When it comes to prudent investment practices diversification is the foundation upon which a successful long-term plan is built. Some investors believe they should also diversify their assets among multiple financial advisors. This practice could prove harmful to your advisory relationship(s) and to your ultimate success as an investor. That is not to suggest you shouldn’t seek a second or third opinion when it comes to selecting an advisor, as that is usually a good idea.
Since a successful investment strategy requires an optimally constructed portfolio along with constant monitoring and adjustments, the use of multiple advisors with different strategies could complicate and even negate the benefits each was designed to produce. Different advisors will have differing views about the economy and markets, risk and return, planning and investing. They may recommend different strategies, utilizing different tools to implement those strategies. They may offer differing levels of service and their compensation will surely differ.
After interviewing several advisors select the one whom you believe is the best fit for you given your goals, objectives and personal situation. Once resolved, it will be in your best interest to consolidate your assets under that advisor’s management or supervision. You owe it to yourself and to your advisor to be fully and unequivocally engaged in a partnership committed to each other’s success. There are no do-overs and time is getting shorter by the day. Since the quality of the advice you receive is dependent upon the information to which your advisor has access, anything less than full transparency puts you at a disadvantage. Someone needs to be given the responsibility of helping you achieve your financial goals and held accountable for the results. That should be someone who is intelligent, competent and trustworthy and has demonstrated he or she is always acting in your best interest.
Also, try to imagine your relationship from the advisor’s perspective. He or she is running a business and can only work with a limited number of people. As such he will focus his attention on those clients he believes are most appreciative of and accretive to his practice. Advisors are looking to develop relationships with investors who are serious and disciplined, possess reasonable expectations, take their advice and act as advocates willing to introduce them to others. Finally, it might help to ask yourself just what it is that you expect from a financial advisor and then determine if that is what you are getting. If it’s not, sit down with your advisor and talk about it. You owe it to her. After that, if you are still unsure start interviewing others. There is a best fit out there somewhere.
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