A Written Plan Can Help Your Portfolio
Foundations and other big investors have investment-policy statements. Some pros say you should, too.
May 30, 2012
By Thomas Coyle
Write it down.
That's the message increasing numbers of investors and advisers are hearing. And when they actually follow through, they reap the rewards.
For all kinds of investors, creating a written investment-policy statement—and sticking to it—can be a good way to produce steadier returns in volatile times. It instills discipline. It can clarify strategies. For investors with advisers, it can define what both parties expect from the relationship right from the start.
Sandra Adams is a lead financial planner with the Center for Financial Planning in Southfield, Mich., a firm with more than $700 million under management. In the four or five years since that firm's advisers started using investment-policy statements, she and her colleagues have noticed that it can help the children of clients who have become incapacitated understand that their parents' assets are being managed with their best long-term interests in mind.
Many times, the children have had no previous contact with the firm, Ms. Adams says, so seeing the statement "can bring families up to speed on how we're working for their parents in a way that creates a lot of trust."