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Recommend Fidelity Financial Advisor?

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  • Recommend Fidelity Financial Advisor?

    I have an aging mom that wants someone to take over her finances. She lives in an assisted living facility and has around 1 million in stocks/bonds, and really no other assets.  I manage my own money, but do not feel comfortable taking over her finances because there are other family members involved as well.  They want a financial advisor to take over her investing that is not a family member (I won't go into reasons for that here).

    So, I am looking to hire somebody that can help manage her portfolio.  She has all of her accounts with Fidelity, so hiring a Fidelity Financial Advisor may make sense. Anybody have good or bad experiences with them?  Or advice for other options or advisors?   My mom lives in Utah.



  • #2
    I d/n/h specific experience with Fido advisors but am confident (not 100%, but close) that any custodian-based advisor will be beholden to the custodian’s portfolio, principles, etc. That is not necessarily a bad thing for a mom with a $1M portfolio at Fido. Plus, you’re not making the decisions - a good thing in cases (impo) when family is not 100% united.

    Is it possible for you to lead her to this choice and (kind of) informally oversee the activity (quarterly reports, etc)?
    Our passion is protecting clients and others from predatory advisors. Fox & Co CPAs, Fox & Co Wealth Mgmt. 270-247-6087


    • #3
      You don't need a specific "Fidelity Advisor." Any advisor will do. They can keep the accounts at Fidelity or move them for her if advisable. Here's my recommended list:
      Helping those who wear the white coat get a fair shake on Wall Street since 2011


      • #4
        •“They want a financial advisor to take over her investing that is not a family member (I won’t go into reasons for that here).”

        •“I have an aging mom that wants someone to take over her finances”

        Taking over finances , financial planning, and portfolio management mean different things to different people.
        The scope and goals needs to be clarified before an FA gets involved. An outline that satisfies your mom’s desires and capabilities and then a clear understanding of authority is important. For example, who is designated as beneficiary(ies). The FA can’t solve family dynamics or solve disagreements.

        Monthly Cash transfers
        Paying bills

        If all you want is a portfolio AA, rebalancing and recurring transfers, that can be done free at Fidelity.
        With $1mm, she qualifies for a private client advisor.
        Written report that has independent recommendations.
        Stocks/bonds/cash, how often to rebalance and logistics ( online or phone or in person or checks). You probably don’t need to pay an advisor fee to maintain that.
        More light (independent recommendation) and bring your mom’s wishes in-line with the family’s.
        Two zero cost mutual funds would get her going.
        You can use one of the WCI advisors as well. For you Mom’s sake, it seems like the family dynamics can be smoothed regarding HER investments. Just solve the bullet points above, anything else is easy. Certainly some of the WCI advisors can add value as well. It won’t be the first time they have dealt with different opinions.
        Good luck.


        • #5
          We have durable power of attorney, trusts, and beneficiaries all arranged.  Just looking for somebody specifically to manage her portfolio, which would just be a very conservative portfolio.  Will look into Fido or possibly the WCI list if I don't like what I hear from Fido.  Thanks!


          • #6
            You should have a discussion with the family, as appropriate, about the fact that hiring an adviser will cost money.

            Fidelity has its "Go" product that is 0.35% of assets. Slightly more than Vanguard PAS. They say they will largely invest in low or zero expense ratio Fidelity funds. Of course, you would need details. Go may not be necessary but could be better than paying a much higher price for the same thing, or even worse, paying a higher price for more active management. Other than Go, it seems Fidelity's prices go from 0.5 to 1.5% of assets to hire an adviser. Obviously, there is no reason to pay that much.

            In favor of hiring a giant firm like Fidelity, Vanguard or Schwab:
            Deep pockets. If the adviser goes bad, you are not stuck just dealing with what is left of a tiny firm. The big company will still be there and will be responsible.

            Compliance and supervision. The individual advisers will be working within the strictures of a corporation that cannot gain by stealing your money. The company could overcharge for bad advice, place one in high price active funds, ignore other options that would be better, but it is not practical to steal from the account. Different story with a small shop.

            Continuity. Small financial advisers have nothing like the long term stability of one of these giant firms. If you hire Fid, S or V, the company will be there, even as individual advisers come and go. Small advisory firms can go under, merge, get bought out, change their focus and so forth.

            If your family is convinced that there should be a paid adviser, prod them to pay for it. At least your mom should not have to shell out her own money to make the family happy.