Tips for Working with a Money Manager

Focus: MONEY MANAGEMENT

It's even more important now than ever to know how to find a good manager and what to ask potential money managers about how their skills match your goals, says Tracy Ann Miller of Portfolio LLC.

Gregg Early: I am here with Tracy Ann Miller, Chief Portfolio Officer for Portfolio LLC. Tracy, I had a question about working with clients. Do you ever see any big challenges when people come to you for money management advice? What’s the most difficult thing you see out there with individual investors working with money managers?

Tracy Ann Miller: I believe that people have misconceptions and have bought into myths about what advisors and money managers do, and it makes it more difficult to help them reach a successful outcome with what they’re trying to achieve.

Many times, they believe that it’s all about the return—this money manager has X returns, this money manager has Y returns. Or they start thinking it’s all about the fee—this manager charges this percent and that manager charges that percent.

They fail to realize that a good manager, a good advisor, is really all about knowing who they are and what they need and guiding them between all the choices out there to help them preserve what they have and then present the right strategy for getting there. If it costs a little more to do a certain strategy and that’s the right thing for them, that’s what is going to help them be successful and get where they really need to go. If it costs less, you know...

Gregg Early: It’s more of that penny wise, pound foolish kind of thing with some individual investors, where they’re so concentrated on the price of what it’s going to cost to help them, that they’d prefer to lose the money in the market than invest in the strategy that might make them more.

Tracy Ann Miller: Right.