Are we really necessary?

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Borker Boy's picture
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Joined: 2006-12-09

The longer I work in this business (which is approaching a whopping two years), the clearer the investing world, or at least the one in which I roam, becomes. Technology and the internet has greatly reduced the information gap between FAs and the general public. I'm convinced that if a person would spend a little time online learning the basics of IRAs, annuities and mutual funds, they could invest successfully on their own.
 
As you all know, most of us at Jones primarily sell mutual funds, individual bonds and CDs. We're highly dissuaded by compliance from selling individual stocks and/or truly managing a portfolio of individual securities. (And we shouldn't be doing any real managing, since most of us have little more than a 7 and 66 license, which definitely doesn't teach you portfolio management.)
 
I was in a meeting with my BOA several months ago, and I told her that if I were really doing what was in the best interest of our clients, I'd charge them a small fee and put together a portfolio of Vanguard or Fidelity funds. They're as good as any out there, their management fees are miniscule, and there is no chunk taken out of the investor's money.
 
This morning, I read this article: http://www.onwallstreet.com/article.cfm?articleid=3758 
and got to thinking about whether we are really necessary.
 
Sure, millions of folks use advisors, but is it out of necessity or good advertising and scare tactics by our companies?
 
Think about it, the majority of us who carry the title of financial advisor--save for those of you who actually manage portfolios, whether truly qualified or not--just serve as middlemen for our clients. They tell us how long they want to invest and how much risk they're willing to take, and we hook them up with the real money managers--after taking our commission off the top, of course.
 
For you guys who are managing portfolios, do you have the CFA designation? Are you really capable of managing a portfolio as well as a portfolio manager for a mutual fund? 
 
I see our most important role as being "investor managers," and I believe that can be important. But just how important? 
 
I'm not trying to give you guys a hard time, because this is how I make a living, too.
 
I'll look forward to seeing how you defend your profession.

Maxstud's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-29

When you know what your doing, its easy.  When a lawyer is looking at a case the basic strategy is obvious, so he sizes it up easily then expands on the plan. An accountant knows the obvious answers but a good one finds 1 or 2 issue that could be addressed.   After you get the basics setup, you should alway make sure you spend time to step back and understand the big picture.  

Ashland's picture
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Joined: 2007-03-06

I work with 1000 - 1500 people. I help and see how they manage the transitions in their lives. Some are more successful than others. Some bring great difficulties upon themselves, while others seem to repeatedly thread the needle. I'm able to share these experiences with clients so that they don't have go through life happenings on their own.

In this way I work with a client as an architect does - how many windows do you want on the first floor & the size & thickness of those windows is very similar to the 360 degree retirement conversation. My role in investing, though, ends with determining a strategy for short medium & long term money. How do we invest short term money for safety & access? What do we need in cash vs how much does it make sense to have available in a LOC? It's a Jungian conversation of comfort vs. benefit. Does it make sense to drop extra savings into the house or to invest it? How does one change the strategy of a portfolio 3 - 4 yrs from retirement? Do you choose a VA, cd's, or a SPIA for guaranteed income - or do you just keep a 60/40 stock/bond portfolio & take a 4% withdrawal? What if a 6% withdrawal is necessary? Is there a need for life insurance if one spouse has a pension that will disappear or be cut in half if that spouse passes? When do you buy LTC - it's getting earlier & earlier - when do you get it through the company vs. when do you do it privately? Do you use a traditional LTC policy or a life insurance policy w/ a LTC rider?

Then we hand the picture of what we want to achieve to a general contractor like a Morningstar or Ibbotson to implement the investment strategy & handle the tactics. They choose subcontractors to do the plumbing & the electricity. Naturally, you don't want an electrician doing plumbing. That would be a bad thing. But that's what often happens when you choose one asset manager to run someone's entire portfolio. Van Kampen is awesome at small & medium growth co's, but the Comstock fund decided not to take the energy bet that everyone else made a few years back & is now dramatically underperforming. How do you change the portfolio at those points - how do YOU even know that it should be changed without looking through the rear view mirror? Real investments including gold & real estate, basic materials, & energy have been shown to reduce risk & have low correlation to the general market - do you include these? When and how much? Microcap funds are sometimes good and sometimes bad. Did you miss the emerging markets run? Did you take real estate off the table at the right time? Are you getting back in to real estate now? Did you know that the Franklin Real Estate fund has about 25% of its assets invested in home builders & is becoming one of the most aggressive real estate funds in the market? Do you have model portfoios so that you can adjust allocations to take advantage of inefficiencies in the marketplace? Is it your job to manage investments or help clients have no regrets at the end of their days?

If you educate yourself on how to make people's lives better you'll stick around, help more clients, garner more referrals, and live a happier and more fulfilling life. If you continue to be an investment advisor - you're right - you will go the way of the buggy whip.

Morphius's picture
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Joined: 2007-07-21

Reminds me of the old plumbing joke: a man's boiler fails, and he calls
in the plumber. The plumber looks at the boiler, nods, takes out a
hammer, hits the boiler and voila - it's working. The plumber than gave the man an invoice for $125."$125!?" shrieks the man. "But it only took you ten seconds!"The
plumber shrugged, took back the invoice, and added: hitting the boiler - $2.  Knowing where to hit the boiler - $123."If you were the plumber, you're making the mistake of thinking everyone knows pretty much what to do and where to hit, because you know it and you know there are countless places, especially in the internet, that give that exact information.Most don't know, don't want to know, or don't have time to know.  That is the key.  Those that are ready willing and able to be DIY'ers, aren't your target market.  It's the vast majority who DO want help.As Mark Twain once said, "We are all ignorant - only on different subjects."

troll's picture
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Joined: 2004-11-29

I understand where the original poster is coming from. Its already been said here, it seems easy to us, because its what we do. But the reality is apparent, if you examine investor behavior. What percentage of the prospects who have been doing it themselves then come to you, have a good understanding of the cycles of growth vs value. What percentage of them have had more than 5-10% international investments in their portfolios (gee that sounds so risky!). What percentage of them understand the relationship between interest rates and bonds. And what percentage of them are capable of picking up a financial calculator and figuring out how much they need in 15 years to produce the income they need, then discounting that back to the present for inflation, then figuring out how much they need to put away a month till that time, and what IRR they need to achieve their goal.
On the other side, what percentage of those people, have been looking at Smart Money, or the Mutual Fund section of the newspaper and picking the hot funds from last year. I woudl venture to guess, 90% do that.
 
