A Successful Relationship with Your Advisor
We read with interest Brett Arends’ recent column in The Wall Street Journal, “Should You Fire Your Financial Advisor?” We concur with Mr. Arends when he suggests you consider your alternatives if your advisor has been rude, whined, or generally failed to communicate with you.
Certainly the market downturn has been challenging for all investors, regardless of who manages their money. There may have been moments when you’ve questioned your faith in Truepoint’s ability to assist you with achieving your long-term financial objectives. Please know that we appreciate your continued confidence and believe you will be rewarded for your perseverance.
As we reflect on Mr. Arends’ article, we believe a successful, longstanding relationship with an investment advisor must maintain the following five elements:
Beginning with our Annual Meeting in September 2008 and continuing today, our professional advisory group remains accessible to clients who have questions regarding their portfolios and financial plans. Rather than hunker down in our offices, we’ve increased our client contact over the past six months in an attempt to assuage fears and provide further education regarding our process. And, in early 2009 we introduced Truepoint Investor, an online journal dedicated to providing insightful and educational investment commentary.
We’re definitely in this together. Like our clients, we have experienced a great deal of stress through the past year. We strive to act professionally and courteously at all times. We listen to the concerns of our clients and, where appropriate, have made changes to portfolio allocations and adjustments according to their instructions.
There is no crystal ball . . . and you don’t need one! At the root of all forms of active management is some sort of forecast. However, the future is, by definition, unknowable. You don’t need to predict the future to have a successful investment experience.
We remain true believers in asset allocation. First, diversification is not a short-term investment strategy. It should not be discarded because it did not shield investors from serious declines over the past twelve months. Over the past ten years, diversified portfolios have risen 39% – more than any individual component asset. Four of the five components showed increases – the leader was commercial real estate with an 11.5% return. Only commodities posted a cumulative decline, down 5%. The return of the diversified whole was greater than the sum of its individual parts. Of course, in any given period, specific asset classes may outperform even on a risk-adjusted basis, but you cannot know in advance which it will be.
Perhaps the most important element to a successful advisory relationship is the confidence you gain by knowing your advisor is acting in your best interest at all times. Truepoint is recognized as one of the leading independent wealth management firms in the nation. As fiduciaries, our company culture and compensation has always been aligned with the interests of our clients.