Do investors still need financial advisers?
Despite the amount of information available online, from the media and investment groups and the ability to place individual trades, the answer is still yes.
There is still a big need for a third-party investment specialist, but the relationship has changed.
Although almost all investing can be done on one's own these days, that doesn't mean that investors should do this themselves. In fact, the go-it-alone path can lead to financial distress.
In the old days, people typically finished school and went to work and were employed by one to three companies over their lifetimes. Meanwhile, professional money managers worked at companies to create, build and maintain a pension program to take care of employees during retirement.
Then that all changed. Companies wanted to save money and shift the burden of risk to the individual through 401(k) plans, leaving most people with less income in retirement, higher fees, greater risk and less financial guidance.
A human resources representative is no substitute for the guidance of a professional adviser.
However, advisers must behave and work differently with investors than they did in the past. It is now more of a team effort to get to accomplish financial goals.
And with all the information available, advisory clients will want to provide input on their finances.
"Modern investors are looking for more than just return on their investments," said Brad Pries, founder and chief executive of Minneapolis-based Sawtooth Solutions, which offers a web-based platform for advisers.