Unfortunately, and its the industry's fault, most of us get our s7, and then learn about investing on the fly. I cringe when I think about some of the things i did when I first started in the business 8 years ago. I still have a lot to learn, which is one of the things I love about this business. But I know a lot more than I did as a typical retail investor which is what I was prior to coming into the business.
 
I would venture to say that any prospect, and any broker who understood my comments above, would see the value in what we do. Those who cant, and dont see themselves learning thruout their career, should sit down in a room by themselves with a yellow legal pad, and really spend some quality time, thinking and brainstorming exactly what they are offering when they reach out to a prospect. You need a clear picture of your worth if you are going to be successful. And if you cant find that, you  probably should go find something else to do. (no offense meant, just a general statement)
 
Two of the last points the poster made, were dead on:
"
For you guys who are managing portfolios, do you have the CFA designation? Are you really capable of managing a portfolio as well as a portfolio manager for a mutual fund? 
 
I see our most important role as being "investor managers," and I believe that can be important. But just how important?"
 
Adressing the first point - I am a big believer in developing core competencies. Its not for us to depend on the firm to do that for us. Its up to us. So go for a CFA, or some other designation. I earned my CFP in July. I cannot tell you how valuable it has been in having conversations AND SHOWING VALUE, with clients and prospects. Whether its talking about titling of assets, beneficiaries, putting fixed income in qualified plan accounts and equities in taxable accounts, etc. So go earn a designation, which more important that the designation itself, will give you knowledge that will better your clients lives, not to mention make you feel good about what you do.
 
The second point , that we are investor managers is also true. And with all due respect to the individual retail investor, they need to be managed, and it IS one of the value added services we provide.
 
Believe it or leave it!!!!!!!!
 

Indyone's picture
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Joined: 2005-05-30

Borker Boy wrote:The longer I work in this business (which is approaching a whopping two years), the clearer the investing world, or at least the one in which I roam, becomes. Technology and the internet has greatly reduced the information gap between FAs and the general public. I'm convinced that if a person would spend a little time online learning the basics of IRAs, annuities and mutual funds, they could invest successfully on their own.
 
I think your confidence in the general public is misplaced.  Sure, there are plenty of people who can do exactly what you're saying, BUT, there are many more who are either unwilling and/or unable to manage their own investment portfolios.  THAT is why we exist.
 
Borker Boy wrote:As you all know, most of us at Jones primarily sell mutual funds, individual bonds and CDs. We're highly dissuaded by compliance from selling individual stocks and/or truly managing a portfolio of individual securities. (And we shouldn't be doing any real managing, since most of us have little more than a 7 and 66 license, which definitely doesn't teach you portfolio management.).
 
I can't disagree with any of that, which is why I, for the most part, don't attempt to pick individual stocks.  I pick a few for fun, and hopefully profit, but for the most part, my and my client's money is with professional managers.  I see my role as more of a manager of managers.  Your comment regarding the lack of expertise in this industry is also the reason that I (1) got a CFP and (2) am constantly reading various publications and taking continuing education courses to improve in that regard.  We owe it to those who entrust us with their money to be the best that we can be.
 
Borker Boy wrote:I was in a meeting with my BOA several months ago, and I told her that if I were really doing what was in the best interest of our clients, I'd charge them a small fee and put together a portfolio of Vanguard or Fidelity funds. They're as good as any out there, their management fees are miniscule, and there is no chunk taken out of the investor's money.
 
Actually, I don't see them as good as anyone out there.  There are plenty of dogs in both families, along with a few stars and a lot of offerings that are a bit better than average at best.  The lack of decent offerings in several sectors and asset classes in both fund families referenced is a pretty good argument for a fee-based platform in and of itself.
 
Borker Boy wrote:This morning, I read this article: http://www.onwallstreet.com/article.cfm?articleid=3758 
and got to thinking about whether we are really necessary.
 
Sure, millions of folks use advisors, but is it out of necessity or good advertising and scare tactics by our companies?
 
Think about it, the majority of us who carry the title of financial advisor--save for those of you who actually manage portfolios, whether truly qualified or not--just serve as middlemen for our clients. They tell us how long they want to invest and how much risk they're willing to take, and we hook them up with the real money managers--after taking our commission off the top, of course.
 
For you guys who are managing portfolios, do you have the CFA designation? Are you really capable of managing a portfolio as well as a portfolio manager for a mutual fund? 
 
I see our most important role as being "investor managers," and I believe that can be important. But just how important? 
 
I'm not trying to give you guys a hard time, because this is how I make a living, too.
 
I'll look forward to seeing how you defend your profession.
 
As far as defending the profession goes, I don't.  There are plenty of pretenders out there that shouldn't be in the business.  I worked with a million dollar producer who, while he was good at closing the sale, was positively AWFUL at portfolio management, asset allocation, stock-picking, etc.  He got by with a lot by doing most of his work in the bull market of the 90's where almost any crap investment made money.  When the bear of 2000-2002 came along, he flamed out spectacularly, leaving the firm in the process.  Since 2002, he's now in his 5th employer and his CRD reports a substantial civil lien indicating credit problems.  It wouldn't bother me at all if the entry barriers to this business were a bit higher.
 
