Last week's Converesation, asking where in the investment process you get the most bang for your buck (or the most benefit to clients for the time spent), told me more about the advisors who responded than about portfolio management itself. One group of advisors in particular dominated the private messages I received. They said, sometimes rather tartly, said that I should have asked about benefiting "The Client" rather than the client's portfolios, and shouldn't the real focus be on "The Client" and what is good for "The Client?"
In my e-mailings back, I said, yes, I think everybody agrees that working with your clients is undeniably important, but that wasn't the question. If you spend any time at all tending client portfolios, then how is your time best (or most productively) spent?
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