Just to be clear, there are some large advisory firms that have a fully staffed research department. These people spend the entire day, every day, following the positions that a firm has, and they handle the due diligence. Even these large firms do not have the bandwidth to build customized portfolios. So how can a single advisor do that successfully?
The answer is, it's not possible. Most financial advisors are deluding themselves—and their customers. Advisors in small practices may believe they can single-handedly follow the markets, build customized portfolios for clients, handle compliance, prospect for new customers and develop talent on their teams.
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The truth is, it's all way too much for one advisor to master, and that shows in the service they deliver. Many clients are, in reality, paying them a fee to guess about what is going on.
Many advisors won't tell that to you, but deep down they know the truth.