Why a Financial Advisor?

There are many reasons to have a professional financial advisor working to help you achieve your goals. Here are a few points to consider.

Why does the average investor underperform?

Dalbar conducts a study of average investor returns, which demonstrates that the “average equity fund investor” does not achieve investment returns close to what the market returned. Over the past 20 years, the average investor realized a 4.48% return while the market generated almost 12%. This underperformance is driven by:

  • Lack of a clear strategy

  • An undisciplined approach

  • Allowing decisions to be driven by emotions

  • An overconfident approach with unrealistic expectations


Source: Dalbar 2008 Quantitative Analysis of Investor Behavior Study, S&P 500, Consumer Price Index, Citigroup BIG Treasury Bill (3M). Average stock investor, average bond investor and average asset allocation investor performance results are calculated using data supplied by the Investment Company Institute. Investor returns are represented by the change in total mutual fund assets after excluding sales, redemption and exchanges. This method of calculation captures realized and unrealized capital gains, dividends, interest, trading costs, sales charges, fees, expenses and any other costs. After calculating investor returns in dollar terms, two percentages are calculated for the period examined: total investor return rate and annualized investor return rate. Total return rate is determined by calculating the investor return dollars as a percentage of the net of the sales, redemptions and exchanges for the period. Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results.

Did your portfolio suffer significantly in 2000-2002 and 2008-2009?

Our active management approach seeks to reduce our clients' equity investments in weak periods and increase equity investments during strong periods. Long-term, we believe that our approach can help offset the effects of multiple bear markets. It cannot, however, guarantee that profits will be made or that losses will not occur.

Do you have an investment discipline that will guide you through future bull and bear markets? 

A historical view of the stock market indicates that “bear markets” (downward movements in the stock market of 20% or greater) occur every four to five years. Learn more about secular cycles.

Have you changed your investment strategy in light of the potential for rising interest rates? 

Many people use a basic buy-and-hold investment approach. Buy and hold was a popular investment approach in the 1980s and 1990s when interest rates were falling. With interest rates poised to rise in the future, the investing outlook has changed, and buy-and-hold investing is likely to lead to unacceptable returns. In order to realize their desired returns, investors may want to consider using a different, more active investment strategy than they have used in the past, while maintaining proper diversification.

Would you like to estimate whether you can retire on your expected retirement date and live a long and comfortable retirement?

Most people have never received a professional retirement plan that analyzes their financial situation to see if their retirement hopes are reasonable. If the plan projections do not meet your goals, an advisor can develop a strategy to improve your situation.

If you die tomorrow, are your heirs in a position to manage your investments and handle your complex financial and estate matters? 

These are difficult issues even for people experienced with investments and financial matters.  A good advisor will step in and help your family during such times.

Do you want personalized service and an approach that is customized to your needs and objectives?

Each of our clients is unique based on their objectives, mix of investment accounts (retirement or taxable accounts), mix of custodians (TIAA, Fidelity, Pershing, SEI, etc.), tolerance for risk, etc. Although much of the implementation is similar, our advice and management are customized to each family.

What estate planning approaches should you consider under the expected new tax laws?

After review and discussion, do you need a recommendation for an estate-planning attorney, or to a CPA to help with your taxes? A good advisor has these contacts.

Managing your

University TIAA
and Fidelity Accounts

Managing your

IRA, Roth IRA, 401k,
Trust and Taxable Accounts