“Watching my bills go down by 22%.” My financial advisor usually “gets it right” but now I feel like he’s not making enough adjustments in this tough market since I’m losing “huge chunks” of money. What is my move?

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Question: I have been a financial advisor to a national company for over a decade. We got on well and his fees are right at 1%. His company’s strategy is to buy a basket of stocks, and there are literally dozens in each of my accounts. It generally does about the same as the S&P, beating it some years and a point or two lower in others. In a few years, including the run to 2022, I’ve moved up significantly in the market only to watch my paper gains dissipate over a few months or more. I have asked on several occasions if he/she adjusts the stocks held in my account to account for market changes, as none of them are traded much. I know one shouldn’t try to time the market.

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However, should I expect my broker to make adjustments to my accounts during times of significant market changes? I’ve watched my bills drop by about 22% this year and wipe out all paper gains from 2021 and then some. His answer is “we’re doing better than the wider market”. Ok, but I’ve asked several times this year if they were considering adjustments (eg energy, anyone?). Should I question or just keep feeding the beast every year with additional investments and worry about the risk of downside risks when I get closer to retirement (at least five years away). I don’t need the money and continue to invest six figures a year, but then again, I don’t like seeing my earnings disappear in large chunks.

Answer: First of all, it’s reasonable to expect updates and adjustments to your accounts periodically, anywhere from once a year to once a quarter, says John Piershale, a certified financial planner at John Piershale Wealth Management. “Common stock models have objectives such as capital appreciation or income, and most stock models have regular updates, some more than others. Keeping your model updated and rebalanced periodically can allow you to take big profits from some areas and apply them to others,” says Piershale. While this doesn’t prevent loss, it can help reduce the overall risk in your portfolio, he adds.

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That being said, you don’t want too much traffic on your account, as you may be hit with fees every time you make a transfer or transaction. That’s not to say you should never make adjustments, but experts advise limiting them instead of constantly moving things around, which can cost you money.

It also appears that you and your advisor may not be aligned on your risk tolerance, says Aaron Klein, CEO of Riskalyze, a financial technology company that provides software that analyzes investment risk. “If I were you, I would find a fiduciary who could give you a second opinion. If someone else can give you a better path forward with fewer downsides than what you’re currently carrying, it might be the right change to make,” says Klein.

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And Michelle Connell, chartered financial analyst at Portia Capital Management, notes that for someone like you who is close to retirement, you may be taking on too much risk. When you’re building wealth, it’s good to ride the waves of market volatility, Connell says. But “if you’re approaching retirement or want to protect what you’ve built, an investor should go into risk management mode. It’s your and your advisor’s job to protect your investment portfolio and therefore your future standard of living,” says Connell.

If you decide to go with another advisor, you’ll probably want to find one that’s more focused on wealth preservation and risk management. Advisers accomplish this by doing things like “determining how much money or investments are needed to meet your distribution requirements, balancing your investments when you own too little or too much of an asset class, and evaluating the downside risk of mutual funds being purchased. How much has the fund lost in any bear market? How do the fund’s downside and upside performance compare to its peers? Is the investor willing and able to take that kind of risk,” says Connell.

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