J.S. asks from McKinney, TX on March 12, 2007
Investment Broker Advice
My husband and I will be having our first initial consultation with an investment broker within the next couple of weeks. I'm pretty much on top of our finances, but like many others, we want to make sure we're ahead of the game.
My questions are:
* What questions are important to ask for the meeting, and what documents should I bring/prepare in advance to make sure I make the most of this time?
* How important is it to go with a broker?
* Can you do a lot of these investments w/o one, therefore saving fees and still reap the benefit?
I know they will initially try to tap my emotional side with thinking about money and the future, but I'm all about practical application when it comes to money.
C.P. answers from Dallas on March 17, 2007
It is definitely worthwhile to have a financial advisor working with you. There's a great book - Values Based Financial Planning by Bill Bachrach - that is very helpful for individuals/families working on their financial picture. You can generally find it at Half Price Books for around $8-$10 (versus $30 online). He's also got a website that's helpful (www.valuesbasedfinancialplanning.com). There's a "Trusted Advisor Checklist" that might be helpful for you. I am a financial advisor and I like to give this book to my clients.
The most important element is making sure you feel completely comfortable with your advisor and trust them. This should be a long-term, trust-based relationship. Interview as many advisors as necessary to find the "fit" for you and your family.
E.C. answers from Dallas on March 14, 2007
Are you meeting with an Investment Broker or a Financial Advisor? From most of what I've read and experienced personally, if you are on top of your finances, a Financial Advisor is going to try to sell you Variable Universal Life Insurance. Once again, from most of what I have read and experienced, you are better off buying a term life policy and investing your money in an index fund (either backed by stocks or bonds depending on the level of risk that you are comfortable with).
In general, the best advisors charge by the hour. If the visit is free, beware of the comissions that they will make. You can make most of the investments yourself through online discount brokers. The one that would be best for you would depend on if you are looking to invest in individual stocks or mutual funds.
There are calculators online to help you determine if you are ahead of the game. You can try the ones at Motley Fool: http://www.fool.com/calcs/calculators.htm
S.E. answers from Dallas on March 13, 2007
I would strongly recommend AXA Advisors, Mr. Nasmi Morales. His office is in Plano and he is very professional. His email is : ____@____.com
Let me know if you need help contacting him. Good Luck!
J.S. answers from Dallas on March 15, 2007
I am in the financial industry so trust me on this advice...I do not work with investments but there are guidelines on my company's website that you can find useful. This is public information.
Click here to find out what a comprehensive plan can include and how to prepare for one...
also: http://www.nmfn.com/tn/netserv--wealth_building--page_inv... this link provides information about
Questions you can ask before you work with an advisor...What is his fee structure? As he offers you direction on investments always make sure you understand the fees that may be associated.
About what to prepare...ask him in advance what he is offering during the consultation? If he is providing a complimentary assessment of your previous investments then ask him what he needs to get that done, previous statements,etc...AND exactly what is he providing back to you (is it just verbal or is it an assessment you can keep)
Lastly, I would recommend that you first address your risk management needs before you discuss wealth management or wealth accumulation.
Hope this helps...Good luck!
M.B. answers from Dallas on March 12, 2007
When I left my last job I had a 401k through the company. Since I wasn't going immediately to another employer, I rolled my 401k to IRA but kept the (almost) same investment options I had. I'm not through an employer any longer but they did not charge a fee for me to stay with them. I don't know if it would be different had I not rolled over the 401K. I'm with Franklin Templeton and I've been happy with them. Also, just curious since you live in McKinney, do you also work in McKinney? I live in a small town close to McKinney and have been looking for a job there. There doesn't seem to be many good paying jobs there yet. I'm really trying to avoid another long commute into Dallas but it looks like I will be. Any suggestions for employement in the admin/clerical/accounting field in McKinney?
M.G. answers from Dallas on March 12, 2007
In my opinion, it's totally worth it. I've always been pretty good at keeping all our finances together, but a professional can help you get everything together. We have our investments managed through JPMorgan Chase and have gotten great returns on our investments. If you have an account there, you can meet with their investment person for free.