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Bumped by my financial advisor

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by gulfgolf, Apr 12, 2019.

  1. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    I've been working with a mom and pop financial advisor firm for over 20 years. A few months back they sold out to a larger firm. And this morning I woke up to an email that my business is no longer welcome because I live overseas, so would I please quickly arrange to transfer my investments elsewhere.
    We are not amused.
  2. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Lead commenter

    Beware DeVere, which 'invested' some of our cash in a dud 'product' which turned out to be owned by their CEO. Said 'investment' promptly went mammaries-up. DeVere are still touting themselves as the largest financial advisory firm on the planet. Clearly, big can be far from beautiful. I wish we'd bumped them before they'd had the chance to fleece us.
  3. 576

    576 Established commenter

    I invest with AES International.
    I know other popular options include
    Interactive brokers
  4. Helen-Back

    Helen-Back Occasional commenter

    Mark Zoril at https://planvisionmn.com

    Never used him, but he is recommended by Andrew Hallam and many others. No commission. Flat fee of $100 a year. He builds portfolios of index funds.
    TeacherMan2019 and hitherejen like this.
  5. taiyah

    taiyah Occasional commenter

    The first thing I ask is, "What's the name of your parent company?"

    They go blank. Next question. "Where is your parent company listed and registered?"

    Blank. "Can you give me your parent company's CEO and their affiliated company and investment lists?"

    That is the advice my banker brother told me to ask. So far, in eight years, is a zero and big fat Oh. Not asking these important questions lead to significant risks.

    Think cruise ship scandals and incidents. A few years ago, over 99% of cruise companies were found to be registered ® in the Caribbean. Why? Because the legislation there is so laissez-faire. What does that mean for a consumer?

    I'm sticking with property, cash and private pension overseen and regulated by my country of origin. Why? Because all financial and legal liabilities are bound through legislations and processes (such as ombudsmans) in a country my passport belong to and systems I understand.
    desertestrella7 likes this.
  6. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Investment. Oh dear. Mrs Hippo and I put a lot of cash into an oil-related fund. Then the price of oil nosedived. We are hoping that eventually we will get back what we put in, but that's all.
  7. miketribe

    miketribe Established commenter

    We lost a bit of money with an offshore company from the Isle of Man which promised much but lost us about half of our (fortunately relatively small) investment. Now we have most of the money with the stockbroker who looked after my mother-in-law's investments for decades. So far, so good... gulfgulf, message me if you want his details...
  8. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    Thanks for everyone’s offers and kindness. I’m 90% sorted already. Just posted to express annoyance and perhaps a warning, not that there’s a good way to prevent this happening.
    desertestrella7 likes this.
  9. binaryhex

    binaryhex Lead commenter

    The idea that teachers invest *their* cash on the advice of someone else, who gets a fee or commission you may or may not know about, because they don't have the time or 'knowledge' to sort and protect themselves is frankly pitiful. I once worked with a Head and his wife, who were restarting careers aged 68 because they had lost most of their retirement fund after listening to advisor 'experts'. Surprisingly, they do not have magic powers or secret knowledge, which sane people seem happy to quickly forget.

    It's not hard or time consuming these days, if you follow a few basics. Spread your investments i.e. don't just invest in e.g. oil companies or banks because you or someone else thinks they are bluechip! If there is a downturn in that area, you could lose a lot, and recovery may not happen if at all until you are pushing up daisies. Use tracker funds if you aren't confident picking shares, but actually, a commonsense spread of large well-known companies across different areas is all that is needed - that is all a tracker is after all. Maybe 50% invest in really well known companies, 40% in moderately well known companies and 10% smaller higher risk ones. Don't keep buying and selling and think 15 years minimum. Take note of protection limits offered by many Governments of companies that go bust. Also consider a property and rental, fixed bonds, some cash in savings accounts. Look for tax efficient options e.g. Brits have SIPPs and ISAs. They key is to spread your bets!

    5 years before retiring, you then move investments out of anything risky like shares and into much safer options like fixed term bonds. Protect what you have rather than invest for growth.

    In retirement, you then need to switch from investment mode to protect and spend mode. You need to plan your spending per year, so you enjoy the friuts of your investing while working. Too many people keep saving and investing in old age, as if it were the aim in itself.
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2019
  10. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    Sure, decent advice. But one generally needs to go through a firm to get access to someplace to park your money. Today there are internet options that allow you to do it yourself, but you’re still going through a firm, and if they decide to drop you as a client....
    Twenty plus years back, when I started investing, the internet options didn’t exist in any real way for normal people with actual jobs.
    Helen-Back likes this.
  11. binaryhex

    binaryhex Lead commenter

    “But one generally needs to go through a firm to get access to someplace to park your money.”

    Absolutely not. I agree that maybe 20 years ago it was more of a problem, but certainly since 2001, when I started following my own advice, it hasn’t been the case, and all you need, all the info to protect yourself, all the tools to plan, action and protect your portfolio are on the Internet. Just stick to the basics, avoid complex or involved investments, anything you don’t 100% understand, and don’t dream about making a fortune via share dealing. As I said, take careful note of the protection limits and safeguards for any share dealing company or bank you deal with before you start, and check their credentials with their regulators - trust no one - spread your investments between shares, ISAs, property, bonds etc. The only reason not to take responsibility for your own retirement is laziness and then you deserve what you get if you get stuffed financially.

