Do DIY investors need financial advisers?

Jonathan Chevreau of the National Post says that smart DIY investors also need financial advisers, and by this he means paid financial experts.  The crux of article is this:

You may be an expert stock-picker who doesn’t need help with security selection but are you also an expert on bonds and interest rates? How about insurance products? Options and portfolio hedging strategies? I suggest that unless you’re in the investment business yourself, it’s a rare individual investor who can master all these different disciplines.

I commented as follows:

Hi Jonathan: Thank you for this article. I think that as I DIY investor, I could tell you my story and it would perhaps contribute to this discussion. I started as a DIY investor for a couple of basic reasons: (1) My adviser charged me 2% or $80 per stock transaction (now I pay $9.99); (2) I would ask for investment ideas, and sometimes he would not respond; (3) when I suggested my own ideas, he would often take on the role of trying to talk me out of them—this was good at first, but as I gained experience I began to outgrow these limitations; (4) he would suggest putting stop losses or to sell when I felt it better to hold. I started DIY investing in 2005 and took complete control of the portfolio in 2007, when I transferred everything to my discount brokerage. My adviser’s role seems to have been to prevent me from implementing my own vision and strategy and to enforce his own. Well, I’ve had considerable success since taking over, so I am not interested in finding an adviser: there is a plethora of financial information and advice available on the internet and in books: so my advisors are many: Peter Schiff, Jim Rogers, Marc Faber, Jonathan Chevreau, Rob Carrick, Patricia Lovett-Reid, Monty Pelerin, Ivestopedia, The Dailey Reckoning, The Daily Bell, and the Business Insider, to name a few. When I’ve talked to financial people about what I do, they say, “Oh that’s really risky!” So I am not at all convinced that I would be better off seeking advice. So I am not expert in all three areas of stocks, bonds (interest rates) and insurance products. I fear inflation and therefore I am not in the market for fixed income. I don’t need any more insurance yet. I think it less important to have a mastery of these three areas, and more important to have a working strategy that leads to success. But I will admit, however, using a lawyer for estate planning and tax issues—and we also have to have an accountant to calculate our tax and give us advice about how to avoid paying tax.

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2 thoughts on “Do DIY investors need financial advisers?

  1. This is an excellent reply addressing this issue point by point. I look forward to walking down the same path as I have more cash flow to invest. It’s really not rocket science and we are in the age of information. I don’t see anymore how financial advisors fit the equation. But it is an industry and just like Realtors fear losing out on the easy income, financial advisors will strike fear through the media since everyone hates losing money!

    • Thanks. It applies also to the financial writers, who depend on the advertising revenue from the financial industry to pay their salary. Chevreau himself is honest and has severely critiqued the industry at times; but he also promotes products that he thinks may help his readers.

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