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Fiduciary Financial Advisor and Investment Returns

By Terry Savage on November 19, 2021 | Financial Planning / Retirement

Hi, I have enjoyed your “no nonsense” media interviews for years. Thank you! May I ask a question (or two)?
Some background. My wife and I are 68 and 69. We are in good health, and work part-time 2 days a week after “retirement” because we enjoy it. So, we have work income, yearly portfolio debits of 3%, and Social Security that pay the bills. We also have 8 months worth of expenses sitting in a conventional bank account just in case.
All total, in a combination of Traditional IRAs, Roth IRAs, and Brokerage accounts we have 1.2 million saved.
Our first experience with a Fiduciary Financial Planner was in 2011. In those years, while the US markets enjoyed a tremendous rise, we felt the 5-7% annual returns we were then receiving was too low. Subsequently, we switched to another Fiduciary Advisor firm 2 1/2 years ago.
Our current Advisor firm has spread 83% of our money over 58 (yes 58) no-load equity mutual funds (split 85% US equities,15% international) and 17% held in short term US treasury bonds.
In 2020, our portfolio grew 13%. Year to date November 2021 our portfolio has grown 10%.
Question #1: Noting the S&P 500 growth in the same time 2 1/2 year time frame we wonder; are we invested too conservatively or just right given our ages and situation?
Question #2: given the current low interest rates, what if we were to sell the bond portion of our portfolio and invest that money in equities? The old adage of holding bonds to cushion market stock market sell offs no longer seems to apply.

Terry Says

Wow — You want an answer to all that?!! First thing I am going to say is that you are NOT with a true FEE-ONLY Fiduciary investment advisor. Want to find out? Just ask them to give you IN WRITING how much you paid in mutual fund fees in 2021. That will be a shocker, I’m sure. (And they are required by law to give you that info, so if they refuse you already have your answer!!)

Second, there’s a lot more to financial planning than choosing mutual funds. I have a link on my website (top right corner in a blue box) to “Find a Financial Planner. That will take you to Wealthramp — a service that carefully vets and matches you with a fee only fiduciary planner. I know a lot of them in the Chicago area, and they are all terrific. (I’m assuming you’re in this area, having watched me in the media.) Set up an appointment with one of them and get an analysis.

I’d love to hear back about your experience!



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