"Do-it-yourself companies such as Vanguard, Fidelity, Scottrade, and E-Trade have done a good job showing that portfolio management can be done without hiring and paying a firm," says Carlos Dias, Jr., founder and managing partner of Excel Tax & Wealth Group in Orlando, Fla.
"Still, most Americans have their investments with management firms. If the professional constantly underperforms against a benchmark such as the S&P 500, then it is best to manage it on your own," he said.
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Many clients can manage one or two accounts such as a Roth IRA and a 401(k), says Marguerita Cheng, CFP, CEO of Blue Ocean Global Wealth in Rockville, Md. As they add more accounts and their lives get more complicated, however, it can be helpful to seek help from a financial advisor.
"Clients can't delegate taking care of their family, working out, coaching soccer, or attending church, but they can delegate portfolio management to ensure they have a trusted partner monitoring their portfolio," Cheng says.
Even if you don't want full-time professional help, your portfolio may benefit from a pair of expert eyes. "If the portfolio is large or complicated, they should see a professional, even if it's just to get a second opinion on what they've done or plan to do," says Marty Durbin, CPA, president and investment advisor representative at Aperture Retirement Designs in Arlington, Texas. "Getting an opinion from an objective professional who is not paid based on what products he or she sells can be a good idea."