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Eagle10

Advice Please

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I am writing to find out if my wife and I can do better than what we are currently investing in. My plan is through Oppenheimer and my wife through Nationwide. I do not like what I am reading and learning about the expense ratios and variable annuity my wife is in. I feel that we can do better. My wife does have Vanguard on her vendor list but our financial planner said nothing about it. At the time I knew much less than I do now (3 years ago). I feel like we have been taken for a ride. Please send any advice/help our way.

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Eagle,

 

Your financial planner? Does he come to you through the plan that offers Oppenheimer or Nationwide? Or is he/ she a planner you engage in some other manner?

 

JudyS

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Eagle,

I think you will find that the difference between Nationwide and Vanguard is like the difference between night and day in terms of cost/value.

There is a reason why Vanguard did not approach your wife... their products are not sold by salespeople working on commission. Your wife could transfer her Nationwide account to Vanguard, but she should check for any surrender fees associated with Nationwide and see just how much more she is paying in expenses.

 

VAteacher

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Eagle,

 

Your financial planner? Does he come to you through the plan that offers Oppenheimer or Nationwide? Or is he/ she a planner you engage in some other manner?

 

JudyS

 

 

 

He is not associated with either one. He is a third party working for Raymond James.

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Eagle

 

 

You are answering your own questions in your post. I'd say you are ready to move on. Yes ,your realization that you can do better is correct.

 

 

 

Tony

 

 

 

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Eagle

 

 

You are answering your own questions in your post. I'd say you are ready to move on. Yes ,your realization that you can do better is correct.

 

 

 

Tony

 

 

 

Is it wise to run my 403b investments myself or do I have to have a financial planner to take care of the plan with my school district. I also would like to know what more to look for with finding a financial planner in PA??? Any thoughts on that topic.

 

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Eagle

 

Well from my standpoint, I think you can easily achieve financial success without a financial advisor. Have you thought about a target retirement fund from Vanguard, Fidelity, or TRowe Price ?. Or you could construct your own basic well diversified index fund portfolio like the coffee house portfolio. Google it.

 

 

The key is basically to be diversified, stay fully invested through thick and thin and keep your costs low!!

 

I'm not saying a real financial advisor is not without some value but I am afraid that what you are probably

dealing with is a commissioned salesperson. These guys walk around schools foaming at the mouth just looking for teachers to sign up. They are pretty useless and are only interested in making the sale. If you must use a financial planner see if you can find a fee -only advisor who has a good reputation.

 

Thats the problem-finding a competant and honest one who makes his/her living by looking after their client's interest first.

 

 

 

I think personally you can do just as well and probably better on your own if you push yourself to read and learn. Its been said here over and over but NO ONE WILL DO A BETTER JOB SUPERVISING YOUR MONEY THAN YOURSELF.

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Eagle --

 

Your advisor from Raymond James is not doing you any favors if he's recommending Oppenheimer and Nationwide instead of a no-load family (such as Vanguard). You can easily figure this out by stopping by your public library and sitting down with Morningstar. Ask the reference librarian how to look up mutual funds in there. And then look at the EXPENSES or COSTS in these three fund families. It will be obvious. Your Raymond James advisor may not attend to expenses and I would not be surprised to learn that he really doesn't understand expenses or their impact -- especially the cumulative impact over years and years. That is not something that Raymond James teaches their reps, probably. That is DEFINITELY my personal experience with Edward Jones reps.

 

So begin your education. This is not difficult. Begin by reading John Bogle's The Little Book Of CommonSense Investing and then move on to Larry Swedroe's The Only Guide To A Winning Investment Strategy You'll Ever Need. Tony recommended the CoffeeHouse Investor. You can be a pretty good investor if you never read any further....

 

You can do it... nearly every one of us here began exactly where you are and then had to figure it out because we were getting snookered. No one on this board appears to be a genius and probably no one has a perfect portfolio, but most of us seem to be doing quite well, thank you.

 

JudyS

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Eagle,

 

You can get useful information at www.morningstar.com too. Look up funds using their quick take tool and it will allow you to see expenses and other pertinent information.

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Ok. I have done my homework over the last 3 years and am convinced I can do better investing in no-load funds with low expense ratios. The problem is this:

 

This may seem simple and maybe I am not seeing it but hopefully someone can shed light. How do I cut ties with my financial advisor when I have a custodial 403b account, VA account, life insurance, and a money market tied up with him? I don't know if this is a complicated process or just simply stating I'm done (which I doubt its that easy). Any ideas/advice on how to move on from current financial advisor would be great.

 

Another note. I don't know if I will venture alone or try to secure another financial advisor. I think a fee only advisor is the way to go???

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Just tell your advisor the truth. .."I am stopping all further contributions and I am transfering my current assetts to Vanguard" which is available in my plan". ASk him to please help you to facilitate the transfer.

Contact Vanguard and they can help with the process

 

 

I would put your money in a Target Retirement Fund and forget it. Don't expect quick results. It takes time

and a buy and hold strategy to start seeing the difference but you will. AS you gain more experience you can maybe tweak your portfolio by aiding Reitts or Tips to further round out your portfolio.

 

 

If you feel you need insurance buy it seperately. Your state retirement plan might over it dirt cheap. Buy term insurance.

 

 

 

Personally, unless you have more than 250,000 saved up I would skip a fee only financial advisor until you have that much.

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