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I have read somewhere that The Motley Fool recommends Fee Only Financial Planners. How in the world does one sort through all these planners to find the right one or a good one? Not all Fee Only Planners are equal. I am losing confidence in my current Fee Only Planner. Has anyone changed planners during their retirement?
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Welcome bobretired. We're glad you could join us.

Most fee only planner are willing to spend 30 min or so with you kind of in an interview, where each party decides if they have a good fit with the clients needs and expectations.

Recommendation from a friend or someone you trust is usually an excellent place to begin, but beyond that it is up to you to ask the right questions. Experience with your kind of situation, knowledgeable about relevant tax laws and requirements, and in the case of those who manage investments, a reasonable performance history. Add appropriate fees for time and services to be provided, decent communications skills, acceptable personality, etc, etc.

Make you own check list. And decide what is important to you.

I have not changed planners as I do not use one. (I do have pros I can call on for difficult tax problems.) Choosing the right one is the hard part. Changing from one to another should not be a big deal once you make the right choice.
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Paul,

Thank you for your response. We pay a monthly fee, however, we pay one fee rate plus transaction costs for one set of funds (funds that are managed for stocks, bonds and treasury notes) and we pay another rate for for the same types of securities in a more conservative mutal fund they developed after we were with them for about one year. The conservative fund allows them to charge their monthly fee and charge expenses (?) to this fund. Expenses to fund are @ 1.7%.

When we first signed on with these people, we were under the impression that we would pay a 1.2% fee for managing and distributing our portfolio. Things changed and we don't like it. The rates are higher for both managed and conservative fund management and the transaction costs continue. I am convinced everything is on the up and up, however, the fine print and the mailing of the prospectus for the mutual fund has them protected, but we feel "bait and switch" victims.

When we check NAPFA, the list is endless. We have checked out some via e-mail and telephone, but I have no idea about their history, performance and also, a few require up front fees just to talk to them. We have scratched those people off our list. Is there some resource that I can check to see if these people are even profitable, past performance and how they compare to their peers? Comparing to their peers is a big one, however, we do not feel we have the skill sets to separate the wheat from the shaft.
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...however, we do not feel we have the skill sets to separate the wheat from the shaft.

It used to be chaff but I guess I see what you mean.

Doug
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Doug

Sorry I did not catch it. By the time I did, it was too late.
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Mr. Bob, if you don't like your financial planner and don't think paying them is a good value, why not transfer the assets to a brokerage account and manage them yourself? Either one of two things is true. Either they're providing you with good service and value that pays their fees and then some, or their fees plus their performance equals mediocrity. If the first is true, then there are grounds for being happy. If the second, well...if you wanted to underperform (which you might possibly, doing it yourself, due to the learning curve), heck, you could do that yourself and you wouldn't have to go through anyone else to do that.

It's like the people I had look at my oil heater years back. They said they found something else wrong with the blower. "Absolutely can't believe it's even working, needs this and that repair." I paid. Didn't work. "Okay, we'll do this." I paid some more. "Nope, you'll need a new heater. We recommend ours." Fascinating chain of events, that. I decided that I had paid them long enough to mess up my blower. If I wanted it messed up, I could have messed it up for free; that's why I hired supposed pros. So I told them, maybe I do need a new heater, but you idiots will be the last people I buy it from, for obvious reasons.

If you pay a premium you should get a premium service. But I'm telling you, it isn't that hard to pick out a few good mutual funds to invest your retirement money. People here can help you. If you need complex calculations as to how much you can take out, that is a service; you can either keep hiring it (if they're providing it), or you can find tools to do it on your own. People here can help you with that, too. If you want to pick your own stocks and invest aggressively (not necessarily a wise idea in retirement), now, that's harder. But even then, you can get a newsletter--that's MF's main business--that suggests buys and sells. Or you can learn to analyze them yourself. But you don't need to do that. There are other easier and safe options.

I guess what I'm saying is that it's probably not very hard to duplicate their results, net of fees, on your own. You can probably beat them, since you aren't hamstrung by their fees. It seems like a vast quagmire, but since it is your financial future, you should want to educate yourself about that anyway and the tools are here--both the reading tools and the question-answering tools. You've already questioned the value they provide and I tend to think you're correct to do so. I'd go a step farther and say I think you can probably do just as well when the fees are factored in.
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I am losing confidence in my current Fee Only Planner. Has anyone changed planners during their retirement?

I think very few people who use a Financial Planner, fee or otherwise, ever actaully get to retire. The financial planner ends up with too much of the money, regardless of what they might say. Alternatively, the hopeful retiree learns the hard way that most financial planners don't know squat about financial planning. In short, if you want to retire with financial security, you should learn to do things yourself, because flushing good money down the drain.
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I think very few people who use a Financial Planner, fee or otherwise, ever actaully get to retire.

I've retired. I've used a planner a fee-only planner a couple of times over my life and plan to do it again in the not too distant future.

Pretty broad brush you're using.
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Pretty broad brush you're using.

Yep, I guess I did go a little too far. Fair to call me on it.
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I think very few people who use a Financial Planner, fee or otherwise, ever actaully get to retire. The financial planner ends up with too much of the money, regardless of what they might say. Alternatively, the hopeful retiree learns the hard way that most financial planners don't know squat about financial planning. In short, if you want to retire with financial security, you should learn to do things yourself, because flushing good money down the drain.

All I can say is that you must have been severely burned by a financial planner when you were younger. I can predict what you will say before opening your post.

IF
H&H Investment Advisors
We take your money. Seriously.
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<Yep, I guess I did go a little too far>


Res:

Personally, I think you didn't go far enough.


B
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All I can say is that you must have been severely burned by a financial planner when you were younger. I can predict what you will say before opening your post.

You know, it's funny you mention that because I have been thinking the same thing.
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