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December 04, 2006

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I understand part of FMF culture is to promote financial awareness and intelligence outside of the advisor circle- you do that quite well. But, I'm perplexed when you say you "aren't anti-advisor" and then crack jokes and post misleading quotes about a crucial and growing industry. A CPA is not a financial advising designation- far from it. It's a state-issued tax credential.

The first joke was funny, but ironic in that most parents and grandparents are lacking any good information about establishing 529 plans to help save for college education. Some who I've spoken with were actually setting up UGMA accounts- a dangerous move which could prevent the beneficiary from receiving grants and other need-based financial aid. Advisors = lifesavers when dealing with many older people who rarely buy personal finance books and wouldn't read them if they did.
This is an important reality.

Second joke- funny but misleading and highly inaccurate. I know more than a handful of satisfied investors. BTW- for aggressive broker bashing, check out Dan Solin's new book- certainly not the "smartest investment book I'll ever read" but a good contribution for do-it-yourself investors.

Third point- a very good one, and very Bogle-esque. That being said, it's idealistic and unrealistic. Sometimes when I try to explain financial concepts (such as the internal expenses of actively managed mutual funds) to clients, they look at me like I'm crazy. It's simply a matter of avoiding focusing on what you don't know. Some people (rich people included) just don't want to see, hear, or read about personal finance.


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