got your back, front, and middle, when you’re investing? You hope it’s your broker. When you wade into the retail investing world you’re holding hands with those in between you and the trading rig. It’s a complicated business and how they do it and what they’re bringing matters.
The world’s weird busy. We spend as much time beneath the umbrella of our broker as we do with our loved ones. How we’re treated and what we find there shapes more than the moment. Such shapes our experience of investing on a daily basis, and the returns we see at the end of each. We share some of how in “Moonbeam Metrics. Schwab Brings Out Light in the Night.”
broker works for you. Are they helping? The brokerage business is tough. But so what? You’re not being paid to worry about their problems. Besides, fixing problems are precisely why jobs exist. You job is to kept you eye on your Fa King money. Everyone else is–keeping an eye on your money. As far as we’re concerned investing’s exactly like the NFL. We don’t give a shit what you did last year. The only question is “What have you done for me lately?”
We can’t tell you what most people think about their broker. We can however say that the most important thing a broker can do to help is provide exceptional customer service, 24/7. We call in the middle of the night. They’re always there–we love that. We have questions, at 3:87 AM, questions that won’t wait.
At 4:01 AM brokers glide near-silently like a clipper with black sails running on a skeleton crew. Sailing at night requires expertise and that’s exactly where brokers cluster their most experienced people. Fact. Why? Because all departments are closed and the front line handles every question.
broker one uses matters. For years each has used a variety of angles to sell their services, most notably the utterly specious “execution speed” argument. If success rests on milliseconds, the method and strategy employed are deeply flawed. The real worth of a broker lies else where. Far more important then speed is customer service. Do you get any? Is your broker routinely and easily reachable? Are they friendly and genuinely helpful? Do they ask questions that indicate they’re listening?
Questions will arise, and the quality of answers you receive can make all the difference as you move up your learning curve. We phone all the time. Our broker is always there. Quality answers move you higher. They sharpen your insight, and create new questions. The better your thinking, the more difficult it should become for your broker to answer. But they should be able to answer. When we began, anyone who answered the phone could provide a reasonable answer. Not now.
Understanding research tools takes time, effort, and help. A broker should welcome such questions. Your questions represent engagement. Anyone you end up with on the line should know that. If it regularly takes five minutes to get someone knowledgeable, that’s too long. We’ve said it before. We use Charles Schwab. We’re glad we do, as their customer service is first rate. Displayed below are many of the additional reasons why we continue with Schwab. Here’s another. Who’s responsible for zero trade commissions? Schwab.
the 4:09 telephone line the guard is down and the world sleeps, people will tell you things you’ll never hear at any other time and place. Fact. When you’re ready, prepared your knowledge base, the jewels will come, given casually by someone you don’t even know. Call and see. We do.
On the 4:09 telephone line, while the world sleeps and nothing moves, people will tell you things you’ll never hear at any other time and place. That goes double if you can speak with them on a level they respect. When you’ve done your homework it shows.
Beyond customer service, what can brokers provide? At the beginning of October Charles Schwab changed the brokerage business for everyone. They completely dumped commissions on stocks, ETFs, and options trades. Schwab first led the industry down to $4.95, and now ultimately to Zero. Guess what? Only after that did others follow, including Fidelity. Ask Edward Jones about their fees and commissions. Sit down for the response. After that ask them if they believe keeping costs low is important.
don’t get paid a thin dime for doing what we do. We do this fore three simple reasons. We enjoy it. Money makes the world go round, even as it’s not the most important thing in life. Secondly, good investing requires know how and on-going effort. Thirdly, it drives us Fa King crazy to see cheating lying bastards attempting to take advantage of people attempting to invest. It happened to us. We hate it still.
We’ll simply say it straight. In our opinion, Edward Jones is emblematic of everything that’s wrong with retail investing. We we were wet and brand new, Ed Jones leveraged a 5.75% “front end load,” a host of secreted fees, and charged $50 bucks a trade. When asked about their future motivation to help the client, following that huge up-front fee, they simply said, “we’re your broker.”
Edward Jones did half break us, on day one. We simply didn’t know any better. That’s deep in our hearts today. We don’t have to work to remember. It glows like radioactive seeds every time we hear someone dishing out pure rubbish stock recommendations.
Our gaze fixes and narrows every single time someone behaves like a shill, for their firm, fund, or stock. Legitimate opinions are offered, but only by those with integrity. We have no tolerance for those who bring trash to the table.
Such happens everyday. We’re gonna call that out. Recall Jensen Quality Growth Fund manager Allen Bond’s Nightly Business Report call for 3M made back in mid-August. We called that out in our piece “Gimme Shelter.” We called it pure nonsense then and it’s pure drooling nonsense now. MMM -10.66%YTD. Down 11.3% IY, including it’s now falling stock price inflated 3.37% dividend. If you’ve held it for three years you’ve returned 5.5%, one thin click ahead of erosive inflation. Thanks Allen. As always, we share our hearts and hopes with you, wanting the best. The chart below is an example. Good luck and good investing. Sj
Wells–the full-bore criminal bank.
Wells Fargo(WFC: NYSE)
included a Wells chart here as an example of something that’s been working in this switch-back market. As we’ve mentioned, as circumstances allow Sj has been shifting out of the collapsing growth names. And honestly well before the “value” talk began, we were accumulating Ford. Check the date of our first F peace. We commenced moving our portfolio to low P/E, high cash flow, large cap, and dividends.
Neither Ford or Wells are what we would consider “quality.” Why did we buy them? All of the above. We also bought in to their established staying power, their experience surviving in all markets, and ability to pay their promised dividends. Their price-action speaks for itself. Others obviously agree.
That Investing Journey
Thanks for Reading.
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Investopedia.com. Seriously Wonderful. Fact.
Charles Schwab. In Our Opinion, the best broker going.
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