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October 03, 2005


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if you read the intelligent investor, Graham states several times that people invest like they are a hurd of cattle. They invest on emotion, trend, and popularity and not simply with the numbers.

Why pay mutual fund managers 1% + when index funds only cost around .10 to .25 %?

Chimpanzees are not monkeys. They are great apes. (Feeling pedantic this morning.)

If we are going to drum on about the bias and self-interest inherent in financial advisors (which is a debatable position, in my opinion) we might as well also call out the bias in financial advice magazines and (dare I say) websites. They have a self interested reason to believe that the individual is best served by managing their portfolio by consulting their publications.

Ultimately I think a hybrid solutions works. Many people realize value from a financial planner, but they also need a modicum of research to keep the business relationship honest. While a monkey may pick stocks pretty well, no monkey I know of will proactively suggest ways to think about steps you can take to retire early. These things aren't impossible to do without a planner, but with the right planner success rates are improved.

Duane --

1. I didn't realize I was "drumming on". You sound like my wife. ;-)

2. Yes, I have a certain point-of-view (or bias if you prefer) -- we all do. We like certain things and don't like others. The reason I advocate what I do on this point is: a) I have known a lot of people who have been taken by "financial planners" and b) the methods and tips I have suggested here have worked for me. I am debt free and have a substantial net worth.

3. I think there are times when a REAL financial planner is needed. That's why I wrote this piece: . In addition, I detailed the criteria I'd use as to when I would and wouldn't use a planner here: .

4. Don't pre-judge monkeys. They are often more on target than financial bloggers like myself. ;-)


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