Q&A: Change direction at 82?

Question: I am 82 years of age, and retired for the last
15 years, and my wife is 66 years and working. I have been adding to my wife’s
RRSP and my own RRIF by buying mutual funds for the past many years as advised
by my financial adviser.

I have recently been contacted by a different financial adviser, advising me
to cash in my mutual funds and purchase bank stocks and bonds, which would give
me better returns than my mutual funds. I am hesitant to do so at my age.

Could you give me any advice re my problem? – Harold G.

Gordon Pape answers: You say you have been dealing with your
present financial advisor for “many years”. So why are you even
considering a change? Are you unhappy with his/her guidance and service? Or
are you simply being tempted by the promise of higher returns? If the latter,
beware of the “grass is always greener” syndrome.

Unless you have a strong reason to change advisors at this point, I would counsel
against it. If you feel the performance of your investments could be better,
arrange a meeting with your current advisor and discuss the matter. I expect
you’ll be told that changes can be made to increase the potential returns
– but at the price of assuming more risk.

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