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My Situation

A few years ago I invested with JP Morgan Chase mutual funds conservatively. Lately I was thinking about opening a more aggressive portfolio for the long term (10-15 years) and put in some money to build wealth and save for a rainy day.

A friend of mine recommended Charles Schwab intelligent portfolio. Indeed they are highly recommended by investors worldwide. Then I found out that Chase has similar app called You Invest where they monitor and rebalance your stocks at a very low fee (possibly cheaper than Schwab).

Since I am not looking to manage my investments on my own and I would need a financial advisor to do that for me, does it really make a difference who is managing my stocks? I mean they both are highly reliable firms and both are trustworthy. Schwab is probably more famous and more recommended by investors than the former, but since I am not managing them myself does it really make a difference who is managing my account?

My Question

I know very little about stocks or investing. What criteria should I use in cases like this to evaluate two or more fund managers when deciding where to place my investments?

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    This will probably get closed as offtopic for seeking product or service recommendations, but I cannot say anything bad about Schwab. – quid Jul 23 at 19:59
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    I voted to reopen this question because although it involves specific brokerage products, it asked for opinions about two major brokers which I surmise that a decent number of people might be doing business with. Also, the intent of the OP is sincere. – Bob Baerker Jul 23 at 22:43
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    I don't know what's in the mind of the down voters. The reason that I spoke on your behalf is that you are looking for help with a dilemma that many investors face, particularly those who don't have sufficient market experience. If sharing information and experiences assists us in having a better chance at succeeding financially, this dead end failed that goal. Good luck with your investing. – Bob Baerker Jul 24 at 3:23
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    @Bach I have taken the liberty of editing the question to change the thrust from which fund manager to choose towards what factors should I use when choosing. Feel free to edit/rollback if I've changed anything of import, but this might make it a better fit for the site. – TripeHound Jul 24 at 7:19
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    If you read Daniel Kahnemann Thinking, Fast & Slow, you will be informed that "fund management" is mostly an illusion of validity. The lowest cost S&P 500 index funds are sufficient for the long term investor. – mootmoot Jul 24 at 9:09
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Why should you choose?

Take the easy route and invest in a set of low-cost passive funds that follow the S&P500, Russell 2000, a Total Bond Index, etc.

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If you can't make a decision, then you probably don't have enough information. You mention that you know very little about stocks or investing, and that is the problem right there. Not everyone has to try and be Ray Dalio, or Jim Simons, or Warren Buffett, but every investor should be informed enough to understand their own investments to a reasonable degree.

Here is what I would recommend for you: Start to do some research on investing and get a handle on the basics. Investopedia is a great resource. Read a lot of articles, and take all of their opinions with a big grain of salt. Then find a stock that you think might do well and buy 1 share (don't spend more than $50). Watch the stock, monitor it, research it, and you will start to get a feel for it. Do some research on dollar-cost averaging into index fund ETFs like SPY. Consider that option and then re-consider the money managers you mentioned in light of the new knowledge you have. At that point you will be better equipped to make a decision.

Being a passive investor is great, but whatever your investment style, being educated about the investments you are making is essential, not a nice-to-have.

Source: I have been investing for over 9 years, I am the President of the Investment Club at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, and run an investment partnership called Gansett Group.

You can find us at https://gansettgroup.com and https://www.linkedin.com/company/hwsinvestmentclub

Best of luck, and happy investing!

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It's difficult to do the research beforehand. From my experience, the most important part is managing fees (both management and associated fees).

I've used 2 financial advisors and 5 robo-advisors in the past and the S&P 500 beat all of them. The management fees ranged from 0.25% to 1% and the performance certainly didn't justify the fee. These portfolios lagged behind the market during uptrends and didn't protect much downside during downtrends.

I will never use a financial advisor again but I still use robo advisors. Robo advisors have lower fees and you have more control if you want to rebalance or liquidate.

Ultimately, you'll do better if you just buy individual ETFs and stocks, but robo advisors make the process a little bit easier. Wealthfront and Betterment have been my preferred services so far.

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