I've always felt that being a financial advisor is one of the most responsible and important careers-with the potential to positively impact the financial lives of the clients who trust in your advice. But over the course of 17 years, I've been shocked at how few advisors really know how to respond to this question: "Can you explain the underperformance of your investments?"

While the question is valid, it begs the response, "Underperformance compared to what?"

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