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#120002 - 12/10/05 06:07 PM Totally OT: financial advisor
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 18044
Loc: NoVA
Hey guys,

We're in need of a financial advisor to help us do some investment planning, savings, retirement plans. I've looked around online, and come to the conclusion the best way not to end up with a scumbag is to get a personal recommendation. If anyone has any leads in the SF Bay Area, that would be great. Also, how much should I expect to pay for this service? I don't know much about this, obviously...

BTW, I won't take recommendations from anyone who hasn't been on the boards for awhile. See the aforementioned problem of looking online... astroturfing seems to be a popular way of getting business for these guys.

Thanks!
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#120003 - 12/10/05 08:08 PM Re: Totally OT: financial advisor
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10621
Ken, as you might recall, besides criminal prosecution my areas are estate planning, investments and taxation, including doing pro bono advice on other forums under a different name. Unless your situation is unusually complex, it's unlikely that a "financial advisor" has to be hired. There's nobody who's going to take care of you financially with the care that you will use yourself, after educating yourself a bit. If an advisor is used, he should be paid on an hourly fee basis($100 up)rather than collecting commissions on investment products which he sells, raising the possibility that the size of the commission would affect his recommendations.

I have no problem with discussing this in general on the board, which may possibly also help others, or in a PM if there're some specific personal matters which aren't appropriate for open discussion.
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#120004 - 12/10/05 08:43 PM Re: Totally OT: financial advisor
jinhan Offline
veteran

Registered: 10/26/05
Posts: 156
I have a financial advisor, but to be honest with you, I don't really use him too much anymore. After everything was set up, it was pretty much smooth sailing. I have a 403b with Fidelity, and I hit them up for advice regarding fund choices. This is what he did for me:

1) He made sure I had life insurance and disability (be careful in this one).
2) He made me get Roth IRA's.
3) He made me max out my 403b.
4) He help set up a mutual funds and money market accounts.
5) He looked at our income, and made sure our budget was reasonable.

That was it... All I have to do is remember to become less aggressive with my mutual funds as time goes by, and my wife and I should be set for life (knock and wood).

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#120005 - 12/10/05 08:50 PM Re: Totally OT: financial advisor
SirQuack Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 01/29/04
Posts: 13565
Loc: Iowa
Ken, do either you or your wife work at a company that offers retirement (401K) plans? Most companies should have people that can explain the various options from more guaranteed categories to more risk. If one of your employers has such benefits, the company they have the plan with should provide educational information free of charge. At least that is what my company does, and we are one of the leaders in 401K plans and investments globally.

gool duck man

Randy

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#120006 - 12/10/05 10:46 PM Re: Totally OT: financial advisor
thyname Offline
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Registered: 04/05/05
Posts: 552
Loc: Oakton, VA
You can do it yourself by opening an account directly to one of the fund companies. Fidelity is a good one, I agree. Unless you have a lot of money. In this case you can probably hire a financial advisor to see how your money should be allocated. But, if you want to only buy mutual funds shares, you can do it yourself. For example, you can open a Fidelity account, they have great customer support and will advise you some fund that suits you well, and you can even buy other companies' funds through the Fidelity account.
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#120007 - 12/11/05 01:07 AM Re: Totally OT: financial advisor
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 18044
Loc: NoVA
I should probably be more clear. Our main objective is to buy a house. We have no idea how to save money to do that, how much money we need, or what we can afford. Our secondary objective is to save money in case of emergencies, with the tertiary being to save for retirement.

My objective, of course, is to save up to buy more toys. But that's beside the point.

I have a 401(k), and my wife has a 403(b). But we're not quite sure about the investment mix, etc.

Thanks for all the replies so far!
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#120008 - 12/11/05 04:31 AM Re: Totally OT: financial advisor
SirQuack Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 01/29/04
Posts: 13565
Loc: Iowa
I've been in a 401K now since 1994. Since my wife is a teacher, she is automatically in the states IPERS program, but she can't add to this, so we started a 403b plan for her on the side as well.

Depending on your plan, it is very important to spread out how much you allocate to each check in the various options. A good rule of thumb is to put the same percentage in more guaranteed funds, as your age. For ex., if your 30, place 30% of your money into say bonds or mutual funds. The other 70% can be put in more risky categories. It is good to be very diversified in many categories, that way if some areas are not doing well, others may help balance out your overall percentage of return.

Saving money is tuff man, especially when you have other bills and activities you enjoy. At least you guys are doing the right thing by saving for retirment. I know guys that I work with that have been with the company longer than I, and they don't do the 401K because they say they can't afford to, or they don't have enough money now to live on. I say "They can't afford not to do it". Most of them don't understand the concept of compounding money.

It is like the old question, what would you take if I gave you:
A) A million bucks right now.
OR
B) A penny each day doubled for 30 days. So a penny today, two pennies tomorrow, four pennies the next day, etc....for 30 days.

Most people say give me the million now man, WRONG answer. The penny doubled everyday for 30 days ammounts to over 5 million. That is the whole concept of compounding money.

Good luck, and put the most you can in your plans, and hope some of your ammount is matched by your companies...

Ya gotta get a house man, there is nothing better than realstate for being a good investment, especially if you can apply a little extra each month, to build on the equity. We lived in our first house for 10 years. Since the value of homes keeps going up, we had a lot of equity so we where able to build a new house about 3 years ago.

There are many types of loans available, some for new home buyers where you don't have to come up with as much money for a down payment. I would try to see if any of your friends can refer you to a realtor that can talk about the various types of home loans available. You may be suprised, and your payment might be the same or less than renting.

Good luck Ken.



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#120009 - 12/11/05 12:13 PM Re: Totally OT: financial advisor
bridgman Online   content
axiomite

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 6027
Loc: Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
>>Ya gotta get a house man, there is nothing better than realstate for being a good investment

... or for building a home theater
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#120010 - 12/11/05 03:37 PM Re: Totally OT: financial advisor
thyname Offline
aficionado

Registered: 04/05/05
Posts: 552
Loc: Oakton, VA
In reply to:


...and your payment might be the same or less than renting.




Really? tell me how!!! We are trying to purchase a Town Home as well here in N. VA, but we simply can't find a good one we can afford. We even visited four TH in Springfield today, that were selling for around 350K, but we were so dissapointed: too small, in the middle of nowhere, and kind of not-so-well built. I guess we have to look elsewhere. with a 300K loan, monthy mortgage payments plus other monthly fees will reach around 2K, which is far more than what we pay for rent in a very spacious apt. where we live now. Today, I seriously thought of giving up wanting to buy a house for a year or two...

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#120011 - 12/11/05 03:45 PM Re: Totally OT: financial advisor
SirQuack Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 01/29/04
Posts: 13565
Loc: Iowa
Most first home buyers aren't looking for something above 300K. And yes, I know many people that are paying rental payments far above what they could get a 30year conventional loan.
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