Canadian Money Forum banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Anyone with good ideas I'm all for them. I've got a very healthy set of assets even despite the recent downturn but I do feel like I'm paying too much in fees for a "wrap" that really hasn't done anything to outperform the market over the last decade. Net net: I'm considering going out on my own and doing it but would like a strong second opinion before I do. Can anybody recommend an excellent fee-only planner and give me a sense for their rates. I live in Oakville but anywhere in the GTA would be great. Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
204 Posts
They have a book out as well along the same lines. If memory serves, Patrick McKeough, publisher of The Successful Investor, also used to offer a second opinion on portfolios. But I'd think virtually any financial advisor would do the same if only in the hope of landing some extra assets. I'd expect especially that fee-only advisors would be willing to do so for some agreed-upon baseline one-time fee.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
137 Posts
You could actually use the firm Second Opinion Investor Services - they don't sell securities so there'd be no pressure to move your assets there.
If the folks at Second Opinion don't sell securities are they licensed to give investment advice to individuals? If not, what exactly do you expect for a second opinion since they cannot comment on the suitability of any investments for any individual. I suppose they could comment on asset allocation and perhaps they could comment on fees but I would not expect them to comment on the investments themselves.

whadoiknow said:
Can anybody recommend an excellent fee-only planner and give me a sense for their rates. I live in Oakville but anywhere in the GTA would be great.
Like I was saying above, there are many good fee-only advisors and financial planners but most of the ones I've seen are not licensed to sell or advise on investments. It may help to make sure you know what you're dealing with before committing to an appointment. And good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,464 Posts
OntFA: Second Opinion has a pretty interesting business model.

They don't provide buy-sell advice on specific securities, but they do perform a pretty intense analysis at the portfolio level (by asset class, sector, benchmarking against indices, geography, risk, expected return, cost, and more). They also survey the client about their expectations and requirements of the portfolio, and assess how well the portfolio matches up.

Their main portfolio strategist is Ken Hawkins, who worked as a PM (portfolio manager) for the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan.

I have no connection to the firm but I am clear they provide value to their clients. And, because they don't want to manage your money, there's no hidden inducement to find fault with a client's existing portfolio - their second opinion isn't a sales tool in disguise. The benchmarking to indices alone is extremely valuable info and very, very, very hard for your average Joe or Jane investor to get from his or her advisor. :eek:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for all your thoughts folks. I've contacted Second Opinion and I'll let you know my opinion of their second opinion :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,197 Posts
If the folks at Second Opinion don't sell securities are they licensed to give investment advice to individuals? If not, what exactly do you expect for a second opinion since they cannot comment on the suitability of any investments for any individual. I suppose they could comment on asset allocation and perhaps they could comment on fees but I would not expect them to comment on the investments themselves.
You have to do a bit of searching, but they do have a page on their web site with a write-up on each of their advisors, and they seem to have good credentials.

They are very cagey about what they charge however: all I could find was: Our only source of income is the fee that you pay and therefore our loyalty and fiduciary duty is to you alone.

So it is clear they are fee-for service. Fair enough. I imagine you get an estimate of their fee when you submit a request for an opinion, depending on how complicated your situation is.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
137 Posts
You have to do a bit of searching, but they do have a page on their web site with a write-up on each of their advisors, and they seem to have good credentials.
I found that easily. And let me be clear. I am not questioning anybody's credentials. All I'm saying is that many people who hold themselves out as fee for service are not licensed to give individualized investment advice. So either they can't do it (which makes me question what is actually provided and the value of that second opinion) or they contravene securities law by skating too close to the line.

They are very cagey about what they charge however: all I could find was: Our only source of income is the fee that you pay and therefore our loyalty and fiduciary duty is to you alone.
You're right. I saw nothing about actual fee amounts - not even ballpark. I'd love to see what sort of analysis they provide without advising you.

MoneyGal, you seem to know a lot about what they do without actually being affiliated with them. Were you with them at one time or do you simply know those blokes?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
701 Posts
I recently contacted Second Opinion. We set up a meeting for Monday. Thanks again for the link.

With regards to fees and advice - financial planners saying that they couldn't find the "actual fee amounts" and talking about being licensed to give "individualized investment advice" is very funny to me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
137 Posts
With regards to fees and advice - financial planners saying that they couldn't find the "actual fee amounts" and talking about being licensed to give "individualized investment advice" is very funny to me.
Not quite following. Funny ironic? Funny ha-ha? Funny puzzling?

I recently contacted Second Opinion. We set up a meeting for Monday. Thanks again for the link.
And I'm curious why you'd set up an appointment. Since you seem capable of investing on your own I'm assuming it's just for kicks to see what they charge, what they provide and so on.

I'd love to hear feedback from your meeting if you're willing to share it here. Good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,464 Posts
OntFA - I do know the principals behind SOIS - I've known Warren MacKenzie since I started working in the field of personal finance. The world of fee-only and fee-for-service advising is very small in Canada. If you are in it, you more than likely know the other people in it, too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
137 Posts
How did your meeting go? Are you willing to provide some feedback from the meeting - i.e. cost, general impressions, what you aimed to get out of it, etc.?

Thanks.
Hey Rickson, I'm curious if you ever went to your appointment with the second opinion guys. You've not answered which means you either didn't see my question or you don't want to answer. But if you don't want to talk about it just say so. Otherwise, I and certainly many others are curious, not only about why you went but what you experienced if you did.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
701 Posts
Not quite following. Funny ironic? Funny ha-ha? Funny puzzling?
Ironic.

And I'm curious why you'd set up an appointment. Since you seem capable of investing on your own I'm assuming it's just for kicks to see what they charge, what they provide and so on.

I'd love to hear feedback from your meeting if you're willing to share it here. Good luck.
I took the company name at face-value, ie. I wanted a second opinion to what I'm doing. Unfortunately the call wasn't productive for either of us. We're too different to be able to work together. eg. "Your strategy of holding a small handful of stocks is extremely high risk" (They couldn't understand how I thought that risk would increase with more diversification any more than I could understand how they thought more diversification would be lower risk).

Then I asked if I could help them help their clients. They said that I wasn't qualified and that there are a lot more people who have far more experience in the business than I did (they didn't say it in a mean way, but I read between the lines). So I thanked them for their time and that was that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
137 Posts
I took the company name at face-value, ie. I wanted a second opinion to what I'm doing. Unfortunately the call wasn't productive for either of us.
So, it was a phone consult, which makes sense if you're in Mississauga and they're in Toronto.

We're too different to be able to work together. eg. "Your strategy of holding a small handful of stocks is extremely high risk" (They couldn't understand how I thought that risk would increase with more diversification any more than I could understand how they thought more diversification would be lower risk).
I can understand both of your perspectives.

Then I asked if I could help them help their clients. They said that I wasn't qualified and that there are a lot more people who have far more experience in the business than I did (they didn't say it in a mean way, but I read between the lines). So I thanked them for their time and that was that.
I'd think that you could bring some value to what they do. I think it's just that you have a big philosophical difference from SOIS. But then again, with them not being licensed - and presumably you're not either - it's not clear what you could do because you can't recommend stocks (or anything) to people without a license.

Anyway, thanks for replying.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top