Expert Advice

How Financial Advisors Help

Professor Burton Malkiel of the Rebalance Investment Committee explains why financial advisors can be crucial in tough markets.

Burt Malkiel: I think what Rebalance has been able to do is to give that personal touch, but to do it in a low-expense way. Now, I think many investors do want and do need somewhat of a personal touch. When you’re in a period when the world was falling apart in 2008, it’s useful to be able to get on the phone and talk to some knowledgeable person who says, “Look, you’re going to be all right. Stay the course.”

Because people who don’t have that will often just say, “I’m going to sell out. I just can’t take it anymore.” What Rebalance is going to be able to do, though, is … if you do this with bricks and mortar, if you do this with, “Okay I’ve got a shop on the street where you’re going to come in and you’re going to sit in a comfortable chair in a broker’s office,” that’s very expensive. And that’s why those expense ratios are so high.

What Rebalance will do is to try to give that — and it is needed, in some cases — but to be able to have that knowledgeable person be able to do that in a cost-effective manner, over the telephone.