That’s okay, I get it. It should be a completely transparent process. You should understand what you’re paying and why. You should understand what you’re getting in return; and therein lies the problem.
For some reason, we seem to have difficulty ascribing a value to the knowledge, experience, expertise and advice an Investment Advisor provides. Maybe it’s just too intangible, not black and white enough — I don’t know. All I do know is, the fairness and validity of fees are endlessly questioned and debated — which, as I said at the top of this blog post, is fine.
But here are some thoughts I think bear at least some consideration, thoughts I think are worth adding to Read More »
Thanks to a 24-hour news cycle, more cable channels than any of us will ever have time to watch, the Internet, social media and search engines, there’s a ton of information out there, on just about every subject you can think of, including everything to do with money — wanting it, earning it, saving it, losing it, investing it, spending it, sharing it — you name it, somebody’s writing about it.
Everyone, it seems, has an opinion, lessons learned, tips, suggestions and how-to’s and wants to share Read More »
About a year ago I wrote a post about how the investment industry got it wrong when, in the years of double-digit returns, performance was the way in which we chose to measure and distinguish ourselves — rather than on the real value we provide — actually counseling clients.
Recently I came across an article — The Winners’ Game — written in 2011 by Charlie Ellis. It’s as relevant today as it was then.
Ellis, for those of you who might not be familiar with him, is an American investment consultant knownRead More »
Don’t know about you, but I’ve never met or read about anyone who’s never been wrong about anything, even experts and the most savvy among us.
Yet we’re always hesitant to talk about those instances. We’re eager enough to discuss our successes but aren’t as willing to open up when things don’t go exactly as we’d hoped, planned or expected — regardless of what it is — a hiring choice, a business decision, a purchase, a relationship, an Read More »
A while back I attended a seminar put on by the Rotman School of Management. The speaker was Mo Lidsky, a well known investment professional and author. One of the books he’s written, “Partners in Preservation: How to Know Your Advisor is Truly Protecting Your Wealth” is one I’ve read and recommend.
During the question period that followed his presentation, someone in the audience asked: “How would I know when I meet somebody that they’re an advisor I’d want to have?”
If you’re thinking that asking about how long they’ve been in business, their investmentRead More »
Oh, it’s a common misconception. I hear it from clients, people I know and even strangers all the time. “I don’t have that kind of wealth. I’ve made my brother or my best friend of 40 years or my accountant my Executor. I know them, I trust them, they’re perfect. It’s fine.”
And if your estate is straight forward and requires little more than distributing funds to your beneficiaries, you could be right. But if you’re worth at least $1 million, and yourRead More »
I’m always fascinated when I overhear people talking about investing. Most of the time they’re strictly focused on performance. Frankly, it’s short sighted, but the truth of the matter is that’s the way it used to be.
For decades, when so many of us were enjoying consistent double-digit returns, all we talked about was performance. Ads for investment advisory firms and mutual fund companies concentrated solely on the numbers. “Performance” was how we positioned ourselves, how we Read More »
As I reflect back on the year just passed, with its turbulence, uncertainty and angst — and look ahead to 2017 and what it might bring — I can’t help but think of one of my favourite quotes, from John Kenneth Galbraith: “We have two classes of forecasters: Those who don’t know and those who don’t know they don’t know.”
2016 was one of those years that left a lot of us scratching our heads. It was a year that didn’t make sense. It started off rocky and investors were pessimistic and fearful. Yet Read More »
I read a very interesting blog post the other day. In it, there is a Warren Buffett quote that makes so much sense: “The most important quality to do well is temperament which would permit the control of fear and greed which have ruined many. Anyone who has become rich twice is dumb. Why would you risk what you need and have for what you don’t need?”
Both the quote, and the blog post where I read it, made me think about the recent election in the U.S. and all the commotion it caused. The worrying, wondering and speculating over who would win and what the potential Read More »
In the investing world, the topic of diversification often arises. As money managers, we advise clients on their stocks, bonds, mutual funds, hedge funds and real estate funds, among others. The intellectual stimulation of this job is hard to beat. We do believe portfolios should be diversified across asset classes. But, when it comes to owning simple common stocks, concentration is the way to go.
My friend David Kaufman recently published an excellent article in the Financial Post on the merits of owning a concentrated portfolio of stocks. David writes for all readers, regardless of their familiarity with high-tone investment language, and his column is worth reading. You can find it here.
David makes a simple point. With the proliferation of exchange traded funds and, I will add, the number of smart people that have flooded into the investment business, it becomes difficult to outperform the stock market.
Read More »