Bottom line is, yes, there are people who don't need our help, there are people who need our help, but don't recognize that fact, and there are people who need our help and know it.  Don't waste your time chasing the people in the first two groups.  There are plenty of people in the third group and most of them are just fine with paying for our services.  The longer you are in this business and the better educated you become regarding investment management, the better you'll feel about making a living out of giving professional advice to others.  At two years in with minimal training, perhaps you're not worth the fees you receive (use that statement as motivation to improve yourself), but for most people, your advice is certainly better than going it alone.

YHWY's picture
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Joined: 2007-07-18

Borker, You nailed it. In under two short years, you've managed to uncover a scam that's been going on for over 120 years. The first thing you should do is resign your position at your broker dealer. The second thing you should do is begin to educate the "investing public" on just how easily accessible the technology and research is to them and exactly how to use it efficiently. You should, of course, do this at no cost to anyone but yourself.  Oh wait, I was high just there. Go F yourself. That's how I "justify my profession". 

troll's picture
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Joined: 2004-11-29

Ashland wrote:I work with 1000 - 1500 people. I help and see how they manage the transitions in their lives. Some are more successful than others. Some bring great difficulties upon themselves, while others seem to repeatedly thread the needle. I'm able to share these experiences with clients so that they don't have go through life happenings on their own.

In this way I work with a client as an architect does - how many windows do you want on the first floor & the size & thickness of those windows is very similar to the 360 degree retirement conversation. My role in investing, though, ends with determining a strategy for short medium & long term money. How do we invest short term money for safety & access? What do we need in cash vs how much does it make sense to have available in a LOC? It's a Jungian conversation of comfort vs. benefit. Does it make sense to drop extra savings into the house or to invest it? How does one change the strategy of a portfolio 3 - 4 yrs from retirement? Do you choose a VA, cd's, or a SPIA for guaranteed income - or do you just keep a 60/40 stock/bond portfolio & take a 4% withdrawal? What if a 6% withdrawal is necessary? Is there a need for life insurance if one spouse has a pension that will disappear or be cut in half if that spouse passes? When do you buy LTC - it's getting earlier & earlier - when do you get it through the company vs. when do you do it privately? Do you use a traditional LTC policy or a life insurance policy w/ a LTC rider?

Then we hand the picture of what we want to achieve to a general contractor like a Morningstar or Ibbotson to implement the investment strategy & handle the tactics. They choose subcontractors to do the plumbing & the electricity. Naturally, you don't want an electrician doing plumbing. That would be a bad thing. But that's what often happens when you choose one asset manager to run someone's entire portfolio. Van Kampen is awesome at small & medium growth co's, but the Comstock fund decided not to take the energy bet that everyone else made a few years back & is now dramatically underperforming. How do you change the portfolio at those points - how do YOU even know that it should be changed without looking through the rear view mirror? Real investments including gold & real estate, basic materials, & energy have been shown to reduce risk & have low correlation to the general market - do you include these? When and how much? Microcap funds are sometimes good and sometimes bad. Did you miss the emerging markets run? Did you take real estate off the table at the right time? Are you getting back in to real estate now? Did you know that the Franklin Real Estate fund has about 25% of its assets invested in home builders & is becoming one of the most aggressive real estate funds in the market? Do you have modular portfoios so that you can adjust allocations to take advantage of inefficiencies in the marketplace? Is it your job to manage investments or help clients have no regrets at the end of their days?

If you educate yourself on how to make people's lives better you'll stick around, help more clients, garner more referrals, and live a happier and more fulfilling life. If you continue to be an investment advisor - you're right - you will go the way of the buggy whip.Thanks for the heads-up about Franklin.  That's very interesting!

Roadhard's picture
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Joined: 2007-02-23

Borker Boy, Yes we do earn our Keep--There are some clients that would do well on their own--most would not.  We are a clearing house of information--we don't make the investments--we narrow down the choices and try to controll emotions of the client.  How may clients do you have that would have done a stupid move in their accounts if it wasn't for you?  I give you an example--I had a couple--she was in her final days before death from cancer--she called and said she wanted everything put into her husband's name so their wouldn't be probate and so he would have access to all the money...Since this is a community property state I recommended they not do that (turns out thats what their lawyer recommended).  After I spoke to the lawyer and let him know they would be missing out on the stepup basis (Saving them $220,000 in capital gains taxes) and since he (the lawyer was located in a common law state) he did not understand that we had the account set up for Survivorship Marital Property so there would be no probate.  You get the point--get educated, get a CFP, provide unbias advice!  So yes, if you know what you are doing, you provide a service that people will and should pay for!

Mike Damone's picture
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Joined: 2004-12-01

I have two types of clients:
 
1) Who have absolutely no idea what they are doing, but hired me to handle their investments and planning.
 
2) Know exactly how to do this stuff, but simply don't want to deal with it.
 
On a somewhat related note,  there's nothing stopping me from getting Turbo Tax and do my own taxes but I'd rather pay my accountant to do it for me.

MISS JONES's picture
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Joined: 2007-08-28

Borker Boy wrote:The longer I work in this business (which is approaching a whopping two years), the clearer the investing world, or at least the one in which I roam, becomes. Technology and the internet has greatly reduced the information gap between FAs and the general public. I'm convinced that if a person would spend a little time online learning the basics of IRAs, annuities and mutual funds, they could invest successfully on their own.
 
As you all know, most of us at Jones primarily sell mutual funds, individual bonds and CDs. We're highly dissuaded by compliance from selling individual stocks and/or truly managing a portfolio of individual securities. (And we shouldn't be doing any real managing, since most of us have little more than a 7 and 66 license, which definitely doesn't teach you portfolio management.)
 
