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We recently closed our whole life and replaced it with term. Our investor suggested that we put the money that had built in this account into a life and annunity retirement account. I know nothing about these and how to research them to find out which companies have the best returns and track records. Please help me with this information.
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TPHMcCord, you wrote:

<< We recently closed our whole life and replaced it with term. Our investor suggested that we put the money that had built in this account into a life and annunity retirement account. I know nothing about these and how to research them to find out which companies have the best returns and track records. Please help me with this information. >>

Hmmmmmm? Just who does your advisor work for and what company is this so called "annuity retirement account" with? If it was your intention when surrendering your whole life policy to get better returns, you probably should just be looking at mutual funds for investments. If your advisor isn't able to help you understand what's going on or help you understand what this account is . . . then you should really be looking for a different advisor.

Can you be more specific as to what your advisor is really trying to do for you here?
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I don't have the info you are seeking, but be aware that Fools regard annuities as one of the worst investments. Some are probably OK, but many give mediocre performance. The worst of it is that annuity contracts usually are expensive to get out of. So look into every other option before you settle on an annuity. People who sell them love the commissions.
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TPHMcCord

I think you would benefit greatly by reading the 13 steps to Foolish investing. After that, read, "Your Have More Than You Think" and "The Motley Fool Investment Guide" both by David and Tom Gardner. They are very well written and easy to understand.

My advice without knowing very much about your situation is,

Stop listening to your "investor"

Read the books,

Stay away from anuities unless you have a specific reason for using them and don't care too much about a good return or paying high commissions.

Stay away from Mutural Funds. Ninty % of them do poorer than investing in the S&P500 index.

For starters, invest in the S&P500 index fund. This is the minimum return you should expect to receive.

Depending on your situation, beat the S&P500 index funds by following one of the Foolish stratagies.

Chuck
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TPHMcCord,

Chuck says:

<< Stay away from Mutural Funds. Ninty % of them do poorer than investing in the S&P500 index.

For starters, invest in the S&P500 index fund.
>>

Hmmmm? Let me think about this . .. "Stay away from Mutual Funds", but invest in a Mutual Fund, an S&P500 Index Fund . . . ????

Also, you're apparently advised to do this without even evaluating your tolerance for market risk . . . . and the IS R I S K when you invest . . . especially in something like the S&P 500. Also, you're apparently advised to do this without taking into consideration your current situation or any of your short term or long term objectives.

Chuck also suggests: "This is the minimum return you should expect to receive." This is among the most ludicrous suggestions I've ever heard . . . . and again completely ignores one's tolerance for risk which often has more devastating effects than where one invests.

Chucks heart is probably in the right place . . . he just wouldn't make a very good financial advisor. One needs to be very careful about any ADVISE on receives if forums such as this as you have no way for sure of knowing just how valid the advise might be. You also don't know if one also as some particular interest in making recommendations towards certain investments (not say that's the case for Chuck) . . .just thought a word of caution should be brought up about "advise".

These forums are GREAT for information . . . .but not very good for getting specific advise.
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TTRoberts

I'm sorry if I touched a touchy spot. You certianly didn't give me much respect. I hope I can do better.

Your reply ignores the most important part of my advice which is:

Read the rest of the Motley Fool investment books!
Judging from your response, I wonder if you have read the books. If not I recommend them to you also. When you read these books you will see some very thorough and complete discussions about risk.

You misquoted me as saying

Stay away from Mutual Funds", but invest in a Mutual Fund, an S&P500 Index Fund

Yes an index is a mutual fund. I think my meaning to invest in an index fund instead of a standard managed mutual fund is clear. It is common Foolish advice. If you have read the books, you would understand that 90% of the standard managed mutual funds underperform the S&P500. Investing in a Index mutual fund will at least match the market.

You talk about my statement,
Chuck also suggests: "This is the minimum return you should expect to receive." This is among the most ludicrous suggestions I've ever heard

Again read the books. You will see tested strategies that consistantly out perform the S&P500. The sugestion is not "ludricrous" to a Fool. Only the uninitiated "Wise" would consider the statement ludricrous.

You futher state:
One needs to be very careful about any ADVISE on receives if forums such as this as you have no way for sure of knowing just how valid the advise might be.

I actually agree with you on this one. I'm sure you mean well as well but before you call things ludricous I suggest you inform yourself about the Foolish ways.

