Financial Planning


Sorry, but your "definitive metric" seems a pretty poor test to me. The great majority of people I know in the industry, and every responsible investor I know saw what was coming. And of course if you ask anybody in the industry, they will tell you they saw it all coming and that they moved their clients to cash. Yeah, right. Only a statistically insignificant number got clients' money out of equities and structured finance tainted fixed income investments at appropriate times. Of the few that did, hardly any will be able to repeat that performance when the next bust comes around. Only a tiny handful had the foresight to actually short structured products, and these people were only able to do so because they were among the few math geeks in the industry who were not on the sell side of that business. In short, they were one trick horses, not the kind of people you would want to keep your money with cycle after cycle.

Managing your investments is not rocket science. Understand what risk is and what your level of tolerance for it is. Manage your own porfolio rather than expose yourself to manager/advisor risk. But I think you know that.


That's undoubtedly how the financial cognoscenti will put it ten or so years from now when it becomes clear that today's financial rumblings are just a prelude to the main event: no one could really have seen it coming except for a few one-trick math geeks.

The Mother of All Financial Meltdowns


So the perfect financial planner should meet three basic criteria.

  1. He or she should have the financial savvy to have seen the worst financial downturn since the Depression coming and be able to prove it:

Peter Schiff Versus Art Laffer - August 28, 2006

  1. He or she should have the financial street smarts to warn you as a successful man that the greatest threat to your financial well-being is participation in the wealth transference industry known euphemistically as "marriage":

Wealthy? Don't get married, lawyers say

Macca swears off marriage after HeatherScam

  1. His or her financial plan for you includes provisions for America's economy driving over the proverbial cliff in ten years or so:

Soaring U.S. Budget Deficit Will Mean Billions in Bond Sales

Earth to China: U.S. Bonds Are A Sinkhole

I.O.U.S.A. -- The Movie


So your entire idea of a financial planner is someone who can predict what the world economy will do to your investments?

What a bout a planner who
Helps you plan for the marriage but suggests you think about trusts and pre-nups?
Suggests you protect yourself and your family with appropriate insurance including medical, permanent health, and Life if you have a wife and/or kids?
Suggests you spread your investments and takes time to understand what your risk appetite should be?
Encourages you to invest in things he doesn't sell - e.g. property

Should I go on, or is it a waste of time with you Spook?


Consider my challenges a cry for financial help. I don't have the time or expertise to manage my assets to their fullest potential and am more than willing to pay for expert help. At the same time though I expect any potential adviser to be at least as hard-nosed and successful at his business as I am at mine.


I'd have to explain Spook's first point because it was a good one:

People foresaw this and did try to plan on it, but it wiped out a lot of other stockholders in other industries. AAA Corporations, those with the best businesses and most stable business model, were having trouble raising cash, while Treasuries were going to a negative yield. Now, I don.t agree with Spook on a lot of political stuff, but this is a financial one I agree with him whole-heartedly. Just to rub it into Spook too, The people who did foresee this had names like John McCain and George W. Bush. I hope that shiv in the side felt good Spook. :wink:

As I was telling one historically ignorant Forumosan, just take a look at the Nixon/Ford/Carter years for a replay of what is going to happen.

All that having been commented on. I'm all in in the market and doing well so far. :pray: I expect the market to go sideways for the next 4-8 years and plan to profit handsomely on it. Due to the increasing regulatory burden on the US, I don't expect my child to live as well or as free as I did. Dad will do his best though to make sure that doesn't happen to her though. :sunglasses:


With all due respect it sounds like you might want a private banker - are there any left out there?


Going to start a familiarisation exercise with a HK broker tomorrow. Get to understand the products, providers etc before I start selling. Will be interesting to see how they go about doing what I want to do.

Keep you posted.


Have spent a fair bit of time with Ernest Maude ( over the last 2 weeks and have a pretty good understanding of what they have available.

I'm certainly not polished, but am collecting brochures and putting in some serious study time, and I think it may be time to try this all out.

With that in mind I will be in Taipei next week from Wed- Fri. If anyone would like to meet up please drop me a PM and I'll do my best to make it happen.

I'm not looking to "flog" anything specific. Am happy to spend an hour talking about goals and aspirations and make a recommendation afterward based on each individuals needs and some detailed homework.

