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Sam S.

Investment Advice - Vanguard alternative

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I have a number of retirement accounts with Vanguard. Historically, I've liked the returns and lower fees. However, I recently had an awful customer service experience with them, and am looking elsewhere to invest. I'll likely leave the accounts I have there, just not contribute more to them. I wonder if anyone has suggestions for similar companies with better customer service?

 

Any specific fund recommendations are also welcome. I'm leaning towards more conservative funds as i get older (50 now), and concerned about risks, market crashes, etc.

 

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I use Edward Jones. Very happy with my rep. Easy to make money now but he is very helpful when the market is going the other way.

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I've had very good luck with Raymond James.  Over the years I've come to find out that it's more about your agent than it is the particular company he (or she) works for.

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1 hour ago, CECAA850 said:

I've had very good luck with Raymond James.  Over the years I've come to find out that it's more about your agent than it is the particular company he (or she) works for.

 

Agree 100% with it being the individual person not the company. My current guy did a TON of work up front, for free, to earn my business. I could not be more happy with him. The previous two not so much. Treat them like they work for you, because they do, don't let them slide and move on if they start to take you for granted. The right guy/gal is out there go find them. It is too important to not do your part to vet them. I actually look forward to my conversations these days. PM me if you want my guys name. He works with people all over the country.

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Thanks for all the input. I was thinking merely of another company to invest on my own instead of Vanguard, and hadn't thought of an in-person advisor or individual rep. I've been leery of that in the past, but perhaps its something worth considering. Especially as I get older, I find it very hard to trust anyone.

 

 

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7 hours ago, Sam S. said:

Thanks for all the input. I was thinking merely of another company to invest on my own instead of Vanguard, and hadn't thought of an in-person advisor or individual rep. I've been leery of that in the past, but perhaps its something worth considering. Especially as I get older, I find it very hard to trust anyone.

 

 

 

I used to feel the same way. To this day I'll still threaten to put everything I have in a low fee index fund and forget it. Then I remember that I don't change my oil in my car any longer. Under the hood looks nothing like my old 68 Camaro. When I broke my collarbone in 4 places and needed 8 screws and titanium plate to put me back together I didn't go to the Dentist, I went to an orthopedic surgeon. Likewise both the U.S. government and a law firm pay me to write specialized, custom programs for their computers. I can mow my own lawn but when it is done for me by a pro the attention to detail and end result is way better than I do. Everyone has a special skill or something they are good at.

 

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2 hours ago, rplace said:

 

Agree 100% with it being the individual person not the company. My current guy did a TON of work up front, for free, to earn my business. I could not be more happy with him. The previous two not so much. Treat them like they work for you, because they do, don't let them slide and move on if they start to take you for granted. The right guy/gal is out there go find them. It is too important to not do your part to vet them. I actually look forward to my conversations these days. PM me if you want my guys name. He works with people all over the country.

I agree also. The first guy I had was more like a used car salesman. I didn't  fully trust him. The guy im with now is very honest and will tell me things that helps me more than him if he went another direction.  

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We had an "account manager" with TD America. She lost a bunch of money (haha; OUR money) when the market went UP :(  OK; switched to Fidelity and got $2000 plus free trades for a year :)  Then my account manager started calling about great opportunities for our account ... haha; great opportunities for his pocket.  Have been managing our accounts myself .... up 35% (easy to do in this market :D ).  FYI; about 40% ETF's (Yes; Vanguard ETF's! ), 50% stock (AAPL. MSFT, AMZN, BP, etc) and 10% cash.  I would not count on "money managers;" their interest is not "yours."  Best of luck :D 

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I went to graduate school for this.  Guess what very stable genius was not worthy of study?  Guess what I do since I don't make a living from other people's investments?  That's right, low cost index funds.  Unless you have the time and expertise to do it yourself, then study after study shows that low cost indexing all things considered beat on average the pros over any significant time period.  Back in my foosball playing days we had a saying:  "race me chase me."  So do you feel lucky?

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Anyone who uses an individual would serve yourself well to look them up on Brokercheck

 

https://brokercheck.finra.org/

 

It's a bit of some detective work...  if you look up "Bill Smith" what if his real name is  William?  What if his FIRST name is Steve and he goes by his middle name?

 

I say that to assuage someone who can't immediately find his/her person.  It's a bit of a funky site....I think you can zero in with other factors, just realize finding your person MIGHT be a bit of a challenge for you until you get the website figured out a bit.

 

On 11/18/2019 at 1:19 PM, CECAA850 said:

 Over the years I've come to find out that it's more about your agent than it is the particular company he (or she) works for.

 

That said, Carl nailed it.   If you find your person on the above site....  look for the "Detailed Report" and specifically, look at their qualifications (in my opinion you really want someone with a Series 7 verses a Series 6).  Look at the section about Disclosures.....  THAT is where you might find the goods (complaints if any) on the person.

 

Lady came to me a number of years ago....long story short, her brother in law had her account and has disappeared.... as had her account.  We looked him up on  BrokerCheck and he had something like 65 complaints on him.  Granted, many were this current situation that she too was hurting from but he had some old ones and had she seen the old ones, avoided him....she would have missed his criminal activities.

 

If you see a complaint.,....someone essentially crying about their investment going down, doesn't get a lot of sympathy from me.  After all, would they complain if it had gone UP?  Meaning, a complaint isn't necessarily negative, it might be someone crying about spilled milk.  You have to read a bit between the lines unless it gives the violations.

 

Virtually anyone can file a complaint against someone with a securities license and it's going to stick here.  If you find someone with say, 10 years of experience and 1-2 complaints....  read the complaints.  If they are the funds went down, the person might get a pass from me (as in I'm not necessarily going to hold that against them).  If on the other hand they have 3 years and 4-6 complaints, some talking about co-mingling funds or something.....  I'd move on from them.

 

I've LONG felt that anyone in the securities business should be required to provide a prospective customer their CRD report PRIOR to an account being opened so the person can see what's on file.

 

 

That said.....back to Sam....  they're a big company.  She might have been having a bad day.  Can you simply avoid her in the future?  (she answers, ask for someone else?)

 

If you like what's going on, their investments....  why spite yourself because of her?  She'll likely be gone in a year or three anyway.

 

 

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On 11/18/2019 at 5:03 PM, Emile said:

switched to Fidelity and got $2000 plus free trades for a year

 

I presume Fidelity has followed suit.....but you do know most everyone has dropped to zero commissions for online equity trades?

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