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If all your FA is doing is using some general formula for your investments, which could actually be exactly what his firm typically recommends,...


Our FA works at a large firm, but he got there through one or two acquisitions. Interestingly, the previous FA that we had used was at this current firm, and I see a world of difference. The old FA just followed the firm's general advice, and crammed us into one of their models. I didn't see where he added any value since he didn't seem to be using his own thinking and models. The new guy, who we have used for a few years now, has his own spreadsheets and models, and sort of has his own clients as a separate business from the rest of the firm. I find that the biggest difference, and I think that is the sort of thing you are seeking.

Yes, I do think he follows the prescription the company sets out for him, even though in theory this is also a separate business from the firm. I just wish we could find someone who puts in at least as much thought into our plan as I do, particularly because you just don't know what you don't know. I suspect there is a ton I just don't know!

But he has gotten decent returns net of fee, is pretty easy to get along with, has come to realize I usually (but not always,) am worth listening to, being very helpful in getting DH to accept and understand my plans or point out the error of my thought process before I bring it to DH for consideration. DH was raised to follow authority, and that alphabet soup after his name gives our FA that authority. Me, I was raised to challenge it. Talk about a cultural differences, even though we are both third generation American!

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