You have to read this article (“Why I Fired My Broker”) in the May Atlantic. If I were still a subscriber, I would feel worse about it than I do.
In fact, he didn’t fire his broker; he fired his financial adviser. He didn’t want to do business directly with a broker, because brokers get commissions and are in it for their own self-interest. He didn’t want to buy into a mutual fund, because he didn’t know anything about the people who ran them. He felt he needed—and deserved—personal attention, from a highly-qualified person who talked directly to him and had time to devote to his account and his account alone. He didn’t want an adviser who made all his decisions based on a computer program. He wanted a good adviser, one who could get the best returns possible, who could explain to him, briefly and in language he understood, exactly how.
The article is about how selfish and self-protective financial advisers have become, in the form of a complaint that the writer’s own broker no longer returns his calls. The reader follows him as he visits big-name finance thinker after child of international financial guru and philanthropist, trying to get them to acknowledge the point of view of an investor who, because he only has $200,000 to invest, is forced into the financial equivalent of taking the crosstown bus instead of a cab. (Remember Roger and Me?)
Unfortunately, it’s difficult to take seriously a journalist who begins by saying he thinks the stock market should have only an insignificant risk of loss within only a one-year time window.