After reading The New Retirement Savings Time Bomb by Ed Slott, it lit a fire under my feet to update my retirement plan. While retirement may be 10+ years away, I figured I’d better double check my strategy and confirm some of the choices and assumptions I’ve made. To that end I have been contacting financial advisory firms big and small and none want my business.
I searched online and found about a dozen ‘financial advisory’ firms. I sent out e-mails or called a few of them asking if they did retirement planning as a stand alone service and almost all of them said no. One said they could refer me to someone else, another tried really hard to convince me that their retirement planning is really good but it’s only for their investment management clients.
Why don’t I want one of the ‘financial advisory’ firms to do my investment management? I am glad you asked:
- I have accumulated a great deal of wealth all by myself, I don’t need a parasite leeching off 1 to 3 percent or more to “manage” my investments.
- These firms are a joke. One firm told me they had an ‘elite team’ of advisors to manage my money and I couldn’t match their level of expertise navigating markets. Well, if these firms are so awesome why do they need my money? Just take your employees salaries and invested to earn billions or trillions!!
- Statistically speaking, 89% of fund managers fail to beat the S&P 500 and anyone with a pulse and functioning brain knows this but these financial advisory firms are full themselves.
- Ever heard of Bernie Madoff, Allen Stanford or the collapse of Lehman Brothers or Bear Stearns? If you haven’t click on all the links.
- I will NEVER put all of my money in one firm, NEVER. GOING. TO. HAPPEN.
So what do I need from these firms? The things I need from these firms are readily available off the internet but I didn’t want to spend the time to do it such as:
- Extrapolating what the standard deduction might be when I retire.
- Extrapolating the required minimum distribution and a few monte carlo scenarios.
- Extrapolating the tax scenarios in case the IRS raises the tax brackets.
- Playing with scenarios on starting social security at 62, 67 and 70 and the cash flow.
I can do all of this in a spreadsheet but since these “professionals” do this for a living, I was willing to pay for the data model but these leeches won’t do it as a stand alone service because once you have this information you really don’t need them for anything except maybe to re-run the models if tax laws change.
Doing It All Myself
I decided that I’m going to build this myself but I did finally manage to find someone that offered to do what I asked and I found this firm through my employer and it turns out it is one of the benefits in my benefits package so go figure. Unfortunately, I think if I change jobs I will lose access to them but something is better than nothing.
I will probably write a series of posts on this topic too so that anyone else struggling will at least have a starting point.