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How To Find The Right Financial Pro

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On 9/23/2019 at 6:07 AM, sschullo said:

That is a great video.

"Reasons you should look for a financial pro" would be an interesting addition to this thread. There's a lot I feel confident doing on my own(choosing asset allocation, choosing investments, updating contribution amounts) during the accumulation phase, so paying an adviser for that doesn't make much sense. I'm sure later in life I'll have more complicated questions or pitfalls someone could help me avoid. Planning a retirement date by balancing pension, social sec and investment withdrawal income is fun right now(with years to go), but it'll become a more serious decision once I get old enough to do it.

"What a financial pro can and can't do" would make a good side-by-side table. "Beat the market over long periods of time (can't)"

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Ben Graham's classic The Intelligent Investor (1973) has an entire chapter on seeking advice, he wrote:  

If the reason people invest is to make money, then in seeking advice they are asking others [Financial Professionals] to tell them how to make money. That idea has some element of naïveté. Businessmen seek professional advice on various elements of their business, but they do not expect to be told how to make a profit. That is their own bailiwick. When…non-business people rely on others to make investment profits for them, they are expecting a kind of result for which there is no true counterpart in ordinary business affairs.

On the other hand, Graham writes this which is out of date in 2020:

We take a more critical attitude toward the widespread custom of asking investment advice from relatives or friends. The inquirer always thinks he has good reason for assuming that the person consulted has superior knowledge or experience. Our own observation indicates that it is almost as difficult to select satisfactory lay advisers as it is to select the proper securities unaided. Much bad advice is given free.

The best financial information and advice has been FREE for over 20 years when this website 403bwise.com and Bogleheads forums were launched! Numerous tell-all books by everyday investors say that they are better off without an expensive adviser. In 2020 free investment information is everywhere on the internet. Also, index funds were not available until Bogle launched his S&P 500 in 1975. 

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