Hi Terry
I met with a financial advisor today She's from Wintrust. She recommends that i roll over my employer 403k into a ira and invest in bonds. i am retiring end of october 2017 I will be 65 in november 2017. I can't handle my job any longer. What can you tell me about WINTRUST and are bonds a good investment? Thank you

Terry Says:

Whoa — this is a good reason to get several opinions as you roll out at retirement!  You’re “only” 65, and likely to live another 20 years, at least.  So you need a diversified portfolio.

Let’s start with a few basics.  Bonds can be just as “dangerous” as stocks. When interest rates rise,bond PRICES fall!  And it’s likely that interest rates may rise sharply in the next 20 years.  Then you’ll be stuck owning a low-yielding bond portfolio that you can’t sell without taking a loss.  I’m surprised, shocked at this recommendation — and I’m betting that you didn’t tell me the whole story!  At least, I hope that’s the case.

Wintrust is a very fine bank.  But when it comes to investments done under their banner, you are not dealing with their bank.  You are dealing with an investment advisory firm “within” the bank.  That has the same potential risks, costs, as any other brokerage firm.

So here’s my suggestion, contact either Fidelity or Vanguard or T. Rowe Price and ask for their recommendations in creating a diversified portfolio that will eventually (starting at age 70-1/2) support withdrawals throughout your life expectancy. There is no charge for that advice, and their products do not carry a commission (which most brokerage firms charge, or else they charge an annual management fee).  The suggested fund companies have the very lowest fees — and that can make a big difference over a 20 year retirement.

You might also benefit from a meeting with a Certified Financial Planner — one who charges only a fee for  financial planning advice that goes far beyond investments, but includes estate planning, tax planning, and lifestyle planning. Find one at www.feeonly.org.

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