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      04-08-2021, 03:57 PM   #639
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I've been investing since the late 1990s when I entered the work force. At first, my investment funding started as a trickle as my salary was something like $29K and I couldn't afford to put much away. I've learned a lot over the years and have lost large amounts during all the market drops between 1998 and now. With those market drops came HUGE market increases where I gained it all back plus way more.

I had a financial advisor from 2003-2013. I kept putting as much in as I could as my salary grew and grew over the years. My salary increased substantially in 2012. I also fired my adviser in 2012, moved over the Vanguard so I could do things myself, and I changed my investment strategy. I generally followed Warren Buffett's 2-minute retirement plan and went with mostly all S&P 500 index funds in my brokerage, his and her Roth IRAs, IRA (from an old 401K), and my current current employer 401K. I also have a fair amount of Berkshire Class B, about 10% in bond funds, and a few "fun" stocks where I've rolled the dice. My most lucrative stock being being Activision Blizzard recommended by my teenage son. I bought about $20K of it and it's now worth $54K in two years.

The market has been very good to me in the past 9 years or so and I've stuck to my investment strategy and goals. My goal was to retire in 5 years at the age of 52. I'm currently $150K from that goal I had originally set. I think retiring at 47 would be a bit stupid, but I am considering going part-time (30 hours/wk, 20% pay and benefit cut).
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      04-08-2021, 06:00 PM   #640
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Sounds like its story time so here's mine:

Began looking for my first career job in 2009 just after the crash and the market wasn't great so went directly to grad school, somehow managed to get accepted to my top choice an Ivy League school which had my major. Long story short graduated 2 years later and the market was much healthier then. Saw my parent's investment and retirement accounts get hammered, fortunately they didn't panic sell, so they recovered over time. I was too young and too poor to put money in the market during that crash but watching it all play out made me a hawk. Buy when there is blood in the water and sell when everyone thinks its roses. I've taken advise from someone that capitalized big on the downturn, his advice: keep cash on the sidelines waiting for the moment. The only way I see that to be possible is to pare back cash by selling stock when you sense that things are just too optimistic. That happened for me mid through 2019. Started parking most of my brokerage and half of my 401k in cash. Granted I started too early, but when the pandemic hit I dumped all that money and some more that I got from a bonus payout into the market. Made 50% on my overall brokerage portfolio and that with only as much as 85% invested. The market was on fire and you could do well buying the s&p, but my way worked as well or better. I buy individual stocks in large part, trading frequently. This might not be your style but it has worked for me.

Right now it seems like the market has factored in the vaccine and reopening and that the big gains are behind us, but I am not convinced. There is still a lot of money sidelined waiting for the risk(s) to be mitigated before they jump back in. I am almost fully invested (90% in market) and skewed heavily in stocks which will benefit from the reopen (travel, leisure, etc).
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      04-08-2021, 07:14 PM   #641
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Originally Posted by antzcrashing View Post
Sounds like its story time so here's mine:

Began looking for my first career job in 2009 just after the crash and the market wasn't great so went directly to grad school, somehow managed to get accepted to my top choice an Ivy League school which had my major. Long story short graduated 2 years later and the market was much healthier then. Saw my parent's investment and retirement accounts get hammered, fortunately they didn't panic sell, so they recovered over time. I was too young and too poor to put money in the market during that crash but watching it all play out made me a hawk. Buy when there is blood in the water and sell when everyone thinks its roses. I've taken advise from someone that capitalized big on the downturn, his advice: keep cash on the sidelines waiting for the moment. The only way I see that to be possible is to pare back cash by selling stock when you sense that things are just too optimistic. That happened for me mid through 2019. Started parking most of my brokerage and half of my 401k in cash. Granted I started too early, but when the pandemic hit I dumped all that money and some more that I got from a bonus payout into the market. Made 50% on my overall brokerage portfolio and that with only as much as 85% invested. The market was on fire and you could do well buying the s&p, but my way worked as well or better. I buy individual stocks in large part, trading frequently. This might not be your style but it has worked for me.

