Should You Dump Your Financial Advisor Now That the Market Is Down? Here's What Suze Orman Says

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Mad at your financial advisor? You probably shouldn’t be.


Key points

  • It’s easy to point a finger at your financial advisor when the stock market takes a turn for the worse.
  • It’s important to remember that financial advisors can’t control what happens in the market, and to know when to stick with yours or find a new one.

If your brokerage account balance is down right now, you’re in good company. Many people are seeing losses in their portfolios on the heels of an extended stock market slump.

Now, it’s one thing to be looking at losses for a portfolio you put together yourself without help. But if you’ve been working with a financial advisor, you may be wondering how on earth it is that you’re sitting on losses when an expert helped you assemble your investment mix.

It’s easy to get upset at a financial advisor when stock values decline and your portfolio balance suffers because of it. But is your financial advisor really to blame for the state of the market and the losses you’re seeing? Financial expert Suze Orman says no.

Individuals can’t control the market

You may have a great financial advisor who listens to your concerns and chooses investments that are likely to help you achieve your long-term goals. That doesn’t mean your specific advisor has the power to control the stock market or prevent losses in your portfolio when a broad downturn hits.

And so if you’re thinking that your diminished portfolio value is a byproduct of poor choices on your financial advisor’s part, well, don’t. Instead, recognize that it’s impossible to predict when the market will tank, and that no individual advisor is to blame for the events of the past six months.

So why are stocks down so much? For one thing, in the years leading up to this year’s market crash, a lot of companies were said to be overvalued, which means they were trading at a price that was higher than what they were actually worth. So now, the market is correcting for that.

But also, high inflation, interest rate hikes, and recession fears have fueled a big market sell-off this year. And when investors rush to dump assets, the value of those assets can quickly decline.

None of that is your financial advisor’s fault. And if you’re otherwise happy with their service, Orman insists you shouldn’t rush to fire them due to the state of the market.

Instead, Orman says you should focus on the type of investment mix they put together for you. Is it appropriate for your age? If so, then a down market isn’t a reason to let an advisor go.

Also, Orman says it’s your financial advisor’s duty to warn you of the risks you take on when you buy stocks. If yours did that, they fulfilled their duty and can’t be blamed for what’s going on right now.

Should you work with a financial advisor?

If you don’t have a financial advisor yet, you may be wondering if it’s worth hiring one. And the answer may be a resounding yes.

A financial advisor can help you invest your money in a manner that makes it possible to achieve different goals. An advisor can also help you navigate big decisions like how much house to take on and whether to invest in real estate or not. Plus, an advisor can help you balance different goals — for example, juggling college savings with retirement savings.

This isn’t to say you should run out and hire any old advisor. Instead, get recommendations from friends and then have discussions with different advisors to see which one seems like the best fit.

Ultimately, though, you’ll want an advisor who knows how to listen and who can offer guidance without judgment. If you can find those qualities in an advisor, it’s worth signing up. And if you already have an advisor with those qualities, stick with them — even if you’re very unhappy with the losses you’re seeing in your portfolio.

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