Recently my wife and I have decided that we make enough money to go see a financial advisor and see how we can be smarter with our money. The most important topic we discussed with the advisor was how to best invest our money so its not sitting in cash earning 0.7% but rather keeping ahead of inflation. We are in our early 30's so we can afford to be slightly aggressive in our portfolio. We have about $200K to play with and his recommendations are:
- $40K in a health-care related REIT managed by Griffin Capital
- $70K in a moderate investment account managed by Horizon Investments. There is a 1.25% fee for this
- $70K in another moderate investment account. Don't recall who manages this but I do remember the name "LG Balanced" if that means anything. There is a 1.25% fee for this that includes a "principal protection" feature to sell off if things go south real fast.
- Maintain $20K in a checking account to handle the inflows & outflows of day-to-day living: income, mortgage, bills, etc.
Note: My advisor told me that the $140K in the investment portfolios can be withdrawn without any additional fee within a week.
This is the first time my wife and I have ever invested money in anything other than a savings account and so we are fairly paranoid as this is a lion's share of our savings.
I've done some due diligence to the best of my ability by:
- Verifying my advisor's CFP & CPA certifications are valid and in good standing with the state of California.
- He has very good reviews on yelp which is where we found him. There are only 5 but they are all 5 stars.
- He is with an independent broker/dealer called Gateway Financial Advisors which I understand is a good thing as he is not tied to pushing any particular investment vehicle. According to the advisor, Gateway has won best broker/dealer for the last 8 or so years. I'm not exactly sure where to look to verify this.
- The two $70K checks I will be issuing will be made out to "National Financial Services" and not to him personally. As far as I can tell, National Financial Services is a subsidiary of Fidelity investments -- a name I recognize.
Now to my questions that I would extremely appreciate any responses to:
- To those of you who live and breath finance, does anything I stated above raise any red flags, or do things seem legit?
- I've never heard of "Horizon Investments" or "LG Balanced" so that gives me some pause, but then again I'm new to this world. Would I be better served by mandating that my money be invested with a big-name investment bank instead?
- Is a REIT a good diversity strategy?
All-in-all I'm just looking for some additional warm fuzzies from an outsiders perspective.