Look forward to meeting some more of you.



I am vaguely interested but I don't have time to travel from Taichung for something that may or may not even happen.

Until this year I have been quite happy leaving my liquid assets in regular savings accounts that were getting 5-7% interest. Now I am seeing 0-0,5% I want to do something else with the money - but what? I have a business that gives me enough risk already so I am not interested in anything remotely volatile.


Many thanks to everyone who met with me this week.

I didn't make any sales - which is indicative (I hope) of a low key approach. I did however learn a lot and appreciate all the time that fellow forumosans spent with me.

Just a quick note to anyone who was worried about traveling. I managed to get to Taichung and Kaosiung yesterday and am happy to do so again.

I'll be back in a couple of weeks.


Planning to be back in Taipei next Thursday/Friday (11th/12th June) and Taichung on Saturday 13th

Got the website up a little earlier - as always am interested in feedback -


Just a quick note in case I missed anyone. I had a trip planned for the 14th July but have had to move it a week earlier, so will be in Taipei from next Wednesday (8th July) until either Friday or Saturday depending on how appointments pan out.


I met with Edgar Allen for the second time on Friday night and I'd like to share my experiences.

Instead of trying to put the hard sell on me, he actually looked and listened to what I currently have and what I want and need. He was upfront about me not really needing his services or the products he could offer me (though with the option to use them in the future if I change my mind). Thus, he ended up giving me some free advice about things that wouldn't make him money. This would suggest that if I were using his services, he would be thinking of how best to serve me as his client, rather than how to feather his own nest (one of the reasons I'm ditching my current advisor).

Although I probably won't be using his services any time soon, I'd like to recommend him to others based upon his sincerity in these two meetings.


I hadn't found any investment product that suited my needs so I was all set to do something more frivolous with my cash. I had a meeting with EA recently and he came up with exactly the product I was looking for. He knew roughly what I wanted beforehand and had all the information ready for our meeting. In a few weeks I will take the wife on a trip to sign paperwork in HK.

He knows his stuff, he's very professional and honest and is not in a rush to sell anything to anyone. He is very clear about what products earn him commission. I would particularly recommend him to anyone doing business in Taiwan because he has a lot of general information and advice about everything from banking to taxes.


After a first meeting with EA last Wednesday, I have to echo the comments and compliments above. I usually have a deep dread of financial advisers, because most of them tend to be closer to used car salesmen in personality than anything else. Not so with Edgar Allen: He is attentive, knowledgeable and seems to have the customer's best interest at heart above all else. A very pleasant surprise after meeting with so many other planners who act like they know what you need even before asking your goals and the details of your particular situation.

I look forward to meeting with him again to hear what further ideas he has specific to me.


Many thanks for all the positive feedback. I had a very good (but hectic) trip to Taipei and look forward to coming back in early August.

Am trying the same approach in Shanghai next week (19th-22nd) so if any of you up there want a chat do let me know.


toally agree with llary, GIT and citizenk....Edgar knows his stuff and is not the kind of FA who is just waiting to milk u dry...

have met with him twice and if you give him a very clear idea of yr present situation and what exactly you need then he will come up with a plan that suits your needs w/o breaking yr back....


Just a small point - a couple of people I have been speaking to were surprised that I was willing to talk to people with no savings and no idea where to start.

Clearly these guys need more help than the guys who sit in the "Business and Money" forum discussing stocks, but basically I'll sit down and talk with anyone and help where I can.

Also there are several people on here that I have referred to an online brokerage that does not pay commissions - because it was the best thing for them. I'm not out to fleece anyone and wouldn't last very long here if I was.

Keep the questions coming.

Apologies for those who are waiting for me to come back. The baby has had a bigger impact on out lifestyle than I anticipated. Currently planning a trip around the 20th of this month.


Now I like Edgar Allen and what he's doing and hope to do it myself one day, but he just hit the crux of a problem that most genuine financial adviser/planners hit. How does he make enough money to justify the time and resources put into this business? I hope he has really good luck and finds a good set of clients that support him because of his financial acumen. There's a reason that financial planners have such a dodgy/aloof reputation. It's because you aren't worth anything to them without having at least 6 figures in the bank.