Right now it seems like the market has factored in the vaccine and reopening and that the big gains are behind us, but I am not convinced. There is still a lot of money sidelined waiting for the risk(s) to be mitigated before they jump back in. I am almost fully invested (90% in market) and skewed heavily in stocks which will benefit from the reopen (travel, leisure, etc).
so if covid-19 didn't start when it did, you would have just been sitting on the sidelines missing out on the market gains from the bull run that just wouldn't quit
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      04-08-2021, 07:35 PM   #642
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Originally Posted by XKxRome0ox View Post
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Originally Posted by antzcrashing View Post
Sounds like its story time so here's mine:

Began looking for my first career job in 2009 just after the crash and the market wasn't great so went directly to grad school, somehow managed to get accepted to my top choice an Ivy League school which had my major. Long story short graduated 2 years later and the market was much healthier then. Saw my parent's investment and retirement accounts get hammered, fortunately they didn't panic sell, so they recovered over time. I was too young and too poor to put money in the market during that crash but watching it all play out made me a hawk. Buy when there is blood in the water and sell when everyone thinks its roses. I've taken advise from someone that capitalized big on the downturn, his advice: keep cash on the sidelines waiting for the moment. The only way I see that to be possible is to pare back cash by selling stock when you sense that things are just too optimistic. That happened for me mid through 2019. Started parking most of my brokerage and half of my 401k in cash. Granted I started too early, but when the pandemic hit I dumped all that money and some more that I got from a bonus payout into the market. Made 50% on my overall brokerage portfolio and that with only as much as 85% invested. The market was on fire and you could do well buying the s&p, but my way worked as well or better. I buy individual stocks in large part, trading frequently. This might not be your style but it has worked for me.

Right now it seems like the market has factored in the vaccine and reopening and that the big gains are behind us, but I am not convinced. There is still a lot of money sidelined waiting for the risk(s) to be mitigated before they jump back in. I am almost fully invested (90% in market) and skewed heavily in stocks which will benefit from the reopen (travel, leisure, etc).
so if covid-19 didn't start when it did, you would have just been sitting on the sidelines missing out on the market gains from the bull run that just wouldn't quit
That's a fair point, however

1) covid did happen
2) the market was overvalued as is, and even in absence of covid, a hard pullback was going to happen

During the period leading up to there were a lot of yellow flags that were showing up, Unemplyment was very low almost numerically full-employment, but people were often under employed (uber drivers with college degrees etc), wage growth was slow, it was a period of upward steady slide, and periods of low volatility are often followed by periods of high volatility ie a surge or a sink. My money was on a sink
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      04-08-2021, 08:56 PM   #643
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Originally Posted by antzcrashing View Post
I buy individual stocks in large part, trading frequently. This might not be your style but it has worked for me.

Right now it seems like the market has factored in the vaccine and reopening and that the big gains are behind us, but I am not convinced. There is still a lot of money sidelined waiting for the risk(s) to be mitigated before they jump back in. I am almost fully invested (90% in market) and skewed heavily in stocks which will benefit from the reopen (travel, leisure, etc).
Trading or selling? If you're selling, your short term capital gains taxes must be quite big at the end of the year, no?

The market is pretty nuts and has been since July. I really don't get it, but my portfolio has increased substantially so I'm not complaining. I work in mergers and acquisitions and have some sense of where things might be going. The sense I get from my clients (many private equity) is things are going to explode (positively) this year from a financial perspective. Many of my clients have been sitting on large sums of money waiting to pounce and that time seems to be now.
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Last edited by XutvJet; 04-08-2021 at 09:03 PM..
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      04-08-2021, 09:52 PM   #644
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Originally Posted by XutvJet View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by antzcrashing View Post
I buy individual stocks in large part, trading frequently. This might not be your style but it has worked for me.

Right now it seems like the market has factored in the vaccine and reopening and that the big gains are behind us, but I am not convinced. There is still a lot of money sidelined waiting for the risk(s) to be mitigated before they jump back in. I am almost fully invested (90% in market) and skewed heavily in stocks which will benefit from the reopen (travel, leisure, etc).
Trading or selling? If you're selling, your short term capital gains taxes must be quite big at the end of the year, no?

