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No. of Recommendations: 4
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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