The Blog

You Might be Asking the Wrong Questions about Performance

Posted by Brad Bridgewater on Sep 23, 2015 9:03:00 AM
Find me on:


When we begin a conversation with a prospective client, the one question that we know will be asked is: “Can I see your performance?” The answer is yes, of course, but that doesn’t really tell you anything about what your experience will be like as a client or give any indication of the probability of a successful outcome in retirement.

The question you should be asking is “How do I achieve my financial goals?”  That is the correct way to ask about performance and the truth is, investment performance plays only a partial role in that equation.

Our Tailored Approach

The way we build a plan for a new client is by asking questions like: What are your income needs? Are there any expenses coming up like college, weddings, vacations, moving, etc.? What does your tax situation look like? Do you have an estate plan? What would you like to leave behind and to whom?  From those questions, we build a plan and a portfolio with the least amount of risk possible to meet your long-term financial goals.

If your goal is to have the maximum return possible in any particular year, you are in for quite a ride in retirement, and very likely, an unsuccessful result. Plus, you’ll need to switch advisors fairly often, never establishing the kind of relationship you need to have with an advisor to completely understand your goals.

Finding the Right Advisor

If you want to find an advisor that had the best performance last year, you definitely can. If you want an advisor that charges less to manage your account, you can find that too. If you want to find an advisor that will create a plan specifically designed to meet your family’s unique financial goals, who will be there to take care of your family should something happen to you, well, that gets more difficult. We take great pride in the relationship aspect of our services and in the outcomes our clients have experienced over three decades in this business.

The Importance of Client References

Performance is relative. It is unique to each person’s goals. Don’t ask an advisor for their performance, ask them for a plan unique to your needs. The other question you may want to ask is, “Can I speak to some long time clients with similar goals to mine and hear their stories?” The answer from any advisor doing their job well should be, “How many would you like to talk to?”

For more information about RAA or to request a client reference, please contact us at 800-321-9123 or select the button below.

Request a Reference



Request your FREE Final Approach retirement planning guide.

Final approach binder - 2017.png

This guide is designed to help you understand the decisions you will need to make as you approach retirement and the factors that go into a comprehensive retirement plan. It includes:

  • A checklist for transitioning into retirement
  • Common investor pitfalls
  • An outline of your retirement benefits
  • A retirement timeline to help you know what to expect
  • Key topics to consider in your estate plan
  • The importance of survivor assistance

Request the Final Approach to find out how prepared you are for retirement.

Request Your Guide



Disclaimer: This blog is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as individual investment advice. Actual recommendations are provided by RAA following consultation and are custom-tailored to each investor’s unique needs and circumstances. The information contained herein is from sources believed to be accurate and reliable. However, RAA accepts no legal responsibility for any errors or omissions. Investments in stocks, bonds and mutual funds may increase or decrease in value. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Any of the charts and graphs included in this blog are not recommendations for the purchase and sale of any security. 

Topics: Financial Planning