August 30, 2010
I personally handle all of my personal investments through both one broker and one financial adviser. I have dealt with both individuals for over 5 years. I find that they do virtually the same job. They have their (or their companies) investing philosophy and they work with me on building a portfolio which matches what they believe will be an effective strategy. Sometimes they are right, sometimes they are wrong. If they didn't make me believe that they are performing over the long run, I would leave either or both to find another investment professional. I believe that it is helpful for the individual investor to have a professional contact to discuss investment options and to initiate trade activity. I believe that both have my best investment interest in mind.
That said, I believe that the fees involved are radically different. While my broker charges based on transaction, the adviser charges on a flat fee. I have found that the flat fee is the most frustrating. I now believe that the brokers fee schedule is the fairest way to go.