OK, "Evil" maybe a strong word. The problem is that Wall Street thinks they mean something to us. Every year they print billions of pie charts telling us how much we have in stocks and bonds. Unless you have a fancy finance degree, knowing how much you have in stocks and bonds does not really tell you much about what to expect from your portfolio.
How many times have you seen something like this from your advisor? It's pretty, but does a pie chart really tell you anything? It's nice when my advisor tells me that 70% equities is the right portfolio for me, but it would help me sleep better if I had something that showed me why. A pie chart does not cut it. We deserve something better. We deserve real analysis that we can understand.
My investments are too important. Sending me a pie chart and a list of my holdings once a month is not enough. I think there is an opportunity and an obligation for my advisor to do more. I deserve to understand my portfolio so I know that it is the right portfolio for me. After all, I'm the one who matters here.
Absolutely! They don't want to be like this guy, at least the ones worth keeping don't. It's not good for you and it's not good for the advisor. A financial advisor should be your trusted ally. A good financial advisor can get you on the right track or help you avoid the wrong track. But they should not leave you in the dark. You should be part of a productive, two-way conversation that you understand, not just a "trust me, you'll like it." We think people have a right to understand these things.
Number of allocation pie charts printed so far this year
Number of allocation pie charts that investors found helpful