Monday, April 24, 2006

Do Financial Planners Come from Hell?

My husband and I have been working with a financial planner for a couple of years. The financial planner is Steve Brown of Asset Planning & Management in Aptos, California. In general, the financial planner has done a better job of managing our investments than we would have done on our own.

We had a meeting scheduled today to specifically discuss the plan for my retirement. After reviewing the status of some of our assets, Steve Brown, turned to me and said "Your last email to me is a complete waste of my time."

A copy of that email follows.

----------------------------Email Start---------------------------------------
To: Steve Brown
From: Chris Wellens


I think that you, my husband, and I need to have a meeting to get back on the same page. We seem to be going in different directions and that is not going to work out very well for our financial future.

When we first met with you and started this process, you felt that we had a "mishmash" of investments and you were going to straighten that out. I think we got started on that path and made some progress. However, now we seem to have wandered back into mishmash.

I would like to see a coherent plan to get us to our goals. I think we should be defining how much of each type of investment we should have (real estate, stocks, bonds, cash, gold, art, etc.), by what date, so we can live off the interest and dividends. I would like to start with my end goal of retirement, and work backwards from there.

Please let me know when we can have this meeting.

-----------------------------------Email End----------------------------

(1) If financial planners are not coming up with a plan for your retirement, then what are they doing?

(2) Is it normal for financial planners to tell their clients that the client's questions and goals are a waste of time?