NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- With 2013 now in the rearview mirror, this is the time of the year when some investors will gather at their coffee tables with their legal pads and scattered brokerage statements ready to assess their investing/trading performances for the year. Chances are they already had an idea. But why not make it official?
There will, however, be another group of investors who will be on the phone with their broker, financial planner or money manager -- someone they've entrusted with their hard-earned money to do for them what they believed they were incapable of doing for themselves. Fairly or unfairly, issuing a performance grade for that person -- as you can imagine -- is a little bit different from the grade you would give to yourself. After all, you're not the paid expert.
With the Dow, Nasdaq and S&P 500 all breaking performance records throughout the course of the year, I believe if a money manager was not able to make money in this market, she/he does not deserve the license they've been granted. Nevertheless, with the market making winners and losers out of everyone at some point or another, there is certain to be plenty of realized losses for 2013.
However, that doesn't mean the investor should accept the excuses that the money manager will typically give to justify his/her underperformance, much less for losing an investor's money in one of the strongest bull markets Wall Street has ever seen.
I will grant that performance outcomes are not always cut and dry and some results will be based on what the investor first dictated her/his investment objectives to be. But more often than not, the money manager will exploit every opportunity to paint that performance in a different light.