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3 questions re: portfolio management

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  • 3 questions re: portfolio management

    I am on the path of minimizing the cost of portfolio management (just fired my CFP due to high and rising fees and conflict of interest) and am looking into a few options:

    1) I got 6 months free from Personal Capital (PC) and will give them a try. They keep emphasizing that they are true fiduciaries. My old CFP was saying the same but was full of BS. PC folks don’t seem to have a conflict of interest as they do not sell mutual funds, insurance products, etc. Are PC folks indeed true fiduciaries?
    2) I currently have a Traditional IRA, Roth IRA and a trust account. After 6 months of free PC wealth management service I may still decide to lower the fees even more and do things on my own. However, I am not sure what steps exactly I would need to take. Could someone please tell me what they did to cancel PC wealth management service and what steps they took afterwards to do their own portfolio management?
    3) If I instead of PC decide to use Vanguard’s portfolio advisory service, would I just contact them and ask them to complete the asset transfer process? Would Vanguard need to liquidate the portfolio assets before converting them to Vanguard funds like VTSAX admiral shares for example? I am trying to avoid capital gains tax as well.

    Thanks very much for any insights you can provide!

  • #2
    No clue.
    Yes and no.


    • #3
      Don't have experience with PC so can't answer your questions but have a couple of thoughts (i.e. my 2 cents). Feel free to ignore if I'm totally off / unhelpful. But first congrats on firing your CFP.

      As you take the next step you should try to find a solution that you are going to be happy sticking with. If you are going with PC because they have 6 months free that is a mistake (IMO). If you want to sign up for them for the long haul that may be right if they fit your goals. What metric are you going to use to decide if you are happy after just 6 months. Returns? I would argue that 6 months is too short to judge based on returns.

      It is reasonable to consider the what if / exit approach on anything but jumping around may result in a less than ideal tax situation and will be a hassle for you. If you don't want DIY I'm more a fan of roboadvisor such as betterment. Personally I'm not convinced other advisers provide an advantage worth their fees but that's just my minimally informed opinion.

      Best of luck as you make the transition.


      • #4
        Have you done WCI course ?

        You may want to... so you can judge what those others are telling you, whether it is PC or Vanguard.

        Good luck



        • #5
          The more you explore other services and learn about portfolio management, the more likely you will see the benefits of DIY.  Note, even DIY is not a panacea for everyone - proper temperament is just as important as your financial education - but you do avoid conflicts and fees, so DIY works for a lot of people.


          • #6
            Have you looked at PC allocations?
            Those are what they will be recommending.
            •Is it possible you can find low ER etf’s or mfs for index’s that track those segments?
            If that is your preferred AA, you don’t need to pay.
            • Rebalance on your birthday, once a year.
            There you go, Ishares and Vanguard and Fidelity give you plenty of options to mimic the PC strategy.
            • Or you can use a number of allocations listed in WCI.
            Keep it simple and you will be fine. There is zero magic or secret sauce. Just understand what you are investing in.


            • #7
              Personal capital recommends a relatively large alternative investments section of your portfolio. Personally I would consider a fee only planner to create your plan and revisit for significant life changes, or DIY