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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,
Background:
We're in our mid-thirties. I have been trying to get my wife to switch her investment advisor/account from Wood Gundy to us investing in a simple couch potato-style investment portfolio through Questrade. I have succeeded in doing so and am successfully investing (not actively trading) in a relatively standard mix of etf's (30% cdn 30% us 30% international 10% bond) for all of our accounts (my rrsp, our tfsa's, resp) except her rrsp, sitting around 160k, which remains with Wood Gundy. There is a yearly admin fee of about $150, and then the investing in mutual funds ($$$trailer fees$$$), and the commission for stock trading is sky high.

Today I totally boiled over. I opened up the first "transaction" that this advisor made this calendar year, and the commission for a $10,000 purchase of a certain oil and gas income trust was....$220!!! Let's not forget what he'll charge when he decides to sell it.

Now for my question:
Can anyone please offer advice to me on convincing my wife that it's time to change over? She doesn't like it when I bring her rrsp up, because she has a somewhat-personal tie (co-worker with this guy's wife) to him, and sees this kind of expense as "the cost that everyone with an advisor has to deal with".

Any stories that I can relay to her? Any statistics, numbers, advice around this to use to help end the insanity??

Thanks for listening to my rant...
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yes, that is one way of looking at it, but all our money is pooled and shared, including using each others money to invest in all accounts, etc--including this one. So, no, it's not just "her" money...
 

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Show her a compound interest calculation, spread over 10-30 years, compared to ETF MER and commission costs. The difference in cost should be substantial..
 

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Try totalling all of the annual management fees that she is paying for each of her investments and then extrapolate that out for the next thirty years or more.

Every dollar taken out in fees is money that you no longer have in your portfolio to grow compounded over the long term.

Then, compare those fees to the long term fees that you would pay by holding a portfolio of ETF's according to the 'Couch Potato' model that you have chosen.

If the savings don't matter to her, then you may be fighting a losing battle.

Personally, I am not willing to pad the income of any financial services salespersons with my hard-earned savings thank you very much.:mad:

That said, Wood Gundy do have some nice offices and well paid help. Gee, I wonder where they get their money??!!
 

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Agreed, if savings (from fees) don't matter then I'm not sure you have much hope.

If you put the facts in front of her (in a nice way mind you), she would probably take the time to hear you out.

Good luck!
 

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She has RRSPs so I assume she's has a full-time 9-5 type job, yes?
So total up all the amount that is washing away as MER, TER, trailers, annual fees, account fees, etc. divide by her hourly rate and tell her that she is working X hrs. a week for Wood Gundy instead of for herself/family.
It is those many hours of daily commute, those many hours of putting up with her boss, putting up with whatever she hates at work - that is the cost of keeping this advisor/firm.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
She has RRSPs so I assume she's has a full-time 9-5 type job, yes?
So total up all the amount that is washing away as MER, TER, trailers, annual fees, account fees, etc. divide by her hourly rate and tell her that she is working X hrs. a week for Wood Gundy instead of for herself/family.
It is those many hours of daily commute, those many hours of putting up with her boss, putting up with whatever she hates at work - that is the cost of keeping this advisor/firm.
Yes, I think that a calculation on my part is due. I really like the thoughts so far from everyone; thanks for your ideas.
 

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I suggest having her read the Elements of Investing by Malkiel and Ellis. Very short and basic book on index investing. Anyone can get through it quickly and understand the basics (including understanding that actively managed funds mostly never beat the index).
 

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I don't know about this one. It sounds like you'll be in the dog house if you persist with this issue. I'm not sure how reasonable she is, but a lot of us adults tend to be set in our ways. No one can force the will of another person and she has already said she doesn't want to change anything. Regardless of your approach, I think you could be treading on thin ice if you persist with this issue. You may want to calculate the cost of keeping peace in your marriage.
 

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$220 a year to keep the peace with my wife? Cheap at twice the price - not something I'd lose any sleep over. The investing strategy is an entirely different matter - but I wouldn't make the $220 a turning point, not when your spouse sees it as a necessary cost.
 

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I too would tread carefully here. Your asset mix (90% equities, 10% fixed) is aggressive. What is your wife going to say if she entrusts you with her RRSP and the markets take another dive?

At least now she has an adviser to blame...
 

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one thing you CAN do is actually make good use of the wood gundy guy.

if there is a stock you want info on, you could say "hey, could you axe your wood gundy guy for their analyst report on XXX:TSX", and they'll send it.

sometimes there's info/guidance there that isn't publicly available. Not always, but sometimes.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
one thing you CAN do is actually make good use of the wood gundy guy.

if there is a stock you want info on, you could say "hey, could you axe your wood gundy guy for their analyst report on XXX:TSX", and they'll send it.

sometimes there's info/guidance there that isn't publicly available. Not always, but sometimes.
Good tip, in case I'm stuck here.

In response to others, I know I have to tread lightly with my wife, but I think I ought to at least make my best case as to why I see the situation as an incredible waste of money. I'm thinking many others agree, some not, but I certainly do appreciate your thoughts either way, as to how to go about the laying out of my case, etc. Great help so far, thanks.
 

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...but I think I ought to at least make my best case ...as to how to go about the laying out of my case, etc.
You've already made your case and she has already told you how she feels. Lay off.

If you persist, you're going to start a fight.

Keeping a relationship together is hard enough as it is, without one party constantly itching to "make my case".
 

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$220 might be a reasonable expense to face with friends. Push the WG guy hard to supply info for your "joint" investing and you might get $220 worth of info.
 
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