The market is pretty nuts and has been since July. I really don't get it, but my portfolio has increased substantially so I'm not complaining. I work in mergers and acquisitions and have some sense of where things might be going. The sense I get from my clients (many private equity) is things are going to explode (positively) this year from a financial perspective. Many of my clients have been sitting on large sums of money waiting to pounce and that time seems to be now.
I've sold some positions and so there will be short term gains.
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      04-09-2021, 02:11 PM   #645
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I've learned a couple of things: A: hire an adviser to manage your wealth; 1% a year is absolutely worth it. And B: ride out the dip; never panic-sell. I was actually going to pull out right after Covid collapse in 2020 but my adviser talked me out of it. He told me one of his clients pulled out and missed he comeback, not to mention he also lost his job during the pandemic. Talk about double whammy...
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      04-09-2021, 03:59 PM   #646
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Originally Posted by bimmer pleaser V2 View Post
I've learned a couple of things: A: hire an adviser to manage your wealth; 1% a year is absolutely worth it. And B: ride out the dip; never panic-sell. I was actually going to pull out right after Covid collapse in 2020 but my adviser talked me out of it. He told me one of his clients pulled out and missed he comeback, not to mention he also lost his job during the pandemic. Talk about double whammy...
Assuming your portfolio isn't worth more than $2M, I'd say no to A. Absolutely yes to B.

I had a financial advisor at Morgan Stanley from 2003-2013. He was my parent's advisor as well. He charged a 1% fee, but when I did all the math and considered things like trades, sells, movement of money into various funds, it actually amounted to more like 1.5% to 1.65% annually with everything considered. That's a significant chunk of your portfolio that could working for you.

My advisor was a very nice guy. My parent's love him. He would do everything I asked him to and would give me advice anytime I asked. I went with his recommendation for investments (high fee stuff, yeah I was a dumb sucker) and stuck with it for 10 years because I didn't know better and figured it was way too complicated for me to understand. My accounts simply didn't perform much less match the S&P 500 performance. All I got from him we excuses, some of which seemed manufactured. After doing all the math myself, looking deeper into Warren Buffett's 2 minute retirement plan, and reading the The Little Book of Common Sense Investing: The Only Way to Guarantee Your Fair Share of Stock Market Returns, I fired my advisor and moved everything to Vanguard so that I could manage everything myself.

The performance of my Vanguard account from 2013 to present compared to what I did with Morgan Stanley is hilarious. I'm shocked every time I look at it. I really wasn't mad at my advisor, but rather myself from not researching things earlier.

My 78 y/o mom (father is passed) thinks I'm nuts for investing myself and she swears I'm doing things wrong and there's no way my Vanguard account could have increased so much over the years compared to the performance she's seen at Morgan Stanley. I often think about is how much more I could have if I would had managed everything myself from the start! I'm certain my portfolio's value would be 25-30% higher.
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      04-09-2021, 04:24 PM   #647
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Assuming your portfolio isn't worth more than $2M, I'd say no to A. Absolutely yes to B.

I had a financial advisor at Morgan Stanley from 2003-2013. He was my parent's advisor as well. He charged a 1% fee, but when I did all the math and considered things like trades, sells, movement of money into various funds, it actually amounted to more like 1.5% to 1.65% annually with everything considered. That's a significant chunk of your portfolio that could working for you.

My advisor was a very nice guy. My parent's love him. He would do everything I asked him to and would give me advice anytime I asked. I went with his recommendation for investments (high fee stuff, yeah I was a dumb sucker) and stuck with it for 10 years because I didn't know better and figured it was way too complicated for me to understand. My accounts simply didn't perform much less match the S&P 500 performance. All I got from him we excuses, some of which seemed manufactured. After doing all the math myself, looking deeper into Warren Buffett's 2 minute retirement plan, and reading the The Little Book of Common Sense Investing: The Only Way to Guarantee Your Fair Share of Stock Market Returns, I fired my advisor and moved everything to Vanguard so that I could manage everything myself.

The performance of my Vanguard account from 2013 to present compared to what I did with Morgan Stanley is hilarious. I'm shocked every time I look at it. I really wasn't mad at my advisor, but rather myself from not researching things earlier.

