Is it necessary to hire a financial advisor during a bear market?
I think that it is always a great time to hire a financial advisor when you are making important decisions as I laid out in my article on Planning Through Life's Stages to Avoid Money Worries. But it is even MORE important (if not necessary) to do it during, or hopefully before, a bear market. It is during a bear market that most people throw their investment "discipline" and financial plan out the window due to the market fear and "go to cash". That it is why it is so beneficial to have a financial advisor and financial plan to help assure that you stick to the discipline when your "gut" tells you to change...typically as the WORST Time. I have a few articles on CNBC that discuss both:
- Afraid of retiring into a bear market? Tips to hedge bets
It is also important to have a good conversation with and interview a fianncial advisor to make sure that they have good experience, have clients that have worked with them through a "bear market" (they have experence in bear markets) and that they don't fall into the fimilar traps and mistakes that many financial planners do wrong.
During a bear market, a financial advisor can review your investment portfolio. Adjusting your allocations ahead of time can help weather temporary dips in value. One element an advisor can look at is how diversified your portfolio is to help reduce risk while targeting sufficient returns in order to fight inflation and provide adequate returns.
In a bull market any fool can make money. In a bear market even the best investors will experience declines. The primary value that an advisor provides is to impose discipline on your investment process and keep you from doing something foolish (like selling) in a bad market cycle. The best buying opportunities come in bear markets and you should always stay fully invested (reserving some cash for emergencies and/or future investment, of course). THis is why an advisor is especially valuable in a bear market.
The general public seems to think that invesment advisors exist only to provide positive performance results. Even a really good advisor can't do that all the time. Hire an advisor you trust and let him/her guide you through the cycles of the market. And please remember not to get fearful and pull out when the market is low.
You ask if it is "necessary" to have an advisor. No, but it's highly recommended. You don't do your own taxes nor do you represent yourself in court. Why? Beacuse a CPA or attorney is a professional who will produce much better results than you can and thus is well worth their fee. The same goes for an investment advisor. Good luck.
Some would argue that during difficult economic times is when a good financial advisor earns their keep.
Within the industry, the saying “a rising tide lifts all ships” is routinely quoted during stretches of general economic expansion. In other words, the consequential differences between sound financial decisions and those that are less so might be less severe during times of prosperity, when the margin for error may be wider.
However, when economic stress enters into the equation, even seemingly innocuous financial and investment decisions can have outsized consequences.
If nothing else, when the tide turns, a good financial advisor can serve as a sounding board and a stabilizing factor when it seems that difficult decisions need to be made.
Although I’m certainly biased in this regard, I believe that having a relationship in place with a financial advisor that you know and trust prior to an economic downturn can increase the value of the relationship during more difficult situations. It takes a while to develop trust, and trying to do so under stress is less than ideal.
The right question may be whether it is right for you to hire an investment adviser at all.
Quality financial professionals have value in both bull markets and bear markets, and turning points in the market or personal situations are where they can make a substantial difference. Since one never really knows where the turning points will be, the right investment adviser can provide value throughout ones life. Additionally, if an individual wants to continually engage and disengage services depending on market conditions, they may find few takers on the advisory side of any quality, as effectively managing an on again, off again client relationship is challenging.
If the answer to the first question is yes, you would like to have an adviser, the second question would be, if an adviser has value in a bull market, why would they cease to have value in a bear market. Of course, value like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder....
Hope this helps,