A lot of Financial Advisors are experts at sleight of hand. I swear some of them would be better off being Magicians than Advisors. They show you something shinny in one hand to take your focus off something else. All the while the focus should be how well are they doing their job.
As it relates to managing your portfolio it boils down to your returns, net of fees, compared to the relative benchmark. In layman’s terms, “Are they doing a good job, or are you better off going somewhere else?”
I always say, I see many good salespeople out there but not many good advisors. The common feedback I hear from consumers is that most advisors are talking over their head rather than at them. Whereas they should be talking to the person using an educational approach. It might not be the best sales method, but I find it makes for longer lasting, mutually beneficial, fulfilling relationships with clients.
These are the questions you should ask your advisor at every review:
- What are my returns net of fees for the last 1-year, 3-year, 5-year periods and since inception?
- What are the returns of the relevant benchmark in those same periods?
- An example of a relevant benchmark is 60% SP500 and 40% Barclay’s Aggregate bond index for someone with a moderate risk tolerance.
- If my account(s) underperformed what is the reason and what is being done to correct this moving forward?
Underperformance over a 12-month period is not the end of the world, it happens. If it continues to happen, then it could affect your long-term goals. A good Financial Advisor will bring more value to the table than just portfolio management. So, giving them the benefit of the doubt may be the best course of action. However, if they do not have a plan to correct the underperformance or continue to underperform you should start looking for a new Advisor.
So next time you meet with your Advisor don’t settle for a magic show. Force them to talk about what matters.
Investment Advisory Services offered through Spyrnal Wealth Management, LLC. Insurance products and services are offered through Timothy J. Spyrnal. Snowbird Retirement does not render legal or tax advice. Be sure to consult with a qualified tax and/or legal adviser regarding the best options for your circumstances. Any comments regarding safe and secure investments, and guaranteed income streams refer only to fixed insurance products. They do not refer, in any way to securities or investment advisory products. Insurance and Annuity product guarantees are subject to the claims-paying ability of the issuing company and are not offered by Spyrnal Wealth Management. The foregoing content reflects the opinion of Snowbird Retirement. Content provided herein is for informational purposes only and should not be used or construed as investment advice or a recommendation regarding the purchase or sale of any security. Past performance may not be indicative of future results. Indices are not available for direct investment. Any investor who attempts to mimic the performance of an index would incur fees and expenses which would reduce returns. All investing involves risk, including the potential for loss of principal. There is no guarantee that any investment plan or strategy will be successful.