I was in a meeting with my BOA several months ago, and I told her that if I were really doing what was in the best interest of our clients, I'd charge them a small fee and put together a portfolio of Vanguard or Fidelity funds. They're as good as any out there, their management fees are miniscule, and there is no chunk taken out of the investor's money.
 
This morning, I read this article: http://www.onwallstreet.com/article.cfm?articleid=3758 
and got to thinking about whether we are really necessary.
 
Sure, millions of folks use advisors, but is it out of necessity or good advertising and scare tactics by our companies?
 
Think about it, the majority of us who carry the title of financial advisor--save for those of you who actually manage portfolios, whether truly qualified or not--just serve as middlemen for our clients. They tell us how long they want to invest and how much risk they're willing to take, and we hook them up with the real money managers--after taking our commission off the top, of course.
 
For you guys who are managing portfolios, do you have the CFA designation? Are you really capable of managing a portfolio as well as a portfolio manager for a mutual fund? 
 
I see our most important role as being "investor managers," and I believe that can be important. But just how important? 
 
I'm not trying to give you guys a hard time, because this is how I make a living, too.
 
I'll look forward to seeing how you defend your profession.
 
I know this might sound really bad.. seeming as how we work for the same firm and all- but, if you feel that way.. You aren't necessary! I know when my clients call me and they want to sell something that seems to make all the sense in the world and I talk them out of it.. I show them my value.. I even tell them- this is why you pay me.. I am here to talk you out of these bad decisions. They normally laugh and do what I say- if they don't and it blows up- well... that is all their fault.
 
Maybe you need to find something that gets you motivated again.

bspears's picture
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Joined: 2006-11-08

Panty salesman possibly.  Ok..this is my last post on panties...

rankstocks's picture
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Borker Boy is an absolute hack.  He must be sitting behind his bank teller desk wasting all our time typing this post.  Even the most educated investor has 1/10 the knowledge of an experienced advisor. Borker Boy has 2 years experience, and still doesn't think he adds value?  Please start prospecting and stop wasting all our time.

macca's picture
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Joined: 2006-11-21

If you have read my posts you'd know. For example, paying an ongoing wrap fee is NOT in your client's best interest. And you get  paid regardless of the performance of your client's investments.   Let me be explicit (again). If your client has $800,000 invested with you and is paying a 1% wrap fee (in addition to fund expenses) then they are paying $8,000 a year ongoing. No matter how the market (or you) do, they still pay that 1% of assets. To quote Warren Buffett: "heads, the Helper takes much of the winnings; tails, the Gotrocks lose and pay dearly for the privilege of doing so."  Back to $8,000 a year. That's over $650 a month. For what? Do you send them an itemized bill every month? No. You never tell them exactly what you are doing to earn that money. So tell me. Give me a monthly breakdown, hour by hour, month by month, task by task, of exactly what you are doing to earn that $650 every stinking month.   And what if a client has $250,000? They are paying $2,500 a year, or about $200 a month. Do you do that much LESS work for them? How does that work? Socialism?   Also, as I have stated, unless there is some additional training attained separately by the broker, there is so little provided in licensing training or continuing education that it makes no sense to pay 0.25%, never mind 1% or more. And the broker (you) can't do what is in the client's best interest because he has no idea what is in the client's best interest.   Also, I think you are fee BASED. That means that you are getting some form of commission in addition to your wrap fee. So we have to add that financial conflict back in.   To sum it up, it is in the client's best financial interest to pay you as little as possible (and, after the initial set-up, for you to do as little as possible). It's in your best financial interest to get as much in fees as you can. In fact, paying a load might be much LESS expensive over the long run than paying a wrap, especially with breakpoints and staying the course.   "That makes absolutely NO sense"  Of course not:  "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it."  "What a crock -- now I thnk you've gone over the deep end. Take a breath. For some reason you have this mental picture that every advisor is out to screw their cleints,"  I think the road to hel! is paved with good intentions. There are plenty of salesmen out there that do not want to explicitly screw their clients. But they do want to earn a good living and the way to do that is to 'compromise' and 'rationalize'. They have an exaggerated sense of their ability to time the market. They withhold information because everyone else does it. They call themselves 'financial advisors' because they can, not because they should. They hurt their clients.  "This is a competitive market."  And you are all doing the same thing. The way the industry is set up sucks. And, like it or not, people not using you are doing far better than people that are using you. You have no idea where the market will go, your asset allocations are no better than the ones DIY'ers set up (actually, they are WORSE), you promote market timing. And you charge so much for it that even if you do happen to match the market your fees kill it.  "And that's where we are today: A record portion of the earnings that would go in their entirety to owners -- if they all just stayed in their rocking chairs -- is now going to a swelling army of Helpers. Particularly expensive is the recent pandemic of profit arrangements under which Helpers receive large portions of the winnings when they are smart or lucky, and leave family members with all the losses -- and large fixed fees to boot -- when the Helpers are dumb or unlucky (or occasionally crooked)." -- Warren Buffett  " You know how long you'd survive if you didn;t have your clients best interests at heart?"  How long would you last if your clients knew the WHOLE truth and paid by check every month? Your industry has done a great job of covering up the filthy underbelly and advertising the superficial.  

 
 
--MACCA

troll's picture
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macca wrote: Let me be explicit (again). If your client has $800,000 invested with you and is paying a 1% wrap fee (in addition to fund expenses) then they are paying $8,000 a year ongoing. No matter how the market (or you) do, they still pay that 1% of assets. <?: prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
 
I don’t think you should be using funds for accounts like this, but that issue aside, you seem to fail to realize that the rep makes MORE if the client does well, and he makes LESS if the client does poorly. Is it your position that not only should the amount paid change, but the percentage should too? Or is it you just have problems with simple math?
 
macca wrote:
No. You never tell them exactly what you are doing to earn that money.
 
