Wednesday, December 05, 2007

A Phone Call From Paul Merriman!

I normally wouldn't post about something while I am still at work but I couldn't help myself today. I am so psyched. My phone rang a few minutes ago, and though there was an unfamiliar number on the caller ID, the voice on the phone was VERY familiar, at least to me. It was none other than author and financial counselor Paul Merriman!

On his FundAdvice site, I had asked him about if I should work my existing American Funds Simple-IRA choices into a properly diversified portfolio, as he recommends what that should be. I didn't know whether to balance the American Funds to try to match a "whole market" allocation and then do the model T. Rowe Price portfolio in my Roth, or whether to use the American Funds as the Large Cap Value component of a broader portfolio and use the Roth for "filling in" the missing parts with TRP funds. I didn't really expect an answer and even went and analyzed what I thought I should do.

Like I said, I didn't think I would actually get a direct answer from him, but then my phone rang and there he was. I was real nervous cause I've been listening to him and reading his articles and most of all, I really didn't want to sound like an idiot. He was very nice and asked me to clarify my question a little.

His advice was use the TRP Roth to get exposure to the asset classes that American Funds lacks. This would be stuff like small cap value and growth, emerging markets, etc. He also recommended I quit paying the extra money on my house in order to get my Roth up to full allocation. I didn't have time to explain my reasons for not doing so already, but sheepishly said that I just hadn't bothered to change my automatic draft yet, to which he told me that a couple hours work now could mean a big difference down the road.

What I thought was cool, was just that he seemed really interested in what I had done and what I was planning financial-wise. Of course, that is his chosen profession, but he was very gracious to be that way with a non-paying advice seeker. He was just a great guy all around it seemed like. But to me, it was like talking to a Rock Star, geek that I am. (Kind of like the time I met a guy who had worked and hung out with Grady Booch. If you have to ask, you probably wouldn't understand.)

It was perhaps the greatest five or so minutes I ever spent on the phone, at least with someone I'd never met before. I would love to attend one of his workshops. I was considering it before, but I will definitely be buying his book "Live it Up Without Outliving Your Money". I guess I'm easy that way. :-)

Now if I can only get that Roth IRA up to snuff.



Anonymous another fan said...

Hi - FYI, Paul's doing a live workshop right now at:

3:15 PM  

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