Not to be abrasive, but I must in turn question you ability as an investment advisor. Your excessive concern about tolerence for risk suggests that you are very risk adverse and probably invest in low yielding fixed rate instruments that incur more risk than you avoid. If you read, "The Motley Fool Investment Guide", you will perhaps begin to understand that one of the greatest risks is the risk of not risking enough.

If one has assets, one has assumed risk. The question is WHICH risks one is most concerned about. I think a good investment advisor would understand this and instead of talking about avoiding risk, talk about all the different kinds of risk including risks from inflation and rising interest rates.

Investments in Life Insurance and Annunities is very expensive and yields very low yields. This is a very risky investment because of its exposure to inflation risks. Their poor returns compound the situation.

Chuck

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ChuckONeil,

Yes, it IS a touchy spot to see such inappropriate ADVISE given. I've seen too many people hurt by such advise. I'm sorry you felt so personally disrespected, it really wasn't intended to be that way. As I suggested, I'm sure you meant well. All I, or most anyone reading your post, has to go on is what you've written as that's what's being read. If any professional investment advisor were to write what you wrote to someone, they could be sued and would very likely lose their license to do business for such misrepresentations. This sentence alone ("For starters, invest in the S&P500 index fund. This is the minimum return you should expect to receive.") could get a professional fined and even lose their business. When professionals suggest things as you did that misrepresent the truth (e.g. Stay away from annuities unless you have a specific reason for using them and don't care too much about a good return or paying high commissions.), this too can land them in BIG trouble. That's because it suggests things that simply are not true. It may be an opinion of yours . . .but there's no facts here to support it.

What you've chosen to do is to completely ignore the human factor with regards to investing. While the Foolish Ways can certainly work just fine for some people, it WILL NOT work for ALL people. Not because of the numbers, but because of the HUMAN FACTOR. You didn't even ask a single question to find out if the Foolish Way might be or might not be the right advise for this person. If you had just suggest they read the Motley Fool investment book(s) and or stated that this or that is what I (ChuckONeil) have done, because . . . . . etc., then there's no problem. But to give such specific advise with so many unknowns about the individual and to state what one should "expect" to earn as a minimum rate of return without any qualification. . . ????

I understand risk VERY well and am certainly NOT risk adverse. I teach in seminars routinely with Seniors and help them understand the very issues you've mentioned . . . . the risk of inflation, of rising interest rates, of not risking enough, etc. Through all of this, there is the human factor of dealing with their emotions. Now if they happen to rely on a trusted advisor, then the emotional issue can be kept in check to a certain extent. But they're investing on their own, their emotions are most certainly going to play a role in their decisions. If you don't think emotions have anything to do with investing, then just look at what goes on in the market from day to day. YOU may be able to invest while keeping your emotions in check. But most people CAN NOT . . .DO NOT. They should, but they don't.

I stand by what I said in that it's ludicrous for ANYONE, not just you Chuck, to suggest that one should EXPECT this or that kind of return . . . when one doesn't have a clue about that one's risk tolerance. . . .or even have made an attempt to find out, something. If my being so adamant on this offends you, I'm sorry . . . but my concerns are more for those who receive advise than those who give it.
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ChuckONeil,

BTW: I have ready several of you're previous posts, and you did a much better job there. It's this particular post that has many problems. Hmmmm? Maybe you just had some writer's block in that case? ;-)
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TTRoberts

I guess this is all about emotion. You seem to be concerned about the emotional ability of people being advised to manage their own funds and lives. I am emotionally upset because I feel that I have been personally and unfairly attacked. I know I should probably just drop it but I feel the need to explain why I feel attacked (partially in hopes all readers can learn a lesson about responding on these boards) and to defend myself. This is a long response and if a reader doesn't want to hear my complaints just skip this post.

I appreciate that you have read some of my other posts and found them worthwhile. I have read some of your previous posts as well. I find them very informative. You obviously have a great deal of knowledge and experience in this field. I appreciate your contribution.

The purpose of these Foolish boards is to educate one another and share ideas and knowledge. It is my belief that one thing that is necessary to accomplish this goal is to limit the comments and responses to the subject. Attacking, ridiculing etc. individuals can only serve to stop participation. Ridicule, use of emotionally charged words like ludicrous, and condescending statements IMHO have no place here. I have expressed several ideas on this board that have flown in the face of Conventional Wisdom. I don't claim to be perfect but I try to address the concepts and not the people.

Before anyone who responded to the original message in this thread made ANY reference to risk or the emotional ability to deal with risk or even to suggest their may be additional unmentioned circumstances that may need to be considered the following statement was made.