Actually, I do tell them, it’s in the documents they get when they open an account.
 
macca wrote: Also, as I have stated, unless there is some additional training attained separately by the broker, there is so little provided in licensing training or continuing education that it makes no sense to pay 0.25%, never mind 1% or more.
 
Perhaps that’s true for you. OTOH, for many informed clients, it makes great financial sense. It really doesn’t take much in useful advice to keep clients from doing harm to themselves that would be far, far more expensive than the fee they pay me, not to mention the higher risk/lower return they most likely would face if they didn’t have me. Frankly, a good advisor is a bargain.
 
 
macca wrote:Also, I think you are fee BASED. That means that you are getting some form of commission in addition to your wrap fee.
 
Not in any business model that I know of. If a client has both fee and commission accounts (it wouldn’t be a mix of the two in a single account) the various fees and commissions are disclosed.
 
 
macca wrote: In fact, paying a load might be much LESS expensive over the long run than paying a wrap, especially with breakpoints and staying the course.  
 
Again, I don’t think funds are the best vehicles for fee accounts, but let’s not forget that even in fund account the client has access to the best funds in the various sector. In your load/breakpoint scenario they’re limited to a single family to achieve those pricing points. Tell me that means nothing in terms of performance in the long run. macca wrote: How long would you last if your clients knew the WHOLE truth and paid by check every month?

 
My clients know the WHOLE truth and they pay me quarterly. The fact that doesn’t meet your approval means nothing to me.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

BondGuy's picture
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Joined: 2006-09-21

My house needs a new roof. Now, I have to tell you I'm pretty handy. I've done lots of things around my house. I've replaced doors, walls, and floors. I built an 1100 square foot triple level deck with a gazebo. So, I know my way around power tools and I've definately got the carpentry thing down. Yet, a roof? I've never done a roof before. However, I'm sure with my amateur carpentry skills and a little time on the net I could do a roofing job. Hmm? Nah, I think I'll pay a professional roofer the $7000 he wants to do the job for me.
 
See how that works? I could do it. Admittedly not as well as a professional, but still I could get it done and save myself about $4000. But, it's worth the money to hand the job to a pro.
 
My Jeep needs an oil change. Hmm?

Roadhard's picture
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Joined: 2007-02-23

Hey MACCA, get a prostate check!  You got your head up there to far!  We help people who do not what to help themselves--I get paid for it!  We give Edward Jones a lot of crap on this tread--however, I do like the commercial of doing surgery on yourself--if you can stand the pain go ahead--MACCA you are right about one thing--I have not had a single client question me about your study--you are....well get the prostate check!

bspears's picture
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Joined: 2006-11-08

Does your wife pay for sex?

Roadhard's picture
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Joined: 2007-02-23

Bspears, that was for MACCA right? 

bspears's picture
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Joined: 2006-11-08

No, I was playin with Bondguy,,,handed things over to a professional.  I thing we need to step back and take a deep breath.  Borker Boy is probably hitting a wall.  Calling on the same prospects for sometime now and not getting any results.  At this point he is starting to doubt himself, which at some point in our career we all do.  I know I did.
Borker, when I started  this thought process, I took a few days away from the office.  Recharged and came back and looked for new prospects to talk about investing with.  The constant cold calling on product puts you in a funk, but we all have to do it. I always answer someone who mentions no loads or doing it themselves with the plane scenario.  WOuld you be comfortable knowing there was noone flying your plane, well this is what happens when you purchase online for yourself.  I know I wouldn't get on a plane if there wasn't a pilot and I would think you would want someone watching and guiding your investments the same as a pilot does when your flying.  Kinda goofy, but it makes people think.  And if they say.." I can talk to someone if I want...and I say...how good would the pilot be if he wasn't getting paid to take care of you or your plane because you didn't want to pay for a ticket or very little for the plane ticket.  I'll answer, not very well.

Indyone's picture
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Macca, this is for you.  Since you insist on infesting these boards with your stupid one-sided fantasies, try refuting these studies...straight from my continuing education last night...
 
"According to a study headed by Gavin Quill, senior vice president of research studies at Financial Research Corp. of Boston entitled “Investors Behaving Badly,” fund investors may be their own worst enemies. The study found that investors act in a manner contrary to their own best interests when it comes to making financial decisions. The study shows that investors chase after what they consider to be “hot funds” after they have already peaked and dump funds that are recovering. This tendency to buy high and sell low does great damage to their return potential.
The study covered the period between January of 1990 and March of 2000. It found that 52 percent of U.S. households owned mutual funds. Most felt that they were long-term investors and over 80 percent said they did not care about short-term market fluctuations. The majority of investors, even though he or she considered themselves long-term investors, held their funds for an average of only three years.
The study further showed that investors put over $90 billion into funds in the quarter after they peaked and only about $6.5 billion after their worst quarter. Instead of buying low and selling high they were doing the opposite. The average return on funds during all rolling three year periods from January 1990 to March 2000 was just short of 11 percent, but because of the behavior mentioned above the average fund investor made only a little over 8.5 percent. They would have realized as much as 5 percent more return if they would have used dollar cost averaging and stuck with the funds. The study results confirmed that the average investor consistently under performed because of the tendency to jump in and out of the market, or to switch funds from one family to another.
DALBAR another Boston research firm in their 1994 study entitled a “Quantitative Analysis of Investor Behavior” came up with essentially the same results. In a recent update of the study they concluded that between January 1, 1984, and December 31, 2000, the average fund investor by getting in and out of the market at the wrong time posted annualized returns of approximately 5.5 percent while the S&P 500 had an average index of 16.3 percent over the same period. The average bond fund investor had returns of approximately 2.3 percent per year and Treasury Bills brought 5.8 percent over the same period.
The Quill study found that investors who worked with financial planners did better than those without because the planner helped them stay for the long term."
Hmmmmm...those studies seem to fly straight in the face of the junk study you've posted here many times before.  Why don't you stick that in your crack pipe and smoke it?

