I would say that whatever other advice you get, you should include a great big dose of "just do it yourself." It's always
hard to figure out just how to use
expert opinion. It's your money and ultimately it's your responsibility.
Advice is best when it gets you to see alternatives you might not have discovered for yourself, and notice aspects you might not have noticed. "Tell me what most people do" is at least somewhat helpful. "Just tell me what to do" is dangerous. You need to be able to make some kind of judgement about the advice you are getting.
Once you have spent a little time reading and exploring on your own, then you will know what follow-up questions to ask
if an advisor says something like "dividend stocks are less volatile." How certain is this? Compared to what? A lot less volatile or just a little less volatile? Is this something I will be able to see every year in my account, or a small effect that just shows up in long-term statistics? How much did dividend stocks drop in 2008-2009?
It's important to realize that much less is really known
about investing than medicine. Financial advice is in about the same stage as medicine in 1800. In the wonderful Patrick O'Brien novels, the fictional Dr. Maturin's skills are valid
; he really could repair a hernia, for example. But his beliefs about balancing the four humors were a pack of nonsense.
Keep in mind this description of the "traditional advisor," from this paper
Bobcat2 referred to in a posting:
the Traditional advisor usually holds a strong belief in the long-term advantage of stocks over bonds and in reversion to the mean in stock returns; this view is implicit in the typical application of the concept of risk tolerance. Since stocks are deemed less risky in the long run, boosting client stock exposure to improve the odds of meeting financial goals is seen as actually prudent, and stock market price declines mainly trigger advisor coaching to ‘stay the course’. Thus, in the Traditional paradigm, risk perception is skewed to the extent of the belief that stocks are not risky in the long run.
Is that right? Is that wrong? Arguments about it are perennial in this forum. You will need to form an opinion for yourself.
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.