    Financial Advisors make a living off people’s laziness, fears and insecurities - very dangerous for you. If they could make a living off of their own advice, they’d all be millionaires and not giving out advice!
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2019
    TeacherMan2019 and Helen-Back like this.
  12. Mr_Frosty

    Mr_Frosty Established commenter

    I agree it is possible but its a trade off, time taken to plan, monitor investments, make changes if needed etc might be more than some people want to commit - if you'd rather pay someone xxx amount to do that for you it's fine - no different to hiring a cleaner in theory.
    576 likes this.
  13. binaryhex

    binaryhex Lead commenter

    “if you'd rather pay someone xxx amount to do that for you it's fine - no different to hiring a cleaner in theory.”

    The only difference is that you can be taken to the cleaners if you trust and pay for a financial advisor!

    Why risk everything, your entire retirement, when it takes no more than a day to get your research in order, then an hour a month to review things. Laziness? Convincing yourself investing / long term planning is too complicated for a teacher to understand and action? Trusting an unknown someone with your life’s finances for a fee? Not having protection, safeguards, spreading the risk wide and doing due diligence? Crazy!!
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2019
    TeacherMan2019 likes this.
  14. Mr_Frosty

    Mr_Frosty Established commenter

    I don't think the risk is as big as you make out as there is always a risk when investing - it's perfectly reasonable to pay someone to do it. I do my own but only because I'm interested in it anyway but if not then get some low risk management and don't worry about it imo.
  15. amysdad

    amysdad Established commenter

    gulfs, that's actual b*****ks that your advisor is spouting.

    It's actually a lot easier for a UK advisor to advise someone not in the UK than it is to deal with someone in the UK - because as non-UK residents, we're not bound by the UK regulation. They might have to be bound by the regulation of the country which you live in, and I suspect that's why they're dumping you, even though in all probability there's no regulation of advice at all there.

    To be fair, it's not something they'll do easily, as they will lose commission on the funds. Make sure they give up any right to it when you transfer them to another advisor.
  16. amysdad

    amysdad Established commenter

    binaryhex - that happens when someone's not regulated or has no sense of a duty of care. Even if you invest directly into funds, you are still paying the commission amount and your return is the same as if you went through an advisor - it's just that the investment company makes more money off you, which is why they like people not going through an advisor!
  17. binaryhex

    binaryhex Lead commenter

    It is not at all easy for anyone to find out if a so called financial advisor is regulated, trustworthy or even cares about duty of care, and just because they care today, people change and they may not care tomorrow, or they may die or retire and someone else you haven’t vetted takes over your affairs ...... Trusting someone else when anyone can do it themselves is akin to gambling, so why take the risk with your life’s finances? It takes no time to get up to speed, all the info and tools are online and you are sure you won’t be ripped off. To not take responsibility is just laziness.

    There is no commission for buying shares in the UK, just a small tax. Perhaps it’s different for other nationalities? Many tracker funds here also have no, negligible or discounted commissions. You don’t need any agent to buy them for you, and it fact, can add a layer of complexity if you ever have problems or queries. It’s all about research and being willing to take responsibility for yourself.


  18. amysdad

    amysdad Established commenter

    It's actually really easy - check on the FCA website, and the advisor should also tell you (if they don't, then by all means run a mile because he probably doesn't give a monkeys.)

    Do they provide a duty of care, and are trustworthy? Who knows (and being regulated won't necessarily prove that.) But then, when schools recruit us, do they know for certain that we're not going to run off after two terms, or do something worse? I don't defend advisors - I worked in the compliance teams and saw some pretty shoddy sales tactics, to say the least - but the majority do want to do their best.

    Tracker funds are fine and have always been the cheapest, but once you start to venture into more specific funds then there is a management charge built in to the pricing of the fund, part of which would be passed on to the advisor if you use that route. If you don't, then it's still there so the company just pockets it. Directly buying shares doesn't incur anything above stamp duty, but personally I've been burnt on that route before when I went through my company's share save scheme - let's just say that 2008 was not a great year.

    I could probably do it myself if I was so inclined (I actually have the qualifications to do it) but, TBH, I'd rather not have the hassle of it. I kind of see it like seeing a doctor - if I had a deep cut to my hand, I could clean it and stitch it up myself, but I'd prefer someone who might have a better idea of what they are doing.
    migratingbird and Mr_Frosty like this.
  19. binaryhex

    binaryhex Lead commenter

    Good luck!
  20. Helen-Back

    Helen-Back Occasional commenter

    I have three index funds in an offshore account. Total fees are 0.28%. I send money every couple of months and pay it into the fund that is lagging. All done online. No hassle.

    You can't control stock market peaks and troughs but you can control your fees.
    TeacherMan2019 likes this.

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