troll's picture
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Hey kids....don't waste your time and energy responding to Macca.  Help Borker out, but ignore the troll.Macca has no idea how things work in the real world, how ignorant most investors are, and how badly they need our help.  A one percent annual fee is a BARGAIN  for what I do for my clients, and I'm sure most of you feel the same way.

bspears's picture
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Joined: 2006-11-08

Ironic how things happen.  Today I had a longtime client stop in.  He lost his wife on Nov 17th and at the funeral I told him to come in when he was ready.  Today, he was ready.  He said "I came here for some advice.  I'm not sure what I need to do with what has happened."  My client's wife has 2 IRA's, Life insurance and an annuity.  I called and got all the forms faxed to me, I filled out, we discussed his options, he signed a couple of forms, I had my assistant mail out.  The other 1hr we discussed his wife and his life.  Borker, most people want to have trustworthy, local individuals in which to do business with.  As with anything in life, they want a fair return on investment, which includes what we have to offer, and not just the rate of return on the acct.  Reconsider your thoughts.

macca's picture
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Joined: 2006-11-21

"BUT, as long as the wrap fees are properly disclosed, I don't see anything wrong with Min or any other financial advisor using them."  Lad, the problem is that they are never properly disclosed. Keeping in mind that the broker is representing himself as a financial advisor, consider the impact of that 1% (or more) over time on the client's investments:  http://www.retireearlyhomepage.com/advise.html  I can promise you that no broker is showing this chart to his clients. The client is losing, literally, well over $200,000 in that wrap...in addition to the fund costs.   THAT is what the client needs to know. 1% seems like nothing until you look at the impact over time. Which is what the client never sees. Shouldn't a financial advisor be disclosing this impact? It amounts to YEARS of retirement. Dreams delayed or lost.   "If the client is dissatisfied with the advisor's performance, they can cash out and go somewhere else."  Sadly, the client doesn't know the performance. He's told how great he's doing and never taught how to compare his returns to the appropriate benchmark. The client is manipulated into trusting his financial advisor who is, in reality, a salesman with little or no training. I meet people all the time that think their investments are doing fantastic - until I show the the truth.   "It's not like they've paid high loads that will take years to recover or are locked into annuities that take 10 years to get out of. "  Annuities are sold by brokers using wrap accounts. And you should run the numbers to find out if a wrap or load funds will be cheaper. There's plenty to consider - underlying fund expenses (including turnover) for one. Breakpoints. How long you intend to hold the fund. How much the load is. How much you will be adding.  Luckily, I don't have to worry about any of that. I pay less than 0.2% for my investing costs. No loads, no 12b-1 fees, no wrap fee.   "Yes, those who enter into wrap fee agreements are losing 1+% of their assets per year. and need to be very, very careful about selecting an advisor."  They don't have time to learn or do their own investing. What should they do to select a good advisor?     "  But I think it's definitely possible that some people would choose to enter into this agreement with full disclosure."  They will never get full disclosure.   "  Not everyone is cut out for managing their own finances, and a wrap account is a far better option than most of what Ameriprise is selling!"  Many brokers at Ameriprise use wraps. Many. Possibly a majority.    "As for the amount of the expense, customers of financial advisors should expect to pay for things not directly related to the time the advisor spends managing their portfolio.  For instance, a portion of the time the advisor spends researching the market, keeping up on the latest trends, etc., etc. "  Actually, those things hurt investors even more.   " And certainly a portion of the overhead cost -- health insurance, computer, office supplies, secretary (if applicable), etc.  With a good advisor, this might be worth it!"  Again, how does one find a 'good' advisor? What is a 'good' advisor? Good by what standard? As it stands now, using a 'financial advisor' will get you someone that talks a good game and gets you returns that are way under market returns and way under what we DIY'ers get. Consider:  "The study measured the results of literally trillions of dollars of mutual fund purchases and included participation by the best-known and most-trusted names in the industry. It concluded that brokers do not find better-performing funds than individuals, do not allocate assets among different asset classes better than individuals, and do not display fewer biases toward the "hot" stock than individuals.  This is true even if you don't count the fees of the brokers in the performance. In 2002 alone, investors lost about $40 billion to mutual fund sales and management fees."  http://www.fool.com/investing/international/2007/04/17/todays-strong-buys-international-edition.aspx  "In theory, the amount of time an advisor spends managing your money should be correlated to the amount you have in the account."  Why?    "As scarred as I am from my experience with Ameriprise, I don't think it makes sense to paint all advisors with the same brush."  Sadly, I do. Fee ONLY is a probable exception.  "I would caution consumers about the fees that are associated with wrap accounts but wouldn't recommend against them as a hard and fast rule."  Give them the chart I showed you.   "  I think this industry is full of sleazebags but also probably has some good advisors who can manage their clients' money more effectively even with a wrap fee. "  How do you find them?  1. No one can predict the future. 2. Index funds outperform the vast number of actively managed funds. 3. Stay the course. 4. It's easy to set up a low-cost, diversified portfolio of index funds. 5. Costs matter - a lot.  I spend less than 8 hours a year on my portfolio.

Spaceman Spiff's picture
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Joined: 2006-08-08

OK, who do you keep quoting?  I've not seen that discussion on this board.  Not to say it didn't happen in your head, but you can't really quote yourself and then answer your own question as if you are an expert. 
 
