What should you look for in an effective financial advisor? In a recent Grand Rapids Business Journal,” Steve Starnes, MBA, CFP® describes why business and investment management expertise aren’t as interchangeable as most people think. A successful business leader needs to sustain a competitive edge by identifying and reacting to evolving trends. A financial advisor needs to help investors patiently participate in the market’s long-term growth, while managing the risks involved. Each requires its own skill set.

Here are three areas where business savvy and investment best practices don’t necessarily mesh:

  1. Information Disparity: Successful business leaders can profit on proprietary information. In public markets, it’s illegal to trade on insider information; the only information being traded on is common knowledge.
  2. Timeframe: An effective business leader can try out different strategies, and adjust rapidly if one outperforms another. In contrast, an investment’s short-term performance tells you little about which strategies are built to last.
  3. Luck vs. Skill: Successful business leaders employ luck and skill to outperform their peers. In investing, you can cause more harm than good by presuming you have enough stock-picking or market-timing luck or skill to outperform highly efficient markets.

We encourage you to check out Steve’s complete GRBJ article to learn more about how business success compares to fiduciary financial advice. The skills required for each are not identical!