I have a few questions on financial planners:
To whom do you all go to handle all your financial investments? Did you just look someone up in the phone book (who has the biggest add
)? Did you just go to one of those huge financial companies like Merrill Lynch or Charles Schwab? In your opinions, is it better to go to independent guys, or better to go with the big mega companies?
I was at my bank the other day (Chase) and the gentleman there said he would be happy to look over what I have now and give recommendations on what he would do with it. It sounded like he was offering this review for free, and then I would only pay the fees to buy the various investments. He mentioned that they (the bank) are a safe option as their investments are chosen by corporate JP Morgan. So its not like I am just trusting the expertise of "the guy at the bank" to pick smart investments. Is it ok to use your bank to handle all you money, or will I not get the best advice or returns this way? It "seems" nice to have a one stop shop to handle checking, savings, investments, retirement items, loans, etc. My only reservation is that in my experience, one stop shops for anything usually compromise all those services a little for that convenience, and the best service is still attained from direct specialists. Like going to Walmart, its all there, but nothing is of the highest quality.
Do all these financial planners charge fees just to review your information, or do some offer the advice and review for free and then take a cut only of what you earn with the money? Are there any unfair hidden charges or fees some of them try to sneak in that more honest advisors do not? Even if some planners charge fees to see them, is it money well spent as they will get you even more for your investments? Like "you get what you pay for".
Will most planners only talk to you if you have at least "x" dollars to play with? Does "x" vary depending on if you go to a small guy or Merril Lynch? How much does "x" typically need to be, 5k,10k,25k,100k+?
Thanks for any advice.