Advisors and clients are supposed to think long term, but they often react in the short term. Instead of a strategic approach to money management, either the client or the advisor or both is acting based on short-term events, often ending up with an incongruous mix of products.
Those are some of the complaints of a group of financial professionals who say they are advocating a new, “holistic” approach to money management called Goals Based Wealth Management (GBWM).
Better money management industry standards, which would include a wider acceptance of the fiduciary standards, combined with GBWM are the keys to the money management industry improving, the financial professionals said during a press conference Tuesday at the Money Management Institute in Manhattan.
Advisors often are caught in a contradictory situation, they said. Advisors are supposed to think for the long term, but if a quarterly return is bad, they’re sometimes fired. So, they said, advisors and other financial professionals are not delivering the best value.
And that can cost clients hundreds of thousands of dollars in underperformance over a decade, according to new research by State Street and the Money Management Institute, among others, that cites various examples of missed beta.
Clients are often buying “the last great thing” and “end up with a lot of stuff,” said Jack Sharry, principal and executive vice president of LifeYield LLC and one of the authors of the Money Management Institute report, “The Performance Paradox.”
One of the report’s key findings is advisors are continuing to justify their worth based on short-term returns even though an increasing amount of clients are focused on reaching long-term financial goals.
Why are clients not getting the best value?
Products are often acquired over the years by advisors and clients with no big-picture plan. That often results in tax inefficiency, superfluous trading costs and other problems that sap performance. Sharry called GBWM a “way to manage these accounts in a coordinated manner.”
GBWM, which the report says is increasingly being adopted by money management firms, will promote a holistic approach to wealth management. This “involves a full, dynamic understanding of clients’ income statements and balance sheets as well as projected cash flows. This includes estimating human capital, accounting for real estate holdings and projecting future expenses,” the report says.