“If it was your intention when surrendering your whole life policy to get better returns, you probably should just be looking at mutual funds for investments”

I'll respond to that statement by quoting another, “you're apparently advised to do this without even evaluating your tolerance for market risk . . . . and the IS R I S K when you invest Also, you're apparently advised to do this without taking into consideration your current situation or any of your short term or long term objectives.”

As you point out there is risk in investing or failing to invest in anything. This is true of mutual funds. Yet you have not objected to the advice given above although the author made no attempt to ask questions or determine other considerations. Perhaps you haven't objected about that advice, because you are the one who made both of the above statements. Should you be sued or loose your license for making that statement? Why is it O.K. for you to make statements without asking about risk tolerance and not O.K. for me to do the same?

Another statement made was, “Fools regard annuities as one of the worst investments.” and “People who sell them love the commissions”.

In another thread, on a different board, you have stated, “First, let's understand that annuities AND life insurance contracts CAN have just as good rates of return as any comparable investment(s)” I have several questions here.

If you believe the above statement why didn't you object to the comments about life insurance and annuities being such a poor investment? You don't need to comment on every statement made that you disagree with, but I feel singled out when you don't call statements made by someone else ludicrous when you obviously disagree with them.

If you believe that insurance and annuities can have just as good rates of return, why didn't you mention that when you recommended Mutual Funds? Wasn't that incomplete, irresponsible or bad advice?

Your belief that life insurance and annuities CAN have good rates of return, flies in the face of conventional wisdom and anything I have read about life insurance and annuities. To quote Suze Orman in her book, “The 9 Steps To Financial Freedom”, “If your goal in buying life insurance is to put money aside, there are far, far better ways to save it without having to pay these kinds of commissions....”

When I make statements that are contrary to conventional wisdom, I try to substantiate them with facts. OK I usually do this after being challenged. So I would like to challenge you. What's the basis for your statement that, “... annuities and life insurance contracts CAN have just as good rates of return as any comparable investment(s)” Is it in the caveat “any comparable investment(s)”? If so isn't your statement misleading or outright sneaky? If you don't have supporting evidence, isn't it false, bad advice and a basis for a law suit and revocation of your license? That is if you have a license.

You have said, “When professionals suggest things as you did that misrepresent the truth (e.g. Stay away from annuities unless you have a specific reason for using them and don't care too much about a good return or paying high commissions.), this too can land them in BIG trouble. That's because it suggests things that simply are not true. It may be an opinion of yours . . .but there's no facts here to support it.” Do you believe that Ms. Orman should loose her license to sell insurance for her published statements. Isn't my statement very close to what she has said? Was she making a false statement? How do you reconcile her statement with yours? If one is true is the other false? Where are the facts to support your statement?

But lets not digress, after all these statements were made without reference to any possibility that there may be other circumstances that might influence the advice, someone finally prefaced their advice with the statement, “My advice without knowing very much about your situation is,”. This is as close a statement that anyone (including you) made even hinting that there may be other factors such as risk tolerance to be considered. Do you remember who made this statement? Hint: it wasn't you. I remember because I was the author. Only after I was ridiculed and called ludicrous did you mention risk.

I give you credit, in your initial response you did suggest politely and carefully that the advisees consider consulting another advisor. I gave the same advice albeit rather bluntly. But instead of recommending another advisor I recommended reading material. IMHO people who are so uncertain about life insurance and their advisor need a lot of education. Another advisor will probably just sell them a different product with out educating them. In fact the last place one should go to for advice or education is someone who has a vested interest in selling something as a result of their advice.

I have gently suggested that you may have not read the Motley Fool books. The more I read your responses the more I conclude that you have not read them. So let me be blunt again, have you read any of the Motley Fool books? Which ones? Do you think their advice is “ludicrous”?

In the book, “The Motley Fool Investment Guide”, Tom and David Gardner state on page 64, “The book would end here if we thought we couldn't direct you to significantly better than average returns in the remaining pages.” On page 100, they state, “... we do find cause for pushing out into the open seas in search of better investments beyond the Dow--to outperform 25.5 percent in annualized returns.", “That 25.5 percent proposition must seem irresponsibly aggressive to many of the pros on Wall Street...”, “We think you might be able to fish out greater than 30 percent per year on your own without assuming considerably greater risk ....”

In the book, “The Foolish Four, How to Crush Your Mutual Funds in 15 Minutes A Year”, Tom Gardner states in the forward, “Where else can you buy a handful of companies, hold them for an allotted period of time, pay long term capital gains tax rates, and expect to have beaten the market averages in five-year bunches? (my emphasis) This is not a ludicrous statement. They have the explanations and data to demonstrate that this can be done.

