Financial Advisor Questions - Posted by Steve (OH)

Posted by Nate on February 01, 2001 at 14:31:51:

I think you’re right; if the guy is truly a “fee only” planner, he doesn’t sell ANYTHING other than advice. That’s the beauty of fee only planners and why most people see them as being the only really objective source of financial information.

I have no idea if $1,500 is a fair price in your area.

Financial Advisor Questions - Posted by Steve (OH)

Posted by Steve (OH) on February 01, 2001 at 13:53:00:

Hello all.

I met with a financial advisor today for lunch as I have not “officially” met with one to have them help me with a plan, etc. I knew I needed to eventually and I now have 16 units and am aggressively looking for others so figured now is as good a time as any. I am currently 30 yrs old and would like to put together a five year plan and of course a plan for retirement (assuming they aren’t one in the same!!..God, I wish!).

At any rate, I got the referral from a CEO of a mortgage company that I trust and believe the firm is quite respectable. My question lies within the fees: $1,500 to basically dissect every aspect of my (and my wife’s) financial life and come up with strategies/answers, etc. to accomplish our financial goals. This plan includes consultations with attorneys that they retain, etc.

My thought is that I am guessing (hoping) that he will find me at LEAST $1,500 within my silly spending or additional savings, or tax savings or something. Plus, the $1,500 is of course tax deductible.

I have heard of these “fee-based” firms, but have also heard of others that do this for free in hopes of you buying life insurance/other products from them; but fear that “you get what you pay for.”

Does anyone have any input or experience with this type of fee structure? If so, is this a fair price? I have not shopped around that much because as I said, I called my friend looking for a referral and he said that this guy was the best in the city.

Thanks in advance…


Re: Financial Advisor Questions - Posted by Tony K.

Posted by Tony K. on February 03, 2001 at 22:59:52:

Steve, hopefully you get this in time. One thing you have to look out for is a “one size fits all” Finanical Advisor. I have found a bunch out there. Most of the ones with the big brokerage houses use this system until you get over 1 million in assets that they manage for you in securities. The ones that I found to date that I like and they have a radio show is a frim that goes by the name of They are based in Orlando area (Fla.) they have a radio show that you can call for basic information but I feel since they are fee based it is in their and your best interest to have your assetts grow. I try to listen to them every day. Hope you enjoy them as much as I do, They really know their stuff, Tony K.

Get other quotes too - Posted by SueC

Posted by SueC on February 02, 2001 at 07:37:26:

Have you asked other RE investors who they are using? A good accountant should be able to help you too, or a tax attorney who is a CPA. Get some other referrals and some other quotes.

Definitely use a fee based planner so you don’t get the hard sell, and you get info you want/need. You can get lists of other certified financial planners from Generally, these folks may also have affiliations with particular products or brokerages (i.e., Lincoln or Merrill Lynch) - I’d go with an independent myself.

Good luck!

Still Looking after Twenty Years - Posted by Frank Chin

Posted by Frank Chin on February 02, 2001 at 07:30:16:

I’ve been talking to guys(and ladies) like this for nearly 20 years. They focus on 9 to 5 people and how you can retire after 30 years saving $100.00 a week.

First, if you’re a real estate investor - most of these people don’t understand creative real estate. They can talk about your home - and thats about it. When i mention I invest in multi-family propety - the answer I get is - “thats very nice”

Second, some of them are really Life Insurance guys. They talk you into insurance policies wrapped inside an annuity.

Third, others are stock brokers calling themselves financial planners. How about some nice mutual funds for you?

Currently, I am talking to some - but mainly for tax and estate planning purposes. In this instance - a good planner will tell you that you need estate planning and point you to a good one.

There is a fee based advisor I was considering who charges an hourly fee. The plan is for him to outline specific areas to be looked at - such as structuring ownership interests for my properties, tax consequences in case simultaneous death (wife and me), naming of IRA beneficiaries, life insurance beneficiaries etc.

The idea here is that when there’s lots of assets - you shouldn’t have everything jointly owned.

Then if further analysis is to be done - then he’ll outline what else needs to be down. His hourly rate is $150.00 (he’s in New Jersey) with free initial one hour consultation.

My suggestion is to read a good book or two on financial planning before interviewing them. Then decide on which area is important to you and see if the planner has any expertise. It you’re a real estate investor, and he’s an insurance or mutual fund guy - then he can’t help you much.

Re: Financial Advisor Questions - Posted by BillW

Posted by BillW on February 01, 2001 at 21:54:35:

Steve, Just my opinion, but I think most of these planners are not worth the effort. They typically steer you towards stocks, partnerships, and types of investments where you don’t have control of what’s happening. First thing I’d ask this planner before I gave him a dime is “How many properties do you own? What is your cash flow off them? Do you believe real estate investing is an excellent way to build net worth, cash flow and retirement security? How many of your current clients have you advised to put a significant portion of their wealth into real estate? Have you made any specific suggestions to these clients regarding real estate deals? What were these suggestions? How many of these clients followed your advice and made good money?
I think the answers to these questions might tell you if this is the advisor you want handeling your affairs. At age 30, you seem to have a pretty good grip on this. Make the planner SHOW you how he can do better than you’re doing on your own.
Remember, there’s a saying… If you want to find out how to make a million, ask a millionaire”. It’s not always smart to take advice from someone who is not doing as well as you want to do.
Good luck, BillW.