Who needs financial advice?

We all see the media pieces written to generate hits by writing – “advisors charge too much” and “don’t add value” – thus you can simply “go to index funds and your problem is solved”……BUNK!!! (choose a more emphatic word if you wish)…..

I saw a brief piece by Megan Leonhardt citing that Most Americans Not Interested in Financial Advice. It cites a TIAA-CREF survey suggesting that 65% don’t want financial advice – but interestingly - indicate that this percentage is actually decreasing. The principle issue cited is lack of trust but most importantly how to find someone reliable.

While those of us in the business who care passionately about what we do for our clients (and work every day to add value) wince at these pieces, we might view them as a catalyst for positive actions.

There are some good emerging ideas that we can embrace and perhaps build into our practices and public relations efforts that will be helpful in improving our credibility with our clients and the public at large.

A few resources -

· I suggest you take a peek at a recent article by Charley Ellis in the Financial Analysts Journal from the CFA Institute – The Rise and Fall of Performance Investing. He is articulating the difficulty of paying for active management, but identifies a number of value based services that advisors provide outside of specific investment management.

· You might also check a few blog pieces by Jason Voss of the CFA Institute. He is citing a number of ways that value is added to the investment process. Take a peek at a recent one titled Skills that Separate You as an Investment Manager.

· A book that I found extraordinarily insightful and on point was Building Trust: In Business, Politics, Relationships, and Life, by Robert C. Solomon and Fernando Flores (hyperlink is to the Amazon listing)

Keep up the good work…you can and do make a difference.

Mark

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