If you study the RP4 strategy you will see that there is very little risk. You would also know that it is a mechanical strategy that minimizes emotional involvement. It is MHO that even if emotions did get in the way of the strategy, very little damage would be done. Before you call ideas ludicrous or untrue, please do a little research and ask a few questions.

Note that I made a similar statement to Tom's and prefaced it by recommending the reading of several Motley Fool books. If one followed my advice and read the books first as I advised, they would understand that my use of the word “expect” was backed up with a lot of data and reasoning to substantiate it. When taken in context of the whole message, my statement was neither incorrect, irresponsible or ludicrous.

So what I would like is to see everyone, not just you, avoid:

Ridiculing a statement by changing the wording to make it appear stupid such as the statement,

“Hmmmm? Let me think about this . .. "Stay away from Mutual Funds", but invest in a Mutual Fund, an S&P500 Index Fund . . . ????”.

Or using emotionally charged words. Or negatively characterizing statements without first asking enough questions to understand the statement. I'm referring to statements such as:

“This is among the most ludicrous suggestions I've ever heard”

Or condescending statements about another person such as:

“Chucks heart is probably in the right place . . . he just wouldn't make a very good financial advisor.”

I want to challenge the basis for that last statement, you have no idea about my background or ability to advise people. As far as that goes, no one has any idea if you are qualified to make all the advice you have given. All we know is that you have given seminars to seniors. As you have stated elsewhere, that doesn't mean one is qualified.

So please, lets stick to content and not personalize our disagreements.

Chuck
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Scott Burns seems to agree with Chuck that annuities are a bad idea -- a least for the customer.


Scott Burns: Taxes on variable annuities can croak your estate
11/02/99

By Scott Burns / The Dallas Morning News

http://www.dallasnews.com/business/columnists/1102bizcolburns.htm

intercst

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Chuck,

Just an outside observation: Sometimes your tone sounds absolute and confrontational - I can't define why - its just how you choose your words.

IF TTRoberts disagrees with the Fools - he is still welcome to post here. If he questions our basic rules and ideas - it makes us rethink them and explain them - perhaps helping other readers.

On annuities - you could open an annuity with Vanguard - then invest it in the vanguard index 500. You would have a low-cost annuity, in a low-cost index mutual fund. You would get tax-deffered growth. My understanding is that this may make sense even for a Fool if:
1. they are in the maximum tax bracket
2. they have exhausted all other tax deferred vehicles
3. they have reasons to protect their assets from legal settlements( I read something about this at SmartMoney - there are some links from the Annuity board)
4. they are young(far from retirement) - this will allow the tax advantage to add up enough to offset the fees(also from SmartMoney - I think it helps the math if you change funds - which we fools wouldn't be doing -so this one may go away)

So for the extra fees - you are buying some more tax deferral, and some asset protection from legal settlements. Personally - I think that this will leave few fools shopping for annuities - however, I don't think there are any absolutes.

Also - please stop pitching the books - you sound very 'preachy' when you do. There is no requirement here that you read the books before you post or before you visit the site. A mainstay of the Fool is that you take individual responsibility for your financial decisions and their outcomes.

Keep up the fun exchange - lets all try not to fight.

Helter
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ChuckOneil,

You're right, my statement “Chucks heart is probably in the right place . . . he just wouldn't make a very good financial advisor.” was TOO personal the way I wrote it. I apologize for that. I should have said something more like, Chuck's heart is probably in the right place . . . he just wouldn't make a very good financial advisor giving advise in that way.

As I said, it's NOT my intent to "attack" anyone personally. . . . .but I WILL "attack" what someone says. . . especially if it's misleading, inaccurate or inappropriate. If you take "attacks" on what you say so personally and can't take the heat . . .then???

You quoted a couple of the things I've said and apparently you can't see the difference between what I said and what you said. If you'll note, I make a specific effort to provide "information" and give ideas what one might think about and consider . . . and avoid giving specific "advise". I DON'T give such advise in these types of forums for the very same reasons I "attacked" what you said. It's inappropriate to give specific financial/investment "advise" when one does not know the persons situation (not just part of it, but all or most of it),details of their finances, experiences regarding their finances and investing and their objectives both short term and long term. You said it very well yourself, "The purpose of these Foolish boards is to educate one another and share ideas and knowledge." The purpose is NOT to give financial or investment "advise". About the only "advise" you'll see me give will be that of reading some books (as you have) and that of seeking professional advise if one is not up to spending the time an resources to become their own expert.

