Author Topic: Fidelity advisors  (Read 1941 times)

spokey doke

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Fidelity advisors
« on: January 23, 2016, 11:57:04 AM »
I had a decent relationship and a decent amount of trust in the advisor I had at Fidelity, where I have a taxable brokerage account (although he never had my full confidence).  But he left and the next guy was all excited to get working for me, clearly not very experienced, asked lots of questions and said he'd get back to me with some recommendations in response to my questions...and never did...turns out he left within a couple months of starting (or was let go - I don't really know). 

So the next guy is a bit more stable and thoughtful in his demeanor, but seems flatfooted in responding to my questions, and often can't provide a convincing justification for his responses beyond a simplistic initial rationale (so he gets tripped up when I ask 'well- why would I do X vs. Y?').  It seems like he is just following a prescribed decision tree.

Same thing from the other resource people I'm put in touch with...including the fixed income guy who provided me with a sample bond ladder that violated both my own guidelines on ratings, and Fidelity's own (ableit generic) guidelines to investors on creating municipal bond ladders.

Have others of you noticed any declines, or just sketchy experiences with Fidelity advisors???


Frankies Girl

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Re: Fidelity advisors
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2016, 12:48:51 PM »
Yes. I had a super guy for the last 3 years and in the fall last year I was switched to a new guy with no notice or "hey, this is happening" type of email.

New guy has dropped the ball a few times in the beginning regarding simple contact and that's a bit disturbing but I'm trying to give them the benefit of the doubt and that they might have been overwhelmed with taking over another's client list. This would have never happened with my original guy - damn, he was great.

I honestly don't need an advisor for anything other than confirming information and sometimes fixing things I can't take care of on the website, so I'm going to leave it alone for a year.


Don't ask your advisor for any advice; just definitions or "is this possible?" type of questions or to handle stuff you can't do yourself. Use this forum or bogleheads to get advice on investments and the like. And if you have gotten actual incorrect information from your guy, then call the main Fido number, explain what the advisor has told you and that you are uncomfortable with his level of knowledge and would like someone more in touch with the rules and regulations. It is just business after all, and if you're not getting good info from your assigned guy, get a new one.




Indexer

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Re: Fidelity advisors
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2016, 05:57:54 AM »
Ask about experience when you get a new guy. The primary license you need to have in order to be a financial advisor is a series 7 securities licence. Coincidentally that is the same license you need just to do brokerage trades so the person you get when you call the regular 1-800 number has the same thing.

An advisor will normally also have a 65 or 66 but those tests are easier than the 7. They just have more legal definitions, but no extra investment knowledge. Unless you're advisor has a CFP, or CFA, etc. there isn't really anything to stand them apart from the guy who just started in the call center two weeks ago. Your advisor might even be that guy. You could be talking to someone with <1yr experience or 20 years of experience. Ask...

Honestly someone who knows what they are doing will be able to give a confident experienced answer even if they have little hands on experience. Someone who already feels a little overwhelmed/unprepared is going to be skittish when asked about experience. If all they talk about is passing the exam, run! Remember, even the call center guy who just started did that.

My background: I use to be a financial advisor. During my career I held series 7, 63, 65, 66(not all at the same time), and passed the CFP. From my own experience and the changes in my own investing philosophy as I gained more experience I can say experience matters a great deal when working with an advisor. Some of the people I worked with had 0 investing experience prior to being hired, didn't even know the difference between a stock and a bond when they were hired, barely passed the series 7 on the second attempt, and then they were giving advice. Some of the things I heard them tell people... 

It's been said before but you can get a lot of questions answered here. If you do need an advisor make sure they know what they are doing. Not getting back to you is the smallest mistake they could make. Bad recommendations are worse, and a good advisor would actually point out things you never thought of (you could be a good candidate for a backdoor Roth, your beneficiaries are set up wrong[I had to correct attorneys on this one], tell you that you can stop working today [my favorite], etc.).