Looking after your own investments can be a daunting task:
- Information overload is a problem and information prioritizing is critical.
- New opportunities and investment avenues open up.
- When managing your own assets, you may become emotional about particular holdings. This could cloud your judgment and result in a breakdown of discipline.
- Needs change over time.
- Mutual funds can be expensive, complex and cannot respond to individual needs.
- Consistent, disciplined application of a well-defined investment philosophy and process bears fruit when applied over the longer term
An investment counsel is a professional whose only business is to manage portfolios and advise individual clients. The statement of ethical conduct, which every member of the Portfolio Management Association Counsel must abide, states:
An investment counsel is independent, and has no business affiliation or gainful association that could prejudice decisions.
Compensation for investment counsel services consists exclusively of direct charges to clients for services rendered. Compensation is never contingent upon the number or value of transactions.
An investment counsel does not act as a custodian, and does not hold clients’ cash or other assets.
Investment counsel firms and their principal employees do not, directly or indirectly, engage in activities which might influence their ability to render unbiased investment advice.
Investment research is independent and opinions are arrived at without any prejudice to ownership or involvement in securities being traded or recommended.
Source — Portfolio Management Association of Canada, Basic Principles