Content provided by Rusty Vanneman, CLS Chief Investment Officer

Many “do-it-yourself” investors ask me for market tips.  My number one tip?  Get an advisor.

Bottom line, advisors help investors reach their financial goals.

First, they help investors have a plan.

Second, they help investors save more.  In a recent Wall Street Journal article, a study from Charles Schwab found that investors in 401(k) accounts doubled their savings rates after they received financial advice.

Third, financial advisors are able to help investors stay the course with an investment plan, especially during the market’s most troubling times.  And it pays-off – big-time.  A study from AON Hewitt / Financial Engines called “Help in Defined Contribution Plans: 2006 Through 2010” found that investors who sought advice had an annual return nearly 3 percent higher than those investors that did not seek advice. This help was most crucial during the financial panic of 2008-09.

Many investors fail to achieve investment returns anywhere close to market returns. This is often deemed the “behavior gap.”   It’s often caused by emotional investing due to market volatility.   If a market is up big, many investors feel the pull to get aggressive.   If the market is down, many investors feel the need to get overly conservative.  Buying high and selling low, however, is about as smart as waiting to buy anything AFTER it has already gone up in price and selling after it has already gone down.

Investing success is more about behavior than it is insight and skill.  Good investment advisors, who are counselors at the core, can help maintain the proper behavior.