You need a plan. Which requires a qualified planner, specifically a Certified Financial Planning (CFP) professional.
More importantly, you need a plan that is not biased by a sale of some financial product or loose promise that you will be taken care of (somehow).
In our Voluntary code of Conduct for the Stewardship of Your Wealth we specifically highlight this:
We will always: Build investment strategies in keeping with our client’s goals and objectives, risk tolerance, timelines and liquidity needs
If you are put into a buy and hold, 60% equity and 40% fixed income strategy with all of the other clients for the sake of simplicity for the Advisor, so that they might be able to spend the bulk of their time "gathering assets", then this is not a strategy that is tailored specifically to you or your personal or family goals.
Your plan (at High Rock we call it a Wealth Forecast) needs to be detailed and specific and written.
Then it needs to be strategically translated into an asset allocation that meets your criteria on what risk you wish to take, the timelines required to accomplish your goals and your needs for cash flow.
Only then will it be truly yours.
And it certainly does not require being sold a fund, an ETF or stock.
It requires a portfolio manager (Chartered Financial Analyst, CFA or Chartered Investment Manager, CIM) who has the knowledge, skill and experience to guide (steward) your portfolio appropriately.
A salesperson / Advisor can claim to have a license, but they are merely a "registered representative" of the financial institution by which they are employed (even if they have fancy Vice President or even "Senior" Vice President titles). Once upon a time, not so long ago I was a "Senior" Vice President at a financial institution. So I know that it is merely a function of how many assets you have gathered (or perhaps it was that I was over 55!).
Without the appropriate credentials (having studied for and passed a series of exams) and approval by the Ontario Securities Commission (or perhaps IIROC), they are not portfolio managers.
As simply "registered representatives", they can not provide discretionary portfolio management, which means that as a client you must first approve every transaction.
This also means that when a trade is necessary, you may be on a long list waiting for a call to approve a trade.
But that will be a blog for another day when I discuss the point of fairness in executing trades especially in portfolio re-balancing.
There is an alternative and we (at High Rock) are leading the way forward for our clients.
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Scott Tomenson,CIM Managing Partner, Chief Investment Strategist