Where does an advisor add the greatest value? Through knowledge of investing and financial markets? Through the ability to help clients reach their retirement savings goals? By bringing order and a roadmap for the future to otherwise unplanned chaos? Professional financial advice is useful in these and countless other ways, but the greatest contribution, at least for some clients, is actually “behavioral”—advisors protecting clients from their own worst instincts and bring rationality to the planning process.

“Every time I turn on the business news, I'm reminded that it's often the loudest voices that get the press and the air time. In sometimes stark contrast, financial advisors, however, represent a voice of quiet reason,” says J.P. Morgan Funds’ Market Strategist Andrew Goldberg. As Goldberg observes, some clients can be easily distracted by the clutter of the news media. Hearing about the latest hot investment or market forecast from a television guru may be entertaining, but clients who actually pay too much attention to this media “advice” end up paying the price. J.P. Morgan’s own research, utilizing analysis by Dalbar, shows that whereas stocks have boomed since 1991, the average investor’s return has “barely kept up with inflation.”

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