4 Common Questions Financial Advisors Field in Shaky Times

Available for Interviews: Don Garman

Don Garman is the Founder and Chief Investment Officer of Mirador Capital Partners and Co-Founder of Tri-Valley Ventures. A seasoned investor in both public and private companies for over 30 years, Don leads Mirador’s Investment Committee and oversees each of the firm’s proprietary investment strategies.

What Don Garman can say in an interview:

When markets get rocky, investors invariably begin to doubt the stability of their portfolios. Investment advisors who have lived through multiple economic expansions and contractions can tell you first hand that these are the most common calls they receive from clients when stocks are perceived to be risky.

1. Should I go to all cash?

Regardless of their healthy role in balancing the market, recessions and even small downturns inspire fear in investors of all ages. At every indication of an economic slump there is a group of people who, like clockwork, remark that they are about to sell their securities, creating an all cash position. It’s well understood by experts that these individuals believe they can “time the market.” The truth is that there is mountains of evidence showing that investors who stay invested through both bull and bear markets benefit more financially than those who try to exit and enter opportunistically.

2. Why aren’t you buying / selling
this specific stock?

Investors will often become enamored with a company and wonder why their advisor has not purchased it for their portfolio. The advice here is to remember that while the client may have read about the company in the newspaper that morning or even have a friend or family member who works for the company, the investment advisor and his or her team has likely spent hours evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of the company. If you hired an advisor you’re likely interested in their expertise.

3. Why isn’t my portfolio up/down
the same as the XYZ Index?

Naturally, humans are a competitive bunch. It should come as no surprise then that people become irritated when they are being beat by an average. Investments are not always going to soar above benchmarks, and clients should understand this. It is the investment advisor’s responsibility to manage expectations. Similarly, advisors investment selections should not be brought to trial against the various indexes that are quoted on the nightly news. It is important to remember that financial advisors often bring more to the table than investment selection most offer financial planning, philanthropic guidance and help with family affairs.

4. When will this end?

While this is often simply an attempt at commiseration, it’s important to understand that there are booms and busts and there will be fruitful days ahead. After all, it is the stock market.  If you’re uncomfortable with the risk that your advisor is taking, it may be time to find a new advisor who is interested in protecting your capital as much as growing it.


Interview: Don Garman

Don Garman has earned the prestigious designations of Certified Financial Planner® and Certified Investment Management Analyst®. Prior to founding Mirador, Don served his clients at two of the nation’s largest advisory firms. He is very active in the Tri-Valley area and supports many community organizations, including The First Tee of the Tri-Valley, The George Archer Foundation, and the Livermore Valley Wine Growers Foundation. He also serves as President of the Tri-Valley Cal (UC-Berkeley) Alumni Club. Don lives in Pleasanton with his wife Mindy and has two children, Emma (Georgetown University) and Scott (high school sophomore). He is an avid drummer, golfer, and snowboarder.

Jo Allison
Managing Editor
Director of Public Relations
Success In Media, Inc.

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