Advisers often offer bad advice just to keep good clients happy: Matson

Mark Matson shows how investors don’t need to know everything about investing they only need to know the right things. Mr Matson talks the talk AND walks the walk. Investors will reach their long term financial goals by following a prudent investment process.

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My experience in watching a lot of advisers is they will do what the client tells them, even if it is imprudent, just to keep the client,” said Mark Matson, chief executive of Matson Money, a Cincinnati-based investment advisory firm that manages just over $3.1 billion. After the 2008 market crash, “what I saw most advisers do is co-sign dysfunctionality and go to cash.”

Mr. Matson believes that advisers “panicked” right along with their clients after the market crash that brought common market indicators down about 50% between September 2007 and March 2009.

He has written a book promoting a return to asset allocation with regular re-balancing, and is launching a television program on PBS to educate investors on the issue, which he says is a problem for advisers almost as much as for investors. Over the long run, most investors need to allocate some of their portfolio to stocks or they will miss out on market gains, he said.

Asset allocation “sounds really simple and easy to understand, but it is almost impossible to do” for both investors and advisers, Mr. Matson said. “It is because of emotions, instinct and perception biases, multiplied by the media.”

He added: “I had one adviser with $25 million who called us in March of 2009 and said ‘this is Armageddon, we have to go to cash,’” he said. “I called it market timing.”

Lately, the same mentality has advisers overweighting their clients in gold, trying to make money on the precious metal’s surge, he said. “It is like tech stocks in 1998, when they took off for four years in a row” before they ended up crashing, he said. “So many people are trying to prognosticate.”

And many investors still are stuck in cash, with advisers who are fearful of pushing too hard to return to the market. “The client said, ‘If you don’t move me to cash, I’ll leave,’” Mr. Matson said. “But the investor is the one who gets hurt.”

This is a great article on why most investors dramatically under perform the market. Mark Matson has been leading investors and advisers to a truly successful investing process. It’s not about predictions it’s about implementing a prudent process and remaining diligent to that process.

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