Q – I have had my mutual fund portfolio managed by an advisor for the past 10 years. His performance is disappointing, and by the time I pay fees, I am only ahead marginally. Recently, my portfolio has been in negative territory. I would like to try and manage my portfolio on my own. How do you recommend I get started? – Bill B., Halifax, Nova Scotia
A – As a professional advisor, I must start by saying that managing an investment portfolio takes knowledge and experience. It is not as simple as buying one stock and hoping it goes up. That is not investing; it’s gambling!
My advice is to talk to your advisor about how you are feeling. Ask him to show you why he has made the investment fund choices he has and what value he has brought to you. If you are not satisfied, you can look for another advisor that you believe can provide you value for your money.
If you are set on managing your own portfolio, you need the proper training. Start by looking at local colleges and school boards. They often offer courses on the basics of stock trading and investing. The most comprehensive training available, and the place where most financial professionals start their basic investment training, is at the Canadian Securities Institute in Toronto. Its introductory Canadian Securities Course requires over 100 hours of study and concludes with a two-part exam. Good luck. – R.T.
Robyn Thompson, CFP, is the founder of Castlemark Wealth Management, a boutique financial advisory firm, specializing in customized financial, investment, insurance, and retirement planning. Phone 416-828-7159 or email today to firstname.lastname@example.org for a no-obligation, no-charge Castlemark Integrity Financial Planning consultation.
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The foregoing is for general information purposes only and is the opinion of the writer. No guarantee of investment performance is made or implied. It is not intended to provide specific personalized advice including, without limitation, investment, financial, legal, accounting or tax advice. Please contact the author to discuss your particular circumstances.