How can investors secure these rights?
The way to get what you deserve is through communication. And investors should have reports, statements, and regular contact that’s clear and complete, and that tells them what’s going on.
It starts with the statement—that humble mailing that can run for pages and pages of incomprehensible jargon. Because everyone want’s something slightly different, it tends to be a “kitchen sink” document that goes to everyone and satisfies no one. Instead, it’s complicated and confusing. But communication doesn’t work if it is just a one-way proposition.
Investors need to ask for statements and reports that make sense—and that state clearly what’s happened with their money, what decisions have been made, what fees have been paid, and how it’s invested. A “black box” may be appropriate in physics or engineering, but it has no place in money management. If investors don’t understand what’s being said, they have a right to ask questions and be given answers.
Any time people work with your money, you should be told what they’re doing. If an advisor won’t be clear, find someone who will be.
Douglas R. Tengdin, CFA
Chief Investment Officer