You're quoting Buffet from 1999 and relating that to the "average" investor?  Really? 
 
Next, you are correct.  It is easy to set up a low cost, diversified portfolio of index funds.  The question is why isn't everyone doing that?  You just said you only spend 8 hours a year on your portfolio.  My guess is you are probably spending double or triple the amount of time the "average" investor does.   They'll spend more time planning a weeks vacation for 2008 than they will thinking about how to manage their portfolio. 
 
All of your quotes and statistics are probably right.  To a certain extent.  But, they completely leave out emotion.  Numbers are cold, hard facts.  People are flesh and bone, with feelings, likes, dislikes, opinions, and fears.  Those things are the reason people pay us to do what we do for them.  Either they don't want to do it or they don't feel they have the knowledge to do it. 
 
Borker - I would guess you are not alone in thinking that you aren't really necessary in this business.  For some of your prospects you aren't.  Get over that.  There are a ton of people out there who want and need your advice.  Go find them.  Ignore the rest.  Also, when reading those articles about how index funds are great or Vanguard is wonderful, remember who pays for those articles.  Motley Fool doesn't let Vanguard advertise for free, out of the goodness of their hearts. 

Roadhard's picture
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Space-e-man Spiff, even as an ex-Jones guy, I agree with you...Borker, you need to find your passion again!  Take a vacation, a break, if it doesn't come back it might be time to look for new opportunities...Spiff, come in to the light (Indy), we want you!

troll's picture
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Spaceman Spiff wrote:OK, who do you keep quoting?  I've not seen that discussion on this board.  Not to say it didn't happen in your head, but you can't really quote yourself and then answer your own question as if you are an expert. 
 
I think there's head injury somewhere in his story.

Indyone's picture
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Joined: 2005-05-30

Apparently the head injury also keeps Willimacca from refuting the studies I posted earlier.  Isn't it interesting how it just ignores everything that refutes it's version of the truth?

Ashland's picture
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Uh... you're feeding the troll.

BondGuy's picture
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joedabrkr wrote:Hey kids....don't waste your time and energy responding to Macca.  Help Borker out, but ignore the troll.Macca has no idea how things work in the real world, how ignorant most investors are, and how badly they need our help.  A one percent annual fee is a BARGAIN  for what I do for my clients, and I'm sure most of you feel the same way.
 
Here's an interesting case in point: We were referred to a guy who was retiring and had a 401K  rollover. He had a healthy amount of money, but at $650K, not enough to sail off into the sunset.  After looking at all the options we recommended going straight A shares with one fund family, American funds, and hitting the 1/2 mil BP. The guy really liked it, but his wife didn't. She had maybe 2 or 3 grand with some friends invested in stocks through an investment club and thought they should take our recommendations to the club for their opinion. And so they did. Coming as no surprise, the investment club turned two thumbs down to our recommendations as way too expensive, and substituted their own. The prospect followed his wife's wishes and went noload/discount broker implementing the club's reccos.
 
Turn the calendar forward two years and this guy calls us and says he wants to meet. At the meeting we find that his $650k rollover is now worth just under 500K. He lost over $150k in just under two years. And this in the market before the 2000/2003 meltdown. How could anyone lose money in that market? I was stunned by the careless investments this guy had made following his wife's "EXPERT" investment club friends. We again looked at all the options and again went American Funds, mostly, with the Liberty Acorn Fund(now Columbia) added in. Unbelievably his wife again, at the insistence of the investment club's leader, balked at the cost. With a more than 50% difference from where they were and where they would have been had they followed our original recommendation she was still an immovable rock in the road.
 
 
 
Some people you just can't reach. There are no charts for the damage do-it-yourselfers do to themselves because no one tracks that stat. And there should be a law against investment clubs and other we meaning non professionals from giving advice.
 
While some may think we are victimizing clients with our fully disclosed fees, the real victims are the do-it-yourselfers. They don't realize they are falling for a bought and paid for marketing campaign that delivers a powerful message that boils all investments down to one common denominator, cost.
 
Ask the next do-it-yourselfer this question:
 
Regarding the term no load: Is it
 
A) an investment term
B) a marketing term
C) a regulatory term
 
The answers you'll get will scare you.
 
Is one percent a year a bargin? For these people and those like them it's the deal of the century!
 
 
 
 

Roadhard's picture
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Joined: 2007-02-23

Hey Macca, I could use a drink and you need to drink the rest of the bottle to kill that bug that crawed up.....

bspears's picture
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Joined: 2006-11-08

Bondguy, I sure would like that lady's number, I want to call her up and Say "YOUR A DUMBASS"......

Maxstud's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-29

I worked at an electronics retailer about  20 years ago, but  I still remember a lady who bought a car stereo from me and told me her husband would install it.  2  hours later she 's back with her dashboard torn apart, wires hanging out and the stereo sitting on the floor.  She asked me how much we would charge to install it and I told her $40. She looks at me and says "$40?!?!!?  Any idiot can install a car stereo", and storms out the door.

Spaceman Spiff's picture
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That same lady is somewhere today talking to a financial advisor about how much it will cost her to sell her Citigroup stock.  I think I just heard the door hit her in the butt on the way out. 
 
I'm always amazed when people balk at paying us to do what we do.  But they don't hesitate to spend an extra 15% on dinner at a restaurant to pay the waitress to bring them food.  Did you ask her what the best thing on the menu is?  Did she do any studies to see if anyone else in the restaurant has gotten food poisoning from what you are about to order?  Did she ask you if  you have any allergies and make recommendations against a menu item that contains what  you are allergic to?  No.  She gave  you a menu.  You ordered something.  She brought it to you.  And for that you'll pay her 15%.  20% if  your soda never runs out.  
 
