Edelman Financial Engines Review 2021


I have listened to Rick's show for the past 17 years. From the days of iPod downloads to recent podcasts. His advice has always been solid and on point for the general listening audience. It is challenging to provide general advice on a radio or podcast, with a diverse audience. 

I would not personally use a financial advisor, as their fees are a significant drag on performance and they are not doing anything different, that a do-it-yourself investor can do for themselves. However, everyone is different, and sometimes it helps us sleep better. We just have to realize that it comes at a cost. 

I do have a small portfolio with Edelman Financial Engines, when they started the online robo advisor service. The portfolio has performed on par with my diy portfolio

Recent history

In 2018 Financial Engines and Edelman Financial Services merged. I have used their services before and after the merger and did not notice a significant difference in service and continued to recommend them for novice investors that are overwhelmed and needed a plan. 

What has changed in 2021

Rick is retiring from the company he started. Over the past years his podcast has offered a free financial review for a limited time period (1-2 day, after the show/podcast). This was a great opportunity to get a review and second opinion.

A few friends have provided their feedback on their experience over the past few months (May-Jun 2021). Their experience was that the person they talked to was uninterested, inattentive and generally just wanted them to sign on the dotted line. Fees ranged from 1.7% down to 1%, discounted based on size of portfolio or employer relationships. 

This leads me to believe that the old company and values that Rick created are now being corrupted by the corporate machine. Unfortunately, this is inevitable with size and growth. Companies loose sight of the customer and are more focused on revenue and growth. Welcome to corporate America. 

I don't think I would go so far as to not recommend their services, yet. However, its always best to shop around if you are in need of a financial advisor. Perform your own due diligence and don't get pressured by the hard sales and deadlines to commit. 

I plan to check in with Financial Engines in the next few months and will be extra vigilant for any anomalies from past experience and will post and update. 


Home Page - https://www.edelmanfinancialengines.com/

Podcast - https://www.edelmanfinancialengines.com/ric-edelman-radio/

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