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Live It Up Without Outliving Your Money!: Getting The Most From Your Investments in Retirement by Paul Merriman

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Chapter 14. Hiring an Investment Adviser

I found the best way to give advice to my children is to find out what they want to do and then advise them to do it.

Harry Truman

During the tough days of the bear market in 2000 through 2002, Oppenheimer Funds Inc. did a nationwide survey of several hundred investors with investment assets of at least $25,000. Half the subjects had financial advisers and half reported that they made their own decisions. The responses to one question in particular stood out to me.

Question: Do you believe it's important to have a diversified portfolio? Answers: Of investors with advisers, 94 percent said yes versus only 22 percent for do-it-yourself investors. This survey wasn't scientific, and Oppenheimer of course had an axe to grind. Nevertheless, those answers tell me that advisers apparently are teaching clients about the value of diversification.

One other response indicated that investors with advisers were nearly three times as likely to expect a comfortable retirement as those without advisers. Just what that means is open to interpretation. But there was clearly some correlation between having advisers and feeling confident about the future.

Investing is a complex business with many facets that must be successfully managed in order to assure a successful outcome. More than 40 years of being involved with Wall Street has shown me over and over that successful investing is too much for most individuals to do on their own. I believe you'll greatly increase ...

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