You trust the people who help manage your investments. You think they have your best interests at heart at all times. You hope they can foresee a stock market meltdown and get you out before you lose a big chunk of your money.
Then, you go through a terrible year like 2008 and you find your portfolio is in tatters. What happened?
Since I’ve been writing a Sunday series of columns about financial advisers, I’ve been hearing from many readers in this position. The money is gone, the trust is gone, the respect for financial advisers as professionals is gone.
With the destruction of their hard-earned savings, they’re asking questions. Should I be in better shape than I am now? Is it time to look for another adviser? Is it time to manage my own money?
Finally, they ask: Why did my adviser continue to maintain a buy-and-hold strategy as the markets melted down? Didn’t they listen and write down what I said about not being able to handle big losses, given my age and stage of life, my past experience, my future goals? Why didn’t they sell all my investments and put the money into GICs?
I am posting some anguished comments from readers and some replies from independent observers about their cases. Please add your opinions to this discussion.