and so called financial planning is probably not worth the paper it was printed on. They approached me in several of the later meetings to try to sell me a deferred annuity within my IRA. This was the last straw. I bailed out. We had to eat the exit fees. You will be better off educating yourself and escaping their clutches. Do your own investing. Use financialengines.com, Quicken financial planner or any of the other software or online tools that are available. Don't let financial parasites drain off your hard earned funds for really bad advice. Don't trust anyone who profits from selling you funds, insurance, variable annuities,etc.Be especially wary of the people who post on this board who hype deferred annuities. They are insurance agents.
dannari wrote,You will be better off educating yourself and escaping their clutches. Do your own investing. Use financialengines.com, Quicken financial planner or any of the other software or online tools that are available. Don't let financial parasites drain off your hard earned funds for really bad advice. Don't trust anyone who profits from selling you funds, insurance, variable annuities,etc.Be especially wary of the people who post on this board who hype deferred annuities. They are insurance agents. Excellent post!It sounds like your schooling was very expensive with IDS, but you learned your lessons well.intercst
My wife and I also consulted a financial advisor about 5 years ago. It was not American Express. His "analysis" of our financial situation cost us $500. He made one good suggestion (that we were too conservative in our investments). But otherwise he was primarily interested in getting us to invest in funds and other investment vehicles which generated a commission for HIM. You will be much better off learning as much as you can from sources like the Motley Fool and doing it yourself.
DebbieRUN AWAY!!!!!Ten years ago after my husband died I talked to these same people. I paid a $325 fee at the time for them to put me into a variable annuity WITHIN AN IRA. So they made money from the fee for advising me and from the fees and commissions on the annuities. Way stupid on my part, actually just ignorant since the MFool and all of the kind, helpful folks on these boards were not around to help me then.I just got out of the annuity in the IRA since there is no surrender fee any longer (I got smart at a fortuitous time). I have opened an online trading account (aided by the TMF discount broker board) and will transfer the annuity money to that this week.You have the advantage of all of the information from the folks at TMF. YOU CAN DO THIS YOURSELF. DO NOT LET THOSE FOLKS TAKE YOU. Fool on and you will prosper. Be a fool and you will not.Franke
IMHO, you were mis-led by the American Express guy into thinking they were a fee for service outfit. The first clue is that he was not a CFA. A true fee for service advisor would neverhave products to sell, but would advise you on what no-load funds that were appropriate for your situation. Thats why they charge a fee, usually based on the amount of your investment porfolio. A true fee for service advisor doesnt make money off commisions. Anytime someone tries to pitch something at you, get up and run like hell!!!Eagerly awaiting my copy of Quicken 2000Marcus
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