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I would like to get feedback from people who use professional financial advisors. What is the value that you personally derive from a professionally created or managed financial plan? We are contemplating going this route, but balking at the potential initial $1K-$2K outlay.

--AF, who realizes that there may not be a lot of people here who pay others to help them make long-term financial plans.
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No. of Recommendations: 5
Author: AliFool Date: 1/4/02 4:45 PM Number: 33097
I would like to get feedback from people who use professional financial advisors. What is the value that you personally derive from a professionally created or managed financial plan? We are contemplating going this route, but balking at the potential initial $1K-$2K outlay.

I did that, and afterwards found that by reading a few great books and reading numerous posts and articles here at the Fool (especially the Retire Early Home Page board and the Retirement area), I could make just as good a plan on my own.

IOW, I wasted my $1.5K!! I no longer use a financial planner!!

If you don't feel comfortable making your own plan, even after reading all the great recommended books and the posts and articles here on the Fool, then you might consider joining an investment club. They will usually have members who can help you make a plan (for free).

RK
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No. of Recommendations: 3
I did that, and afterwards found that by reading a few great books and reading numerous posts and articles here at the Fool (especially the Retire Early Home Page board and the Retirement area), I could make just as good a plan on my own.

IOW, I wasted my $1.5K!! I no longer use a financial planner!!


From a different point of view, I wouldn't say that you wasted the money. Instead, you wasted your time by learning about something that you had already paid for.

Almost anyone can learn enough to do their own financial planning. And I think that everyone should have a basic understanding of the nuts and bolts behind their finances. But choosing to use a professional is a trade-off of time for money.

Do you want to know if you should convert your traditional IRA to a Roth? You can learn about the necessary issues (including learning what the necessary issues ARE) then put together your data and do the proper calculations. Finally you can interpret the results.
OR
You can go to a professional, learn the background issues from her, then gather the necessary data and provide it to her. The professional can do the number crunching and assist with interpreting the results.

The first way will take a considerable amount of your time, but will be very inexpensive - maybe the cost of some books or software. The second will take less of your time, but will have a significant cost.

--Peter <== who, in the interest of full disclosure, is a financial professional
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It seems to me that the least expensive way to dabble with a financial planner is through Fooldom's money-back guarantee financial advisor program. Try it for a month. Don't like it, quit and get your money back. If it works for you, it costs $15 a month. (Let's see, $15 times 12 months is $180/year, somewhat less than $1.5K.
FoolDaveOnce
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Author: ptheland Date: 1/5/02 1:39 AM Number: 33104
From a different point of view, I wouldn't say that you wasted the money. Instead, you wasted your time by learning about something that you had already paid for.

Almost anyone can learn enough to do their own financial planning. And I think that everyone should have a basic understanding of the nuts and bolts behind their finances. But choosing to use a professional is a trade-off of time for money.


I agree. I was just giving my own experiences. I LIKE doing my own planning, and I don't find it all that difficult.

I think that as long as you understand exactly what you are paying for and still find the service worth it, then it's right for you. I have nothing against professional financial planners.

RK
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No. of Recommendations: 2
And we are not even discussing the quality of advice that you get from "professional" financial planners. Especially the ones (most, I think) who earn commission on investments they recommend to you. Can you say "conflict of interest"? Smells to me...especially with so many free resources out there.

Thanks!
Joe
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I am going to have an interview with a 3rd financial planner quite soon. We moved away from the area we had the 1st interview in, and we met with the 2nd planner last week. He wants to charge us between $1K and $2K for our plan and first year of "service" (we can call him any time with questions, etc.), and then 60-75% of that figure again, per year, with about a 6% raise each year. Not bad for him.

This 3rd planner says she will charge us nothing for some basic planning, or $750 for a comprehensive plan covering everything imaginable. She does work for a group from whom she would receive commission for recommending their products to us, however (says she) "we are free to do as we like." She was very up front and was clear that she does not benefit unless we use her group's financial instruments, but still seems willing and able to plan for us. I don't see how she would stand to gain if we don't buy what she's selling, so I question her interests in helping us plan.

*SIGH* it's not easy to find someone to trust with something as important as this... which is why it does pay to do as much as one can on one's own. Maybe I could arrange our financial future if I left the job that is currently helping to assure it and instead managed our household assets full time?! : )

--AF
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I talked with one for about an hour during a American Express "free US savings bond" promotion. I came away feeling like he told me nothing and that I knew more than he did.
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RK, or anyone else,

Where can I find these "few great BOOKS" on retirement planning / investing? I am already planning on taking the Fools online course "Roadmap to Retirement", but I'd like other perspectives, particularly some that are LESS "STOCK / EQUITIES" ORIENTED, just for comparison. I, like most Fools, tend to favor investing in stocks, and there are losts of books on investing, but little that I can find on financial / retirement planning . I just scanned 1453 posts on the "Books We Are Reading" discussion board and found nothing (I scanned, so maybe I missed it)

morganp42
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Read "the wealthy barber" good light reading, you could probably read in a day or two of good solid reading.
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Author: morganp42 Date: 1/15/02 4:46 PM Number: 33318
Where can I find these "few great BOOKS" on retirement planning / investing? I am already planning on taking the Fools online course "Roadmap to Retirement", but I'd like other perspectives, particularly some that are LESS "STOCK / EQUITIES" ORIENTED, just for comparison.

My favorite books are as follows:

'Stocks for the Long Run' by Jeremy Siegel
'What Works on Wall Street' by James P. O'Shaughnessy
'The Intelligent Asset Allocator' by William Bernstein
'A Random Walk Down Wall Street' by Burton Malkiel
'Common Sense on Mutual Funds' by John C. Bogle
'Investing in REITs' by Ralph Block

'How to Retire Early and Live Well' by Gillette Edmunds
'The Roaring 2000's' by Harry S. Dent

I would also recommendend reading the first six in the approximate order I've listed them. The last two are general knowledge and don't require any special investing knowledge so they can be read anytime.

They can be purchased through large bookstores, but I prefer to buy them online at www.amazon.com or www.barnesandnoble.com .

Hope that helps.

RK
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