Biggest Investor Mistakes: iPonzi, Anyone?

By Ben Steverman - 2011-09-13T22:48:05Z

Fisher/Thatcher

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Outsourcing Decisions

A small business owner had a question for Jane King, president of Fairfield Financial Advisors in Wellesley, Mass.: Which of his two sons should get his business when he retired? "He was trying to delegate responsibility to someone else, so he could be the good guy to his kids," she says. The question, which King refused to answer, is an extreme example of a common mistake: Investors think they can outsource major decisions to someone else. Whether lawyers, accountants, or financial planners, an adviser "can only ever be a guide," she says. They should lay out options and make recommendations, not tell you exactly what to do.

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