Author Topic: Finding A Trustworthy Financial Consultant/Adviser??  (Read 3128 times)

GCinOKC

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Finding A Trustworthy Financial Consultant/Adviser??
« on: April 22, 2015, 11:22:48 AM »
Hello, I am not sure if I'm posting this in the correct place or not, but figured the "Ask A Mustachian" section gets the most views/posts so I'd try here first. I have been reading on this site for the past year. I've been trying to get myself in better financial shape over this past year and am at least getting on the right track. I cannot say I'm completely committed as much as I'd like to be at this moment, but I'm getting there. I won't get into the full specs on my current situation right now, but here's a brief synopsis:

I just turned 31yrs old, married with no kids currently but we are in the process of adoption and have been waiting for a year, so will likely be any time now. Living in a suburb of Oklahoma City, so cost of living is pretty reasonable. I make around $78k/yr as a project manager for a small commercial construction firm in the city. Sometimes I can make more depending on profit bonuses, but I do not count on that money really. It's just what it's called, a bonus if I get it.

Prior to my 30th birthday I was overspending and not being financially intelligent and looking back I am very frustrated as I could have a very considerable amount of cash invested right now had I been smarter. However, I cannot change that so I'm trying to work towards a better plan now. My employer offers a traditional IRA plan and will match up to 3%, so I'm maxing that out. We are trying to pay off some debts currently so we're not able to invest as much as we'd like, but should still be in the $10-$15k/yr range (not counting IRA) until we get these other things paid off. The employer's IRA program is through Ameriprise. I would really like to sit down with a good financial planner/consultant/adviser, whatever you want to call them, and discuss our goals, savings rates, etc. but I tend to worry that most are not going to share the views I have gained from this forum and community. Again, I cannot compare myself to many of you that are retiring in your 30's, but I would like to work towards feeling the stress relief of financial independence.

So finally to my actual question...do any of you work with financial advisers of some kind, or even better, anyone know of someone they would recommend in the Oklahoma City area that isn't going to laugh at our plans for earlier than average "retirement"? I will continue to try to educate myself with this site and a few others about investing and good strategies, etc. but wasn't sure if many of you also use some kind of financial adviser as well?

Thanks in advance for any input or help!


MDM

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Re: Finding A Trustworthy Financial Consultant/Adviser??
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2015, 11:48:24 AM »
Can't help with OKC specifically, but one general thought: consider posting a case study.  See http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/how-to-write-a-%27case-study%27-topic/.

At worst, you will likely get good suggestions that will make you more knowledgeable if you do talk to a FA.  At best, you will decide that you really can invest without paying a FA.  In either case, welcome to the forum and good luck!

RexualChocolate

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Re: Finding A Trustworthy Financial Consultant/Adviser??
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2015, 02:57:34 PM »
1. Learn about asset allocation and retirement funds at bogleheads.org
2. Decide that you want to go X% Stock and Y%Bonds. In your case, 80/20 or higher.
3. Start dumping money into those 2 funds at Vanguard (in those amounts).
4. Utilize tax advantaged space (18k of 401k/year, 5500 of IRA a year).
5. ALREADY COMPLETE: Create a MMM or bogleheads account to ask any questions about details.

It is really that simple. Financial advisors are for the willfully ignorant. They only add value at the 1%er level, which you are not.

chalime

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Re: Finding A Trustworthy Financial Consultant/Adviser??
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2015, 10:21:59 PM »
As someone who works in a wealth management firm, I agree with Rex- stay away if you can help it. If you do anything, you could find someone to run a plan for you- typically $1200 on the low end (or stay online and talk to someone at a place like LearnVest). You definitely do NOT want them managing your money (their job is to meet with people all day and collect as many assets as possible- advisors don't have any special knowledge about the markets that will create alpha for you).

IMO, the investment management is the easy part- it's the planning and figuring out if you're actually in a solid position to make this move that is the challenge.
 
First, my two cents on investment strategy: Keep costs low, diversify, have a long-term approach (if you can afford that luxury, which you can), and stick to the plan (forget about trying to time the market).

For me personally, that means VTI, VEA, and VWO as the cornerstones--I'm a bit of a Vanguard fanboy.

This is a little extra work, but rebalancing is a best practice (forces you to be contrarian- buy low and sell high). It's probably easiest to set everything up at Vanguard, but I would also consider Wealthfront/Betterment taxable account bc of how they can do tax-loss harvesting and how easy/hands-off it is for you (I don't do this myself bc it would be awkward to explain that to my bosses). But this wouldn't work if you have those same holdings in your retirement accounts (wash sale rules)...  You could put everything with a robo, but then you'd have to pay their fee for the retirement account too, which doesn't seem worth it to me just for them to pick your funds.

I think you should be most concerned with figuring out the planning side of it: 1. Where to optimally save. If you max out 401k and IRA do you have anything left to put in an after-tax account? I'm not completely familiar with this, but that Roth Conversion Ladder seems like an important strategy to consider so you can access IRA money before 59.5.... 2. What's your number? And how fast can you get there? These are hard questions to answer because of the assumptions you have to make with rates of return, inflation, spending needs, etc. but it's a good idea to model this as best you can to get a better sense of where you're at.

niatpac

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Re: Finding A Trustworthy Financial Consultant/Adviser??
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2015, 05:55:29 AM »
You may be interesting in meeting with a fee only planner.  There are several planners that work with clients virtually and have many different types of fee structures like monthly fee, one time planning fee, AUM (assets under management, etc.)  One source to look for these type of planners is at http://www.xyplanningnetwork.com/   All the planners are certified CFP and fee only based.  I have no affiliation with them but have considered joining their network.  I am a CPA that is looking at expanding into financial planning on a monthly retainer model.

cynthia1848

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Re: Finding A Trustworthy Financial Consultant/Adviser??
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2015, 07:16:51 AM »
You may be interesting in meeting with a fee only planner. 

YES.  If you want a financial planner, look for one that is fee based and NOT commission or product based.

GCinOKC

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Re: Finding A Trustworthy Financial Consultant/Adviser??
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2015, 07:40:30 AM »
Thank you very much for all the helpful information! I'm going to continue reading and researching in all of the areas mentioned.

Since my employer does not offer a 401k plan (only the traditional IRA), is setting up a solo 401k plan a big deal? I am currently in the process of starting my own company on the side just so I can pursue some additional income in side work and was thinking I could set it up through that? Sorry if that is a dumb question, I'm just not really familiar with it.

Genevieve

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Re: Finding A Trustworthy Financial Consultant/Adviser??
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2015, 08:44:17 PM »
I noticed no one answered your question about setting up a solo 401(k). If you have a side business, yes you can set this plan up. Other options may be a SEP IRA and a SIMPLE IRA. I'm not sure which would be the best for you, so I'd do some research on these three plans.

Norrie

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Re: Finding A Trustworthy Financial Consultant/Adviser??
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2015, 10:27:31 AM »
Hey there. I'm in Tulsa, and have the name of a great one over here if you're ever up for a bit of a road trip. The key for us was definitely finding someone who was fee-based instead of commission-based. Our first hour long meeting with him was free, and absolutely invaluable. It was great to talk through the basics, make a bit of a road map of where to go, and find someone who we connected with well.

I can share his contact information if you're interested. Perhaps you could call his office and explain that he came recommended, but that you live in OKC and wonder if they know of anyone in your neck of the woods.