When thinking about clients’ retirement portfolios and client behavior, the best approach is to make portfolios decisions based on their life stages, from accumulation toward life goals, to the preservation of those goals, to distribution.

All too often, advisers are guided by the responses that clients provide on simple risk questionnaires, which are theoretically designed to assess the client’s risk/return preferences. But all too often, they only reflect the amount of downside volatility that investors can withstand without bailing on the portfolio altogether.

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