From the April 2009 issue of Investment Advisor • Subscribe!

Asset Allocation

Behind the Numbers, with Stephanie Giroux

"We're in the worst of it now," says Stephanie Giroux, CFA, whose audience as chief investment strategist for TD Ameritrade are "individual investors, even if through an advisor." Giroux, the latest addition to the Asset Allocation panel, notes that "when you've got people like Warren Buffett saying that investors of all stripes have been bloodied and confused, and he's among them, well . . .it's easy to say you can do it better yourself. On the other hand, if some of the best investors got blindsided, do you think you can do better?"

She recommends advisors get back to basics: "start over with the client, recheck their investment time frames, their investment objectives, and risk tolerances, and make sure the portfolio is strategically aligned to those." Beyond that, she suggests "iyou may have to rebalance more frequently, provide downside protection using some options strategies, particularly if there is a concentrated position in the portfolio, and be very disciplined--culling the underperformers and trimming back the overperformers."

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