Ariely and Benartzi, Wagner and Buie Debate the Future of Advice in Investment Advisor's December 2010 Issue

Academics and advisors look into the future in IA's cover story, plus more highlights of the issue

Dan Ariely doesn’t think much of certain advisors.

“The benefit that financial advisors are providing their clients, in terms of balancing the portfolio, cannot justify the amount they are charging for their service,” says the professor of psychology and behavioral economics at Duke University.

Ariely, who has been all over the industry lecture circuit of late (most recently at FPA Denver 2010 in early October) is just one of the industry personalities rounded up in the December 2010 Investment Advisor cover story by columnist Olivia Mellan for a revealing conversation about the future of financial advice. 

In addition to Ariely, Mellan’s piece, entitled “Future Imperfect: Six Pioneering Advisors and Observers Present a Likely View of the Essentially Unknowable” features Mary Malgoire, president of The Family Firm in Bethesda, Md.; Shlomo Benartzi, a UCLA professor and author of “Myopic Loss Aversion and the Equity Premium Puzzle”: Richard Wagner, founder of Denver, Colo.-based financial planning firm WorthLiving; Elissa Buie, a principal of Yeske Buie, a financial planning and asset management firm in Vienna, Va.; and Richard Vodra , president of Worldview Two Planning, also in Virginia.  

“To help you find your way toward this uncertain future, I asked several well-respected thinkers and planners about the most significant challenges that financial advisors will face,” Mellan writes. “From the deeply philosophical to the practical, and from global issues to community concerns, I think you will be interested in what [they] have to say.”

In addition to Mellan’s cover story, the December Issue of Investment Advisor spotlights the ever-present worry about the next generation of financial advisors, and from where they will come. If IA managing editor Danielle Andrus’s profile of Jacob Gold is any indication, we should all relax. The aptly-named Gold is in his early thirties and already an author, a frequent contributor to CNBC, and of course, founder of Jacob Gold and Associates in Scottsdale, Ariz. How did he get so far so fast? It might have something to do with the 35 model portfolios he’s created.

IA’s international investing contributor Savita Iyer-Ahrestani explores U.S. wealth management firms’ fascination with Brazil and its growing prosperity. It isn’t considered a BRIC country for nothing, and Iyer-Ahrestani notes Brazil’s growth boom has earned the country a permanent place among those nations considered most important to the global economy.

But if you decide to wade into the Brazilian economy, beware, she writes, as “investors are reputed for their financial sophistication, entrepreneurial spirit and razor-sharp market knowledge.”

December’s Overlooked Managers features Jeff Shafer and Byron Carlock of CNL Financial Group. REITs have recently been described as “on death’s door,” then as in a bubble; earnings are bad, but REIT stocks are performing well; dividend yields are great, then not so great, and now headed for awful. Shafer and Carlock sort out the confusion with a detailed description of their process and the REIT space as a whole.

Other articles of particular interest from the December 2010 Investment Advisor:

  • Washington bureau chief Melanie Waddell analyzes the recent election and what it means for advisors
  • Columnist  Mark Tibergien explains why firm ownership without rights is the worst of all worlds
  • Bob Clark asks and answers the question of how independent advisors will deal with the rising tide of breakaway brokers;
  • and Jamie Green, group editor in chief of Investment Advisor and Research magazines, as well as AdvisorOne, recaps the Retirement Income Symposium, an annual two -day event in Chicago dedicated to what many consider to be the most pressing advisor/client issue.
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