A recent article on Yahoo Finance (actually written by the online Wall Street Journal's Francesco Guerrera) caught my eye today. Interviews with a dozen Wall Street executives found that “most disclosed investment strategies that were both ultraconservative for financial experts and at odds with their banks' advice to companies, fund managers and individuals.”
The article blames the horrible memories of 2008 for the inability of most Wall Street pros to heed their own advice. “Memories of having that close-up view during as painful a crash as the 2008 crisis can explain why bankers are throwing their courage to the wind, stashing their money in cash and Treasuries.”
I think most RIAs are better than this. Instead of giving advice that they have no intention of following, advisors should be investing alongside their clients. This shows a level of commitment that should bring more enthusiasm and believability in client meetings, along with a sense of “we’re all in this together.”
If some advisors are too bearish to invest their own funds, the asset allocation they provide should reflect this view. Indeed, I believe the question “Are you invested in the stuff you recommend?” should be something every client asks their RIAs.