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Investment Advisor

Posted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 2:08 pm
by BearBones
Hi you all. It has been a while, in part because I got paralyzed in my investment approach this past few years. I am increasingly realizing that, while I generally trust myself (and you all) more than most "professionals," I do not trust myself to review the portfolio and rebalance regularly. My assets are scattered thought all sorts of tax deferred and taxable accounts, a PP and a VP, and I just have grown to HATE IT (especially when I'm doing poorly compared to those in traditional portfolios). When I retire, I can consolidate a bit, but my desire for spending time on this is fading quickly.

Do any of you have any suggestion on some outside management resource? If the assets are large, I am participating in the decisions about asset mix, and the individual assets are simple, it would be nice to keep the cost in the .1-.3% range at most. Vanguard will help me for .2% but they are pretty inflexible in their ability to go beyond a typical boglehead mix (they hate gold and do not understand LTTs, from what I can see).

I REALLY appreciate your suggestions.

Bones

Re: Investment Advisor

Posted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 3:52 pm
by Mountaineer
Might not be able to do a PP portfolio, but you might consider an all-in-one Vanguard Retirement portfolio- might be “good enough “ to meet your desire for simplicity and reasonable returns at low cost expense ratio and require no management fee up front.

Re: Investment Advisor

Posted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:16 pm
by Desert
Bones,

I'm not thinking too positively regarding you finding a trusted advisor that will keep your investments in an HBPP while charging a reasonable fee. It should be possible to find such a person, but the industry compensation drives advisors to charge a 1 percent AUM in exchange for setting up your investments in the way the advisor sees fit.

If I were in your shoes, I'd work to consolidate your accounts first (for example, roll all tax deferred accounts into a single Vanguard IRA, and all taxable accounts into a single Vanguard taxable account). Then I'd move all tax-deferred funds into a single Vanguard fund, such as the Target Retirement Income Fund, VTINX. This is a 30/70 fund that should perform a lot like the HBPP minus the gold. You could build a gold allocation in your taxable account, if desired. Simplifying the taxable fund investments will be more difficult, since there are tax implications.

But if all this sounds like way too much work, I'd find a fee-only advisor to do all this for you, one time. With things setup simply, rebalancing will be largely unnecessary, but simple to do if desired.

Re: Investment Advisor

Posted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:30 pm
by Dmilligan
http://alankemp.ca/how-we-work#permanent

I follow this investment advisor on Twitter. They manage a Permanent Portfolio on behalf of customers (both a US and a Canadian). They are located in Canada. I enjoy reading their quarterly commentary on the performance of the Permanent Portfolio. Other than that, I have not used them and I do not know anything about their fees.

I second Desert's thoughts. My investment advisor took up more of my time than the PP does and required more decisions. Once the PP is set up, there really isn't anything to do except occasionally look at it. I run a PP in predominately taxable accounts, so am using 35/15 rebalance bands. In the past 6 years, I've only rebalanced maybe once or twice. My investment advisor used to take up more of my time than that--and he cost a lot more than my current PP expense ratios.

Re: Investment Advisor

Posted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:39 pm
by Pointedstick
Desert is absolutely right. Consolidate, consolidate, consolidate. I've consolidated my accounts into as few as possible, and I have them all at Vanguard and am happy as a clam. Super simple, easy auto-investment, great fund choices. No downsides, really.

Your actual portfolio doesn't really matter. If managing it is keeping you up at night, then move over time into something easier to manage. Life is too short to worry about managing money. Money is supposed to make life easier, not harder.

Re: Investment Advisor

Posted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 8:56 pm
by ochotona
I second the notion of getting an inexpensive, one all-in-one investment product, and holding gold on the side.

Look at AOK from iShares.

If you hold 25% gold and 75% AOK, you get 25% global equities, 50% fixed income of various kinds, and of course, 25% gold.

Re: Investment Advisor

Posted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:52 pm
by pugchief
BB,
If you really want an investment advisor but still like the PP concept, I suggest you call Meb Faber at Cambria Investments. They are open to various risk managed options.

http://www.cambriainvestments.com/

Re: Investment Advisor

Posted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 11:01 pm
by Mr Vacuum
As a point of clarification on fees, with an all-in-one fund, do you have to add the weighted average fees of the constituent funds to get an accurate picture of costs? For example, AOK has a net expense ratio of .25%. Do you add about 10 basis points for IVV, IEMG, etc? Even if so, that's still not bad in the iShares or Vanguard index world, but I'd fear for those getting a double whammy in expensive 401k offerings.

Re: Investment Advisor

Posted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 5:14 am
by ochotona
Some all in one products are a rip off, charging 1%. iShares AOK AOM AOR AOA series cost 25 basis points, period. No fees beyond that.

Re: Investment Advisor

Posted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 8:00 am
by sophie
Bearbones, good to hear from you!!!

Desert & PS are right: what can you do to simplify your investment structure? Then if you still need to hire an advisor, there will be less for them to do (and screw up).

If you want to post a list of accounts and their relative (not absolute) sizes, maybe we can offer suggestions. Is part of the problem trying to implement a sprawling PP across non-gold-friendly accounts?

Re: Investment Advisor

Posted: Fri Jul 21, 2017 6:55 am
by dualstow
If you do go outside, maybe you could try that Allan Roth guy. He charges a one-time fee, and I hear it's pretty reasonable.
That way you would (A) never say to yourself, I wish I had gotten an advisor, but
can (B) get back on the right track without having a long-time advisor get his hooks into you, with fees that drag everything down.

Re: Investment Advisor

Posted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 2:32 pm
by BearBones
Thank you all so much. Love this forum!