You asked: "If you believe that insurance and annuities can have just as good rates of return, why didn't you mention that when you recommended Mutual Funds?" First of all, I DON'T have a "belief" in insurance or annuities. They are simply financial tools to be applied when appropriate. Why would I bring them up when I don't have a clue whether or not they'd be appropriate? Take a closer look at what I said: “If it was your intention when surrendering your whole life policy to get better returns, you probably should just be looking at mutual funds for investments” Do you see the word "if", do you see that this person already had an insurance policy and got rid of it, do you see the words "probably should", and lastly, note that I mentioned mutual funds . . . . but didn't mention any specific funds nor what kind of return the person should go for or "expect". What I wrote here was far different from what you "advised".

Lastly, I'll address: So I would like to challenge you. What's the basis for your statement that, “... annuities and life insurance contracts CAN have just as good rates of return as any comparable investment(s)” Is it in the caveat “any comparable investment(s)”? It's based on studies done by independent institutional studies like those of Ibbotson. It's based on simple numbers that are published. Take a look at Vanguard's Variable Annuity using the Index 500 investment account. Keep in mind, I am talking about "rates of return" . . . . not whether it's a particularly good choice for anyone (for other reasons).

Oh, and BTW: Suze Orman,Tom and David Gardner, myself nor you are right about everthing. I happen to agree with Suze on a lot of issues regarding annuities. Note too that things written in books such as Suze's or Tom & David's does NOT constitute giving "advise".

*Point & Counter Point – Fini *
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intercst,

This may come as a surprise to you (an others around here, given assumptions about my position on annuities and my reasons for that positon) . . . . I agree that annuities "can croak your estate". Annuities and pension plans are a terrible thing to hang onto and try to pass on to heirs/beneficiaries. What I always say in my seminars for Seniors, one should not die with unused annuities and/or pension plans . . .the taxation can be devastating.
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Helter,

Good points regarding an annuuity. But I disagree with item #4. I've NEVER seen a good argument for someone who is "young" to have an annuity, even when they meet the previous 3 conditions.
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I cannot see what's wrong with one bit of the discussion regarding returns of the S&P index being the minimum return you should expect. By itself, the statement misleads. But looking at the context Chuck wrote it in, and comparing the historical returns of all the other Foolishly recommended investment vehicles, there's nothing misleading or untruthful about it. S&P index funds have had lower returns than the others, but better that the returns of managed funds.

I have no problem with this side of the discussion, or the Foolish recommendations given. I would tend to believe that those who come here want Foolish advice on investing. And they get it. Kudos Chuck, you're in my favorites.

Ridin' the ship of Fools,

Rick
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Rick (a.k.a. BookmFool),

I certainly don't have a problem with a general discussion regarding returns of the S&P being the minimum return one "should" or "might" expect. I'm sure there would be many "opinions" on that issue. But in the context of one giving specific advise to a specific individual who one know nothing about . . . and absent of such a discussion or qualification, it's indeed misleading.

I agree with you that MANY who come here want Foolish advise on investing . . .and that they get it. Those who do come here for "advise", do it out of ignorance and/or fear. The fact that "advise" is given, doesn't make it good or appropriate. Over the years I've seen a lot of advise given in Fooldom and most of it is POOR advise. Not because the advise can't or doesn't work or that the numbers are "wrong" . . . .but because it's given in a vacuum . . . with no consideration of the person's situation or goals and objectives or considering the human factor. You certainly wouldn't expect professionals to give advise in that manner. . . would you? If not . . . why not?

If these Foolish boards were for the purpose of providing "advise", they'd have to be licensed/ regulated under the SEC (Securities Exchange Commission). In fact, you can be SURE that the SEC has people monitoring these boards and people ARE being prosecuted for infractions of the laws. And it's my understanding the the SEC is stepping up their efforts in this area.
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I certainly don't have a problem with a general discussion regarding returns of the S&P being the minimum return one "should" or "might" expect. I'm sure there would be many "opinions" on that issue.

There should be only one "opinion" on the average return on a long-term investment in an S&P index fund, 10-11%. Plain and simple stats show that.

What would be misleading is telling someone to expect that return if they weren't going to hold it long-term.

Those who do come here for "advise", do it out of ignorance and/or fear.