My 78 y/o mom (father is passed) thinks I'm nuts for investing myself and she swears I'm doing things wrong and there's no way my Vanguard account could have increased so much over the years compared to the performance she's seen at Morgan Stanley. I often think about is how much more I could have if I would had managed everything myself from the start! I'm certain my portfolio's value would be 25-30% higher.
Care to explain the $2M mark? Why not $1M? Or $5M?
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      04-09-2021, 06:53 PM   #648
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Originally Posted by XutvJet View Post
Assuming your portfolio isn't worth more than $2M, I'd say no to A. Absolutely yes to B.

I had a financial advisor at Morgan Stanley from 2003-2013. He was my parent's advisor as well. He charged a 1% fee, but when I did all the math and considered things like trades, sells, movement of money into various funds, it actually amounted to more like 1.5% to 1.65% annually with everything considered. That's a significant chunk of your portfolio that could working for you.

My advisor was a very nice guy. My parent's love him. He would do everything I asked him to and would give me advice anytime I asked. I went with his recommendation for investments (high fee stuff, yeah I was a dumb sucker) and stuck with it for 10 years because I didn't know better and figured it was way too complicated for me to understand. My accounts simply didn't perform much less match the S&P 500 performance. All I got from him we excuses, some of which seemed manufactured. After doing all the math myself, looking deeper into Warren Buffett's 2 minute retirement plan, and reading the The Little Book of Common Sense Investing: The Only Way to Guarantee Your Fair Share of Stock Market Returns, I fired my advisor and moved everything to Vanguard so that I could manage everything myself.

The performance of my Vanguard account from 2013 to present compared to what I did with Morgan Stanley is hilarious. I'm shocked every time I look at it. I really wasn't mad at my advisor, but rather myself from not researching things earlier.

My 78 y/o mom (father is passed) thinks I'm nuts for investing myself and she swears I'm doing things wrong and there's no way my Vanguard account could have increased so much over the years compared to the performance she's seen at Morgan Stanley. I often think about is how much more I could have if I would had managed everything myself from the start! I'm certain my portfolio's value would be 25-30% higher.

maybe you are a financial wiz
or maybe you just benefited from one of the longest bull market runs in history

it is easy to make money as long as you have half a brain and picked decent stocks
(and didn't throw money at OTM options like me trying to hit a homerun every time)


I agree with you about not hiring a "financial advisor" who is really just a glorified salesperson selling you investments that earn him/her a fat commission
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      04-09-2021, 07:42 PM   #649
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XKxRome0ox View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by XutvJet View Post
Assuming your portfolio isn't worth more than $2M, I'd say no to A. Absolutely yes to B.

I had a financial advisor at Morgan Stanley from 2003-2013. He was my parent's advisor as well. He charged a 1% fee, but when I did all the math and considered things like trades, sells, movement of money into various funds, it actually amounted to more like 1.5% to 1.65% annually with everything considered. That's a significant chunk of your portfolio that could working for you.

My advisor was a very nice guy. My parent's love him. He would do everything I asked him to and would give me advice anytime I asked. I went with his recommendation for investments (high fee stuff, yeah I was a dumb sucker) and stuck with it for 10 years because I didn't know better and figured it was way too complicated for me to understand. My accounts simply didn't perform much less match the S&P 500 performance. All I got from him we excuses, some of which seemed manufactured. After doing all the math myself, looking deeper into Warren Buffett's 2 minute retirement plan, and reading the The Little Book of Common Sense Investing: The Only Way to Guarantee Your Fair Share of Stock Market Returns, I fired my advisor and moved everything to Vanguard so that I could manage everything myself.

The performance of my Vanguard account from 2013 to present compared to what I did with Morgan Stanley is hilarious. I'm shocked every time I look at it. I really wasn't mad at my advisor, but rather myself from not researching things earlier.

