Personal Investment & Financial Planning Q`s/Financial advisors


QUESTION: We are looking for a financial advisor who will manage our investments the way we want them managed, not the way they want to manage our money. We do not believe in asset allocation or in being overly diversified. Our approach is similar to that which Warren Buffet uses. I know Buffet does not believe in asset allocation.

We have used our approach successfully for a number of years. The problem is that I am 70 years old and may not be able to manage our investments in the future. The problem is that we cannot find an advisor who will do it the way we want. They just want to do the asset allocation thing.

Do you know how we could find an adviser who would work with us? Thanks.

ANSWER: Sorry for the delay Tom

I managed assets as such in the past and still do. It happens a lot when clients come in with old positions they want to or have to keep but do like my ideas if different.

It is harder to manage since everybody has their own story, as opposed to 5 standard allocations you plug clients into so your own life as an advisor is easy.

Fewer and fewer advisors will do this anymore. It is like trying to find a stockbroker you trust with good ideas. They also want you in a standard portfolio allocation.

There is a lot of validity in an allocation model and you can outperform that way versus picking stocks. That is counterintuitive to some people. I try to have people at least accept a portion of the account to be a model so we cover the bases. Like having the well balanced meal before you can have dessert.

The asset allocation model is cheap and becoming commoditized as it should be. The advice people should be paying for is everywhere else in their financial lives. it is just that the financial services industry has only figured out how to get paid using the assets under management model and most advisors are lazy or lesser qualified. An advisor would have trouble saying to write them a check for touchy feely advice, versus "this is a secret sauce model you can get access to with me"

Tell me more about your situation I would dig in deeper for you if you like


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Thank you for your response, although I am not quite sure what you are telling me.

I think most financial advisors do the asset allocation thing because it is easy for them, though not in their client's best interest. Then they periodically re-balance the portfolio to make their client's think they are doing something to earn their management fees.

The asset allocation/diversification approach was a miserable failure in 2008. The nest time there is a market melt down, asset allocation will again be a failure.

Many truly successful in investors like, Warren Buffet and Peter Lynch do not use asset allocation and do not believe in it.

We are trying to find a financial advisor who can "think outside the asset allocation box".


Everything was a miserable failure in 2008; and they have all come back if you stayed with whatever you came into the drop with. There won't be anything you can invest in, in equities, that can insulate you from those events. Allocation or stock picking will all get hurt

It is your money and you should invest it like you want. Regulations make it harder for advisors today to do what you ask. They are liable for your financial well being and the convention of asset allocation is a good legal protection, as a start.

Asset allocation is easy; most advisors don't manually do any of the work. Their job should ostensibly be spending time with the clients adding value and earning their fees, helping on all the other parts of financial planning. While the assets are being managed automatically, the client should be communicated with. Not always the case you have noticed

Keep looking. I do it your way in cases when I can clearly delineate the expectations, but I am in NJ.


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Bruce Julien


I can answer questions on and raise issues clients overlook in the areas of Estate Planning as far as taxes and distribution flow problems, Asset Management as far as appropriateness of assets and allocations for a desired goal and the value a consumer gets for their costs, Tax Planning related to Income and Estates, and Insurance/Annuity questions particularly in light of suitability to the consumer.


I became a CPA in 1991 and began offering financial advice in 1992. I am a Registered Investment Advisor which means I sign off on putting clients' interests first in a fiduciary role.

BA in Accounting, University of Maryland 1990

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