Yes, yes, I need to consolidate and simplify more. But I also need to get more certain and clear...

I need to be honest (more so with myself). I am near retirement, and I am really scared of investing! I just don't trust myself. But I also don't trust many other people. So, once again, I am frozen with a TON of cash. I like the PP idea, but I remain a bit concerned about it, enough that when I do have separate accounts (like I had a 401k Rollover into IRA, and started another 401k), I tend to find myself wanting to hedge my bets. So not only do I have a lot of accounts that cannot be merged (like a decent HSA), but I also find myself creating a PP in one, a boglehead portfolio in another, a portfolio constructed from Tyler's PPCharts in still another.

I cannot be the only one who does this kind of stuff, so it is worth writing about. I think I need therapy :)

Re: Investment Advisor

Posted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 6:24 pm
by Pointedstick
Then ditch the PP and move into whatever makes you sleep at night (within reason). If nothing fits the bill, then you have some issues to work out with investing as a concept and how it relates to you, and you should address that before making changes of any sort. Tyler's website is a font of knowledge on that front and is highly recommended: http://portfoliocharts.com/

Re: Investment Advisor

Posted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 7:02 pm
by Mountaineer
Mountaineer wrote:Might not be able to do a PP portfolio, but you might consider an all-in-one Vanguard Retirement portfolio- might be “good enough “ to meet your desire for simplicity and reasonable returns at low cost expense ratio and require no management fee up front.
I shall repeat my earlier post. Go with the Vanguard VTINX. Not perfect but probably good enough for you, and me and countless others. Very simple. Once you start taking RMDs, put the excess, if any, in another simple after tax fund, maybe even a separate VTINX, or just put it in the Vanguard Money Market Prime until you decide what to do with it. Best wishes and good luck.

Re: Investment Advisor

Posted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 8:14 pm
by Desert
Mountaineer wrote:
Mountaineer wrote:Might not be able to do a PP portfolio, but you might consider an all-in-one Vanguard Retirement portfolio- might be “good enough “ to meet your desire for simplicity and reasonable returns at low cost expense ratio and require no management fee up front.
I shall repeat my earlier post. Go with the Vanguard VTINX. Not perfect but probably good enough for you, and me and countless others. Very simple. Once you start taking RMDs, put the excess, if any, in another simple after tax fund, maybe even a separate VTINX, or just put it in the Vanguard Money Market Prime until you decide what to do with it. Best wishes and good luck.
I agree 100%.

Re: Investment Advisor

Posted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 8:46 pm
by BearBones
PS, not sure I will every "sleep at night" with whatever I do. I tend to second guess when advisors question why I might want LLT or gold right now. I think the suggestions posted here are as good as I will get.

Will probably do as you said, Mountaineer, at least with part of my assets. Would be easier than what I have now if I just committed to the PP for half of my assets and VTINX for the rest, my sort of super conservative variable portfolio.

I do trust many of you more than any advisor I have spoken to, and I feel more comfortable having had your continued advice (and a bit of hand holding). Thanks.

Re: Investment Advisor

Posted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 9:10 pm
by dualstow
I originally put some funds into a Vanguard target retirement fund (2035) as something to compete against. I have to concede that it's easier to put money in there than into a single asset, or even four assets simultaneously, if you don't think about how the sausage is made.

Not exactly VTINX, but same idea.

Re: Investment Advisor

Posted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 9:34 pm
by Desert
BearBones wrote:PS, not sure I will every "sleep at night" with whatever I do. I tend to second guess when advisors question why I might want LLT or gold right now. I think the suggestions posted here are as good as I will get.

Will probably do as you said, Mountaineer, at least with part of my assets. Would be easier than what I have now if I just committed to the PP for half of my assets and VTINX for the rest, my sort of super conservative variable portfolio.

I do trust many of you more than any advisor I have spoken to, and I feel more comfortable having had your continued advice (and a bit of hand holding). Thanks.
If you setup a half PP/half VTINX portfolio, the resulting mix would likely perform very well. In fact, it looks quite similar to a ... desert portfolio. I'm sorry, I couldn't help it. But in all seriousness, splitting your assets among two solid, conservative portfolios should give you the peace to be able to ignore the noise and enjoy other things in life.

Re: Investment Advisor

Posted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 7:09 am
by sophie
BearBones wrote:Would be easier than what I have now if I just committed to the PP for half of my assets and VTINX for the rest, my sort of super conservative variable portfolio.
This sounds like an excellent plan, especially for accounts that are not PP-compatible. You can make those "set it and forget it" with the simple, one-fund approach, and then not even think about them until it's time to withdraw funds.

Is it the PP part that you're uncomfortable with? It does take some twiddling, especially buying the long bonds and gold, and figuring out what to do with new contributions. How are you handling these currently?

Re: Investment Advisor

Posted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 8:21 am
by barrett
Bones,

It would also be interesting (and probably helpful) to know what your current AA looks like. When you say that you have a "a ton" of cash, does that mean that you have 50% or 60% in cash? If so, maybe you are just a cash kind of guy and it should just be invested in T-Bills. That was a Harry Browne recommendation for those who just weren't comfortable with other strategies.

Depending on your spending versus your assets, you might be able to coast through retirement just holding a lower percentage of the volatile assets.

In case you haven't seen it, Tyler wrote this excellent piece on cash:

https://portfoliocharts.com/2017/05/12/ ... -investor/

Agree with PS that money should be something that makes life easier and not harder. But I also understand from my own experience how analysis paralysis can drive one crazy. Fortunately we have this safe haven called the PP Forum where we can all get free therapy when needed! Best of luck to you.