Dennis Gogarty wrote this article in Disclosures
in spring 2011:
As financial professionals, we are often asked to give investment advice. More often than not, the question is asked with the hope that we’ll give some credible insight about what to expect from the market in the coming months. Before responding, I’m reminded of Warren Buffet’s eloquent remark, “forecasts tell you much more about the forecaster than they do about the future.” As I recall this phrase, I know that I’m about to disappoint my audience with actual sound advice.
The last few years have been so volatile, and the last 10 years have been so flat,
that investors are quite understandably looking for answers. Lately, I sense an almost desperate need for guidance. This desperation and fear creates a dangerous void that can too easily be filled by those with ulterior motives and products to sell. If not afraid, many of your clients are at least worried. My advice to you is to be that strong voice of discipline, encouraging your clients to not give in to fear when the environment is uncertain — which is pretty much always.
I offer you my top five responses to clients looking for investment advice. You’ll notice a distinct lack of sizzle and a remarkable degree of common sense. I wish you and your clients good fortune in 2011.
1. Diversify and Balance
2. Buy Low-Cost Index Funds
3. Ignore the Pundits
4. Read this Book
5. Ask an Expert