Financial advisers do their clients a grave disservice when they focus too closely on market returns instead of engaging in true wealth management, according to David Loeper, author of a new white paper called "Measuring Temperature with a Ruler: Is Your 'Wealth Manager' Really a 'Return Manager' in Disguise?" and his colleague Perry Chesney.

"All this return measurement really has nothing to do with a client's wealth. All that's doing is really misleading clients to think that it does," said Loeper, chief executive officer of Wealthcare Capital Management in Richmond, Va. He said that looking at a performance report of an investment as a guide of a client's wealth is "like going to the doctor when you're already dead."

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