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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

When to replace your financial adviser

By Susannah Snider





Know the signs early . . . before ruin


JewishWorldReview.com | Something is nibbling away at Donna's nest egg—devouring it, actually.


A stiff $100,000, representing a sizable chunk of her total retirement savings, has gone to advisory and fund fees since she opened a brokerage account 11 years ago. Over that period, Donna's investments have returned a modest 4.2% annualized, net of expenses. That's in line with Standard & Poor's 500-stock index, but it's less than she expected.


With just a tiny pension and a Social Security benefit from her former husband (now deceased), Donna is concerned about the high fees because she could be drawing on her investments for 20 years or more. So she's considering writing a "Dear John" note and switching to an adviser who will charge her much less and do at least as well, maybe better. "I am a very frugal person," Donna says. "I don't question what my financial adviser does, but how much it's costing me."


Donna, who retired in 2002, is hesitant to manage her own money. She is considering investing in index or target-date funds through a discount broker or low-cost fund manager. But poor choices or missed opportunities could leave her starved for income.


"Most people need professional investing help," says Mike Piershale, of Piershale Financial Group, in Crystal Lake, Ill. But he suggests that with a better adviser who charges about 1%—Donna's charges closer to 2%—and a diversified portfolio, she could have secured an annualized return at least 1.5 percentage points better over the 11 years. If so, Donna's portfolio would be more than $100,000 larger, he estimates.


Piershale also takes issue with the makeup of Donna's accounts. She has a Roth IRA, a regular IRA and a taxable account. Surprisingly, each holds nearly the same 15 mutual funds—and in the same weightings, to boot. "Those identical accounts are a red flag," he says. It should be elementary for any adviser, especially a highly paid one, to arrange the funds so Donna gets the most tax-efficient returns. For example, investments that throw off capital gains are better held in a taxable account, where they enjoy a preferential tax rate, than in a tax-deferred IRA.


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Switching horses. When Donna began working with her adviser a decade ago, she was transitioning from work to retirement and needed an action plan. But building a retirement portfolio is like constructing a house, says Sheryl Garrett, of the Garrett Planning Network. "It's a lot of work upfront. But once it's built, all you need to do is clean it," she says. "Unfortunately, a lot of financial planners price their services as if you're building a new house every year." Donna needs a handyman now, not an architect.


Garrett recommends that Donna discuss her options with Vanguard or Charles Schwab. She ought to be able to keep her mutual funds, or most of them, and match the funds to her tax situation. Then she should start courting local fee-only advisers and pick one who is willing to meet with her occasionally to review the risks and asset allocation but who won't demand that she pay a percentage of her assets.

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Susannah Snider is a staff writer at Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine.



All contents copyright 2013 Kiplinger's Personal Finance Distributed by Tribune Media Services. All rights reserved.

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