That's quite a generalization, don't you think? We're all here because of our ignorance? Or maybe we came here from fear of the ignorant advise the Wise were giving. And your reason is...?

Over the years I've seen a lot of advise given in Fooldom and most of it is POOR advise.

Guess it's worth about as much as what ya pay for it. Well, I'll take this free, "POOR" Foolish advise anyday over the obscenely-priced, Wise kind that'll suck the yolk right out of a fools nestegg.

Mark me down as an ignorant, "POOR" advise-giving, vacuum living, data-mining Fool (Sorry, got carried away with the last one).

Fool on baby!



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BookmFool,

Yes . . . historical data shows the S&P 500 to have averaged 10-11% and in my "opinion" that is the figure one should use as a standard for planning and to measure one's performance when fully invested in the market. When it comes to "opinions", there's never just ONE opinion. When it comes to what one might "expect" from the S&P 500, there are many opinions and many of which are far different that just that 10-11%. And what one "expects" to get from the S&P 500 is also dependant on just how long one stays invested in it.

The statement is misleading because it didn't state what was meant as far as what to expect and over what period of time. A novice is not likely to know. For all they know, they'll look as last years number or the last 3 years numbers and say hey . . .I should be able to do 20% or more over the next few years. The statement, as it was written, was misleading since it had no further qualification.

<< That's quite a generalization, don't you think? We're all here because of our ignorance? >>

Of course not. I think most of us are hear to learn and some to help (even to give "advise" to boost their ego) . . . and others for other reasons. I certainly don't think that most of us here are here for "advise".

<< Or maybe we came here from fear of the ignorant advise the Wise were giving. And your reason is...? >>

Now I have the feeling you're being flippant. But I'll answer your question anyway. I'm here because I enjoy helping people (though I don't give free advise in these types of forums. . . it opens up too many legal problems since it's my professional field)and am willing to share things that I know AND, I feel I can always learn something new.

One of the things I've certainly learned from these forums is that there are a LOT of gullible people willing to seek and take advise from just about anyone. Is it any wonder so many people feel they've been ripped off when they don't take care as to who they listen to? At least if one is a self directed investing Fool, one can only blame one's self if and when things go poorly.

The current Bull Market has been so long and so few people in Fooldom remember a real Bear market, it's be interesting to see how it's be handled. I foresee that time as being very lucrative for me. ;-)
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TTRoberts wrote,

One of the things I've certainly learned from these forums is that there are a LOT of gullible people willing to seek and take advise from just about anyone. Is it any wonder so many people feel they've been ripped off when they don't take care as to who they listen to? At least if one is a self directed investing Fool, one can only blame one's self if and when things go poorly.

intercst responds,

Actually, the best way to prevent yourself from being "ripped off" is to minimize what you pay in fees and commissions. If there's no profit in the transaction for the salesman, there's little chance he'll make the effort to sell you anything, much less something inappropriate. You are unlikely to find a "boiler room" type of operation at a "low-fee" provider like Vanguard. You can't say the same about "high-fee" shops like Merrill-Lynch or Smith-Barney. My annual investment expenses are less than 0.02% of assets (i.e. 2 basis points.) By avoiding "the professionals", my portfolio has grown to the point where my annual living expenses in retirement are less than the 1% to 2% a full service firm would charge to manage my portfolio. That's right -- "I'm driving my broker's Lexus!"

For the most part, the "advice" you'll find on the Fool message boards is superior to what the professionals provide precisely because it's not being delivered with a "sales agenda." It's a community of investors sharing research and knowledge to determine "what works." Sure, there's a few "professionals" trolling the TMF boards for clients, but they're usually transparent -- and if there not, some of the Fools with more developed "B.S. detectors" will usually point out who they are.

TTRoberts wrote,


The current Bull Market has been so long and so few people in Fooldom remember a real Bear market, it's be interesting to see how it's be handled. I foresee that time as being very lucrative for me. ;-)


intercst responds,

We'll see. Many Fools on the Retirement Investing board are well aware that markets go up and down, sometimes precipitously, and are planning accordingly. I have every confidence they will fare better than those being sheparded by "the professionals."

intercst
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intercst,

Yes . . . we will indeed see. One always seems "superior" during good times (times of success). During Bull Markets, investment advisors and money managers very often appear to be brilliant . . .but when the market turns . . .that's when the you know what hits the fan.

. . . . we will indeed see.

BTW: I'm NOT at all suggesting one can't or shouldn't manage their own investments nor that they can't do it successfully. It all depends on if one has the interest, time and resources to do so.
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