On Tuesday August 5th, Wachovia, one of the nation’s largest banks, was hit with a lawsuit which alleges that Wachovia and its affiliates caused investors unnecessary risk and losses by incorrectly valuating a now-defunct bond fund. “When judgment questions are raised at this high of a level,” Dion commented, “the banking crisis becomes a crisis of credibility.”
An annual study recently reported that just under 60 percent of affluent households use a professional financial adviser. This is down from 70 percent in 2004 and 79 percent in 2001. TNS Financial Services of Greenwich, Connecticut conducted the study, and a representative suggested that the volume of free information available to investors on the internet was one reason why investors were increasingly handling their own financial affairs.
Two-thirds of those not using professional help said that they felt better managing their own money. And nearly half said they did not trust advisers to act in their best interests. Most of the respondents had more than $1 million in net worth, excluding their primary residence. A firm called TNS Financial Services of Greenwich, C conducted the study, and a representative suggested that the volume of free information available to investors on the internet was one reason why investors were increasingly handling their own financial affairs.
“The danger of managing your investments on your own is that you are allowing yourself to perform a task for which most investors are simply not prepared,” Dion said. In selecting a manager, Dion contends that, “the issue may have a lot more to do with developing a relationship of trust with a financial adviser than it does with whether you should allow someone else to handle your investments. If you don’t trust your financial adviser to act in your best interests, you need to make a change.”
“I happen to be an attorney,” contends Dion “But if I needed an attorney with a particular expertise I would go out and hire one, not rely on myself. The same is true if I were a doctor or any other professional. A financial adviser has unique training and follows the markets full-time. Unless you have an aptitude for investing and are prepared to put in that kind of commitment, you may be at a disadvantage.”
The more important thing to spend your time doing, Dion says, is to communicate effectively with a competent financial adviser. “Make sure they know what you want; what your tolerance for risk is, and how much volatility you can handle. And make sure you feel comfortable. Shop around until you feel that you have the right person,” he says.
Dion’s business model is somewhat unique, in that the many of clients are subscribers from his family of financial publications:
Dion believes that the analysis, Power Indices, and model portfolios that appear in his publications helped potential clients to monitor his investment ideas over time. “My publications and services, which range from the Dynamic Global ETF trading service for more aggressive investors (http://store.fidelityindependentadviser.com/
Dion urges investors to tread carefully before taking the reins of your own investments. “Despite the ease of online trading, most people still need to work with professionals who know what they are doing and understand what different investors need,” Dion said. “I believe that every investor should have the opportunity to see their investment through the eyes of a professional,”
Dion hopes to build trust through a free review process so that investors may appreciate the importance of professional input. “Even a highly trained surgeon would not take out his own appendix,” Dion concluded, “my free review process seeks to build trust through an unemotional, analytical look at investments that will shape your future.”
About Don Dion, President of Dion Money Management and Publisher of Fidelity Independent Adviser: Dion Money Management is a fee-based investment advisory firm to affluent individuals, families and nonprofit organizations, where Dion is responsible for setting investment policy, creating custom portfolios and overseeing the performance of client accounts. Founded in 1996 and based in Williamstown, Massachusetts, Dion Money Management manages more than $700 million in assets for clients in 49 states and 11 countries. A licensed attorney in Massachusetts and Maine, Mr. Dion has more than 25 years’ experience working in the financial markets, having founded and run two publicly traded companies before establishing Dion Money Management.
For more information, or a Free Portfolio Review, visit http://www.dionmm.com/
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