People are just amazing.   

bspears's picture
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Joined: 2006-11-08

Spiff, if your at Hooters its 30%...

anabuhabkuss's picture
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I read this from businesswire. This is Harvey Goldstein speaking and here's what he ahd to say:

Goldstein continues, “You can only manage the future. The more you know about what lies ahead, the more effective you can be. Need cash? How much? When? The most powerful tool in the world,” Goldstein asserts, “is the ability to see and manage the future. The most powerful people in the world are the financial professionals that can literally give their clients a glimpse of their future. But the biggest problem,” Goldstein laments, “is that there simply are not enough people who care to do it.”
 

Spaceman Spiff's picture
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bspears wrote:Spiff, if your at Hooters its 30%...
 

My rule of thumb at Hooters is that tips should be in direct correlation with the size of the same.  

troll's picture
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Spaceman Spiff wrote: 
I'm always amazed when people balk at paying us to do what we do.  But they don't hesitate to spend an extra 15% on dinner at a restaurant to pay the waitress to bring them food.  Did you ask her what the best thing on the menu is?  Did she do any studies to see if anyone else in the restaurant has gotten food poisoning from what you are about to order?  Did she ask you if  you have any allergies and make recommendations against a menu item that contains what  you are allergic to?  No.  She gave  you a menu.  You ordered something.  She brought it to you.  And for that you'll pay her 15%.  20% if  your soda never runs out.  
 
People are just amazing.    Great analogy Spiff!  Have you ever used it on a client?I think I'll try.The reality is that there are some people who are willing to pay for advice and service, and others who are not.  Of the latter group, some are smart enough to do it on their own, but many others are far too ignorant or prideful to realize how badly they need help.  That's my conclusion after 15 years on the front lines.As far as Macca, he's either a true believer, or a jackass who just likes to argue, or some combination of the two.  He/she is obviously not stupid, but his command of the realities of this business are not as strong as he thinks either.Regardless, folks, you're not going to change him...and he's not going to change my mind that I provide solid value for my clients.  So we should just ignore his occasional visits.

rankstocks's picture
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Joined: 2005-02-10

This discussion reminds me of the old fashioned "odd lot" theory which, in my opinion, has substantially more pull than the "efficient market" theory.  The way I take a look at overbought sectors is by looking at Fidelity's inflows, and making sure I'm not owning too much of the "hot" sectors.   Energy, commodities, utilities, alternative energy, currency, and emerging markets make me nervous right now.  Time will tell....................

Spaceman Spiff's picture
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That analogy at least gets people thinking.  I've taken it a step farther when I've had to.  Cosider a 50 year man old who wants to eat out with his wife once a week at a nice restaurant.  A nice dinner on the Hill (the Italian section of STL) can run close to $100 if you have appetizers, drinks, and dessert.  So, that's $5200 a year.  Figure 30 years of this practice and that's $156,000 without any inflation or any extra times eating out.  That couple will tip a waitress $31,200 for that food @ 20%.  But they will balk at paying me $5460 to invest that money in American Funds.    

ExPropTrader's picture
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Joined: 2006-11-19

bspears wrote:Spiff, if your at Hooters its 30%...And at Scores it's 300%

Maxstud's picture
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ExPropTrader wrote:
bspears wrote:Spiff, if your at Hooters its 30%...And at Scores it's 300% They must have good wings.

Roadhard's picture
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Joined: 2007-02-23

Everytime I go there its my birthday!  I had 52 of them last year--keep hiring the blond ones!

Spaceman Spiff's picture
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I'm not familiar with Scores.  And if it is what I think it is, I'm not about to do a Google search on it while I'm at work.  I'll just let my imagination run.

bspears's picture
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That's okay Spiff, I did it for you.  Its awesome...I'm still waiting on a call from home office to tell me not to google porn.  ...........Still......waiting.....

troll's picture
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Spaceman Spiff wrote:I'm not familiar with Scores.  And if it is what I think it is, I'm not about to do a Google search on it while I'm at work.  I'll just let my imagination run. You are correct.It is(or at least was) Howard Stern's favorite 'gentleman's bar' in Manhattan.

alaskota's picture
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Joined: 2008-02-21

I'd like to add one thing to whatever one is already pretty much saying... (and I'm not even an FA) - pretty much anyone is capable of investing for themselves, and there are resources out there for them to do it. From law school, my most favorite line - "A man who has himself for a lawyer has a fool for a client."Sure you can represent yourself - it's allowable and cheap. But it doesn't guarantee you the perspective of someone else more seasoned in the field. Anyone can go pick up a few books and learn about what elements are required to prove murder - but it's the seasoned criminal attorney who can tell you when you need to cop a plea, how you select a jury, who to put on the stand, etc. Having someone else as an advocate allows for a different perspective, and that is never a bad thing.

MISS JONES's picture
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Joined: 2007-08-28

The title of this thread just irritates me.. It makes me blood pressure rise just a bit.
 
Miss J

josephjones107's picture
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Joined: 2004-12-20

Some advisors are worthless and others aren't

troll's picture
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MISS JONES wrote:The title of this thread just irritates me.. It makes me blood pressure rise just a bit.
 
Miss JIf it upsets you so much, stop looking at it!

MISS JONES's picture
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joedabrkr wrote: MISS JONES wrote:The title of this thread just irritates me.. It makes me blood pressure rise just a bit.
 
Miss JIf it upsets you so much, stop looking at it!
 
Cute Joe.. I would be happy to look at the responses under the subject I listed but it seems no one on the forum cares to join in my post.. So instead I have to re-read posts from annoying people with subjects titled.. Are we really Necessary.. ha ha ha..
 
Love you too. Joe..
 
Hope you all have a nice weekend.
 
Miss J

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