Do you manage your own investments?

180splitg3

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2020
Messages
372
Hey guys. This is a somewhat boring but important topic. I have been considering taking over my investments from my Edward Jones financial advisor. Overall, he is a great guy but I am looking to simplify my accounts and I don't feel like I need to be paying all of the fees that I am currently being charged. My investments are long term and are mainly in index funds. I have no desire to do any day trading or anything. The problem is that every dollar I invest with Edward Jones costs me money. I am self employed and sometimes make larger contributions that cost me quite a bit of money just to deposit. So - I'm wondering how many of you handle your own investments with an online broker and if so, what type of fees should I expect to pay with a self directed account? I have been researching companies online and most claim to have zero trade fees, etc but I know that's not always true. I would also love to hear what companies you are using. Thanks for the help!
 

gearguywb

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May 20, 2020
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Investment advisors are paid through a myriad of ways. It sounds like you may need to do some shopping (if you still want to use someone else).
 

cusecat04

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Mar 28, 2016
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Syracuse, NY
If you are mainly an index investor you can do this very cheaply at any of the big name companies. Vanguard, Fidelity, etc.
I am using Fidelity for mutual and index fund investing as I was already setup after rolling over an old 401k.
You only pay the expenses of the funds you choose.

If you truly are looking at this type of investing its a low cost way to go.
I'm in a similar situation and can't see paying someone to invest in index funds.
 

peterk123

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Sep 7, 2020
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Massachusetts
I think it depends on the dollars being invested, the time you have to keep an eye on things and where you are in life. Once you are over a million bucks and closing in on 50, an advisor that knows how to manage money for you and help plan for retirement, is worth his or her weight in gold.
 

PNWGATOR

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Rathdrum, ID
Get on boggleheads, take a look at their ‘lazy portfolios’ and the myriad of other educational resources available on their site.
 

Davidson51

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Joined
Dec 20, 2020
Messages
62
I agree with the other replies. I've been self investing with Vanguard for quite some time. Very hard to beat their free structure and they offer many index and managed funds that outperform the mean performance of similar funds and indicies. For your investment strategy you will have no problem managing it yourself.
 

Kindo

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Dec 31, 2015
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Hudson, WI
Another vote for Vanguard here. Still learning, but it has been pretty simple. My wife and I are also both self employed. Used EJ initially, but like you, got hammered with all sorts of fees and didn’t feel like there was much of an advantage.
 

KsRancher

Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2018
Messages
78
I have a EJ 401k thru my work and I am stuck with them. But I opened up a TD account on the side. I have only had it 10 months, but loving it. I am only buying long term investments. The EJ account I have a problem with cause they get paid off of a gross $ amount of the account and they take it out every month. I have called in several times and discussed where to put my money to get better returns. I always get told that I have good returns, I just need to put more money in.
 

jblam

Junior Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2020
Messages
28
Manage your own, especially if you are primarily investing in index funds. Those fees over 10-30 years will cost you big time. I have a friend that has been an advisor for a long time and 50% of his time is spent talking people out of new cars they don’t need.
 

WhatToHunt

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2019
Messages
152
Location
Wisconsin
As someone who used Edward Jones for 2-3 years, immediately pull your funds, reinvest in Vanguard Funds and never look back. Ever.
I second this. Vanguard index funds, VTSAX is my primary. Set it and forget it and keep contributing. Could always connect with a tax professional or advisor nearer retirement, or perhaps learn more along the way to not require assistance.
 

Tmac

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Joined
Mar 16, 2020
Messages
197
Location
South of Portland
Spent time in the industry and have managed my own for years. I just make sure to pick an asset allocation model that meets my risk tolerance and time horizon needs/goals. Reallocate as needed, review allocations at least annually, sometimes after big run ups or downs, is my usual process. I prefer using a few low cost low turnover mutual funds, like some of those already mentioned. If you do it all in one fund, no reallocation is usually necessary, but picking the right fund becomes critically important. If you are not a MF guy, ignore most of the rest of this as it does not apply.

To do your own does take some knowledge, interest and time. If you lack one of these, you may want to stay with an advisor. One thing I have seen is advisors putting $ into too many funds, overlapping positions then occur, breakpoints may be missed and costs go up. Some of this depends on the fee structure of the advisor, the fund, and does not apply in all cases. Too many funds can make it difficult to determine your total allocation between asset classes, which sometimes is intentional, sometimes unintended.