My 78 y/o mom (father is passed) thinks I'm nuts for investing myself and she swears I'm doing things wrong and there's no way my Vanguard account could have increased so much over the years compared to the performance she's seen at Morgan Stanley. I often think about is how much more I could have if I would had managed everything myself from the start! I'm certain my portfolio's value would be 25-30% higher.

maybe you are a financial wiz
or maybe you just benefited from one of the longest bull market runs in history

it is easy to make money as long as you have half a brain and picked decent stocks
(and didn't throw money at OTM options like me trying to hit a homerun every time)


I agree with you about not hiring a "financial advisor" who is really just a glorified salesperson selling you investments that earn him/her a fat commission
Advisors are not all just there to sell high fee funds. There are many different types of advisors and the industry is evolving.
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      04-09-2021, 11:46 PM   #650
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Advisors are not all just there to sell high fee funds. There are many different types of advisors and the industry is evolving.
i looked at some fiduciary fee-based advisors in my area
plan on having a meeting with one of them soon
so i can do some investment planning and best ways to get some tax savings through my business and work
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      04-10-2021, 09:20 AM   #651
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XKxRome0ox View Post
maybe you are a financial wiz
or maybe you just benefited from one of the longest bull market runs in history

it is easy to make money as long as you have half a brain and picked decent stocks
(and didn't throw money at OTM options like me trying to hit a homerun every time)


I agree with you about not hiring a "financial advisor" who is really just a glorified salesperson selling you investments that earn him/her a fat commission
My cousin used to work for Goldman Sachs and now owns his own trading firm (commodity derivatives) and once he told me he had an advisor to manage his wealth and retirement. Honestly if someone has $2M liquidable asssets and manages that personally they better be a professional financial advisor.
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      04-10-2021, 11:40 AM   #652
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I don't believe dollar amount should be the only criteria for seeking assistance from a financial advisor. Your age, goals, etc come into play. For example if your goal is to spend less time monitoring your investments they can obviously help with that. If your goal is to optimize gains, the fees and risk profile that they offer may run counter to that, but of course it depends on how good/confident you have become at the time you are considering this change and how close you are to needing the money.
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      04-10-2021, 04:15 PM   #653
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Throwing a hard stop at self-directed investments like the $2MM in investable assets as stated above is completely arbitrary. Far too often people get swallowed into the idea that financial planing is black and white when in reality every individual has different requirements. I personally work in finance, albeit not in wealth management, but there are a plethora of benefits that come with a good (emphasis on this word) advisor if your circumstances allow you to use their offerings to your advantage.

If your portfolio consists of a few retirement and taxable brokerage accounts for long term growth, with the wealth of information out there today there is absolutely no need for a financial advisor.

Now, begin to mix in more complicated topics such as tax and estate planning, generational wealth, family support, real estate, alternative investments etc. and a good (again, emphasis on this word) financial advisor instantly becomes a lot more valuable. Yes, you can absolutely manage these things yourself, but sometimes at this level the fees are well worth the knowledge, support, and most importantly accessibility that these providers offer.

Every situation is different and there is certainly no hard number that makes you need to sign up for a financial advisor to reap greater benefit. I've personally seen clients with six figure AUM getting a greater benefit from their advisor than another client with seven figure AUM.
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      04-12-2021, 04:47 PM   #654
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Throwing a hard stop at self-directed investments like the $2MM in investable assets as stated above is completely arbitrary. Far too often people get swallowed into the idea that financial planing is black and white when in reality every individual has different requirements.
Totally agree.


Quote:
If your portfolio consists of a few retirement and taxable brokerage accounts for long term growth, with the wealth of information out there today there is absolutely no need for a financial advisor.
This is me.

Quote:
Now, begin to mix in more complicated topics such as tax and estate planning, generational wealth, family support, real estate, alternative investments etc. and a good (again, emphasis on this word) financial advisor instantly becomes a lot more valuable.
Totally agree. My earlier post about not needing a FA if you've got less than ~$2M in assets is based on the assumption that you don't have additional real estate beyond your home/lake house, you're of a younger age (<60), you're not selling often , and/or you're not getting into "alternative" investments. If you've got a ton of money, investments, assets, property, etc. then yeah, you need a FA for sure. If you're trading/selling often and making lots (and losing lots), then you need at least a tax guy.

I'm assuming most in this thread are the typical American investor that is going for safe, long-term growth and have a 401K or similar through work, maybe a Roth IRA and/or brokerage account, and 3 to 12 months net salary in cash as an emergency fund. If this is you, investing and managing things yourself is freaking easy. As for estate planning, keep your will updated and make your beneficiaries are correct on all your accounts. Easy.

Want to beat 90+% of the investors/fund managers out there? 80-90% in S&P 500 index funds and 10-20% in bond funds. Simple as that.
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      Today, 07:54 AM   #655
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