Have you ever seen survey results that made you question the validity of the data? You don’t have to look far to find surveys that rank everything from blenders to vacuums these days. J.D. Power and Associates is regarded as an industry leader when it comes to surveys and various product rankings; they are best known for customer satisfaction research and ratings on new and used automobiles. Annually they venture into the Financial Services industry, ranking the best ‘Full Service Investment Firms’… the results left us scratching our heads!
For the last two years (2014 & 2015) J.D. Power and Associates has named Edward Jones #1 in their Full Service Investor Satisfaction study. With any survey it is important to dig into how the data was collected and ultimately ranked to see if it carries any weight or credibility. The survey is fairly broad in scope looking at numerous factors such as: how investors feel about their advisor, investment performance, account information, account offerings, commissions/fees, website and problem resolution. While all of these are important one is often overlooked but in our opinion ultimately has the most dramatic impact on a portfolio… fees and expenses. If a portfolio is managed with products and services that have excessive charges does it really matter if the firm has a great website or local office?
Over the course of the last year we have presented many comprehensive and complimentary portfolio reviews for accounts held at Edward Jones. In the following paragraphs we will offer an overview of the company and break down several of the products and services that are common with Edward Jones accounts throughout the country. Articles like this can always ruffle some feathers but perhaps your opinion will align with ours after reading it. Continue reading →
The markets continue to take investors on a bumpy ride with dramatic swings to the positive and negative. Volatility has been here for the last several weeks and it is beginning to have an effect on investors and the decisions they make in regards to their portfolios. Investors are notorious for putting their portfolio on cruise control when the markets are doing well and then becoming hyper-sensitive when negative returns start appearing on their monthly statements. With the first true market correction (-10% or more) in nearly four years, investors are considering a variety of options with their portfolios, many of them misleading and possibly disastrous. As fear and uncertainty build emotions begin to take control. There are many products and options that prey on investors in these environments…don’t allow yourself to fall for any of the five most common ones we discuss below…
Going to Cash – This is the classic move by investors when they simply can’t take it anymore; throwing their hands up in the air and admitting defeat by selling everything and going to cash. They justify it in their mind, feeling good about it; after all, jumping out and preserving what was left of their portfolio seems like the prudent thing to do. If this is you or you are considering this ‘strategy’ don’t start patting yourself on the back just yet! This could possibly be the worst move an investor could make unless they want to push back their retirement or drastically alter their financial goals. Consider this, every year for the last 35 years the markets have posted negative returns at some point during the year and 87% of the time the markets finished the year positive. Selling everything in your portfolio would be comparable to buying a new car and selling it as soon as you drive it off the lot because you realized that it went down 20% in value! Would you ever do that? We doubt it so don’t do this with your investments! Continue reading →