If they can’t show you your total percentage between asset classes, run. Most can and do anymore. If they can, and you are in say 25 funds, ask why? Odds are many are the “same” class, if so then consider consolidating funds, as it makes sense. That may be the path to lower fees once it’s all consolidated. Regardless, always ask why these funds, can it be done in fewer funds?, almost always yes. Resist the urge to chase the hot fund, usually anyway... It can all be done in one fund, but I prefer 3 to 6 for my needs. That allows me to get a more refined or pure allocation in some asset classes, like international for example, but it requires more time and attention to reallocate.

If done like I am doing, most of the time spent was in the first year or two. I spend maybe 10 hours a year now between mine, my Mom’s and helping a few friends out. If you go with one fund, there is little ongoing time commitment, once you select the fund. If you have not already done so, I’d suggest taking a few risk tolerance assessments, read a few general articles about various asset allocation models, and then go for it. If you have a spouse, have them take the assessments too. You’ll find much of this on fund web sites. Good luck!
 

5MilesBack

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Feb 27, 2012
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Colorado Springs
This site has gone to crap......sickens me to see the direction it's going........this is a hunting site.......only for hunting topics! What's the world coming to when all people can talk about is real world stuff that actually matters like finances and the direction of our nation. *sarcasm* ........LOL.

I've been managing my own investments since I was 12.
 

Bobbyboe

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2016
Messages
441
I use Vanguard. No fees except for the rate on the index funds. Free trades on stock.

most vanguard indexes are very cheap.
 

RCB

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Joined
Apr 1, 2018
Messages
293
Location
CO
My advice: Just invest in index funds. (Vanguard is a popular choice but there are lots of companies that provide index funds now.) Don't try to time the market. Maximize use of tax-advantages funds (401k, IRA, HSA). Save a lot. Invest in a mixture of stocks and bonds that matches your risk level. Bogleheads.org is a very good resource and community (named after John Bogle, inventor of the index fund to my knowledge); in fact if you should definitely go there for financial guidance, not to Rokslide!

No need to pay a finacial advisor to do this.

EDIT: glad to see folks above already mentioned Bogleheads!
 

jlh42581

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2013
Messages
217
Between my wife and I 401ks as well as roths and play everything is in some form of an index. I dont let any of them manage which ones or what percentages. My returns greatly outpace the people I know who dont have money to lose.

People make no sense dividing all this stuff up all over the place. The asset allocation in the index, etfs or mutual funds (pretty much all one in the same) are all diversified and holding THOUSANDS of companies itself. Damn near all of them must read the same playbook.

They read like:

Apple
Microsoft
Facebook
Google
Tesla

A monkey could pick these companies. All large cap stocks that go up up up. The only time they usually drop is on a split or the market tanks like last spring.

I keep my serious money separate from what I basically deem gambling... single stocks and crypto I consider 10 of 10 risk and I fund that accordingly.

Its really not complicated at all. You dont need to actively manage it all time either. Pick your level of risk and set it to auto rebalance. I run mine wide open, Im only going to be 40 but honestly ill prob still run wide open at 60.

Just gonna send it

BTW, doesnt look like many have learned about robinhood yet. If you like to play you can buy fractional shares in any company they offer with ease.
 
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Maverick1

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 1, 2013
Messages
365
Good advice above.

In the same line of thought I checked this book out from the local library a few years ago. (Much of this information is located on the boggleheads website). Rebalance the portfolio once a year and move on with it. Keeps fees low, beats most of the experts over the long haul, and simplifies things greatly.
 

dirtytough

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2012
Messages
1,234
Definitely get on Bogleheads.org

There are a lot of extremely inexpensive index funds out there. I have accounts at Vanguard and Fidelity. I like Fidelity better since they have HSA's but either one is a good brokerage.
 

BuckHunter24

Member
Joined
Feb 5, 2020
Messages
96
Hey guys. This is a somewhat boring but important topic. I have been considering taking over my investments from my Edward Jones financial advisor. Overall, he is a great guy but I am looking to simplify my accounts and I don't feel like I need to be paying all of the fees that I am currently being charged. My investments are long term and are mainly in index funds. I have no desire to do any day trading or anything. The problem is that every dollar I invest with Edward Jones costs me money. I am self employed and sometimes make larger contributions that cost me quite a bit of money just to deposit. So - I'm wondering how many of you handle your own investments with an online broker and if so, what type of fees should I expect to pay with a self directed account? I have been researching companies online and most claim to have zero trade fees, etc but I know that's not always true. I would also love to hear what companies you are using. Thanks for the help!
I'm also self employed, I use fidelity as a broker and put all my retirement money in vanguard etfs. Primarily voo and vti. There are no fees associated with my account. I also have a small amount in a trading account for "fun" there, used to be $7.95 a trade, now it is $0 fees for trades too. I have been really impressed with fidelitys customer service and advice.
 

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