Wanting to keep up with the Joneses is human nature—particularly from an investment perspective. The huge outperformance of large-cap U.S. stocks to just about every other asset class over the last several years has clients who pay fees to advisors wondering why they shouldn't just put their money in a low-cost index fund.
"Some years it doesn't pay to have the diversified portfolio that everyone suggests you should," said Tim Maurer, a CFP and director of personal finance for Buckingham and the BAM Alliance. "Last year was one of those years, and people ask the logical question."
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Maurer, like every other financial advisor adhering to the principle of asset diversification, gives them the logical answer.
"I tell them they underperformed because they did the sensible thing and diversified," he said. "We can't guess which asset class will do best, and we would be negligent if we tried. That would make us gamblers."
Sheryl Garrett, a CFP and founder of the Garrett Planning Network, said she's fielding similar questions from people, but for the most part, her clients buy into the idea of diversifying to control risk.
"I heard much of the same stuff about 'danged diversification' in the late '90s; then, a few years later, people said, "OK, I get it,'" she said.