In today’s climate of one-page financial plans, bargain-basement fund pricing and automated investment tools, you may wonder whether you still need a living, breathing financial adviser.

You do.

But with a twist. First, we need to redefine traditional financial advice – the kind that’s focused on issuing buy/sell recommendations, executing transactions and collecting commissions. If that’s what you’re thinking of, you are correct. You don’t need that. You probably never did.

So, what is “good advice”?

Good advice is timeless.

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At its essence, good financial advice never goes out of style. Its principles are permanent: It should be brave and true, and meant for you.

Good advice is timely.

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Good financial advice must remain relevant in an ever-changing world, helping you assess new investment opportunities and differentiate between flashes of brilliance vs. flashes in the pan.

Good advice looks at the parts … and the whole.

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Good financial advice should bring a unifying whole to your many moving parts: taxes, insurance, estate planning, philanthropic pursuits, executive compensation, real estate holdings, business activities and more.

Good advice is personalized.

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Good advice should lead to good decisions – not just in general, but for you: your money, your interests, your life.

Good advice is persistent.

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Good advice is at its best when you’ve been sideswiped by the unexpected. It helps you regain your footing when market and life events have knocked you off-course.

Good advice is wise.

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Good financial advice is grounded in enduring academic evidence, structured process and informed experience. Because staying the course in turbulent markets calls for rational reason over emotional reaction.

Good advice is compassionate.

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For all that, financial advice is nothing if it fails to contribute to that which brings joy to your life and reassurance in times of trouble. For this, a good adviser must not only advise you; he or she must listen to you. This brings us to our most important point.

Good advice is in your highest interest, period.

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Above all, good advice should always and only be in your highest financial interest, even when it means your adviser must take a hit to deliver it.”

If good advice that’s in your best interests sounds a little different from the status-quo stock tips or market-timing tactics you may be used to receiving, that’s because it is. That’s why we believe good advice remains as relevant as ever in modern markets.