Professor Charles D. Ellis of the Rebalance Investment Committee on the most useful service a financial advisor can provide — a sounding board and trusted feedback so that your investments fit your goals. More common investor mistakes and how to avoid them.


Biggest help that anybody can ever do for anybody in investing is help them think through who are they as investors. How are they with risk and stock prices going up and down? How are they about their knowledge and experience with investing? How are they with their anxieties about bad markets or bull markets?

Were your parents deeply distressed by the Depression, the Second World War, some other time like that? Were you over-excited at some point? Did you find something about yourself?

You find out what you’re able to do. And if you know what your risk tolerance is, and you think carefully, and it usually takes somebody asking you a series of questions to get to a resolution, “What are your objectives for using money,” basically self-discovery. It’s not psychotherapy. But it’s really helpful to have somebody asking questions and drawing you out, drawing you out because they know what questions to ask.

That’s the most useful part that any advisor can provide, is getting you on the right track, towards the right place, for you.

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