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No. of Recommendations: 1
So far his best asset has been that when he finally understands what I want to do and why we should do it, he helps me convince DH a lot faster than I can do on my own. I guess that alphabet soup is good for something.

I wouldn't discount the value of this, although it still may not be worth what you are actually paying for his services.

Maybe the best approach is to see if there is another FA at that company, one who does more than throw a formula at our total family of accounts, and who can take over management of our funds. What I really would love is a financial adviser who is the total package, understanding the need to balance returns with taxes, how to manipulate the accounts to provide the best of all worlds, how to position what we have now in it's current form for optimal retirement investing and spending.

This sounds like a good place to start. If all your FA is doing is using some general formula for your investments, which could actually be exactly what his firm typically recommends, then you'd probably at least still get that piece and potentially the additional pieces that you are not getting now just by switching to someone else at the same firm. It is at least worth exploring.

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.

So keep looking because these guys do exist and they are out there, but you have to turn over a lot of rocks to find them.
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