You are told that all financial situations are different, and that you therefore need highly personalized investments (and advice).

One-size-fits-all, ready-to-invest and bespoke

Since all bodies are different, the clothes of one person do not quite suit another. But everyone is not completely different either. Using a few classes (e.g. small, medium, large), one can cluster figures that are alike enough for clothes to fit everyone in the class. This is how ready-to-wear works: it offers clothes suitable for these broad classes. In most cases it is not necessary that your clothes be custom-made especially for you.

Financial investments are similar. Most investors are part of one of a few large classes: those preparing for retirement, retirees seeking additional income, those who save for a big purchase, etc. Within one of these classes, problems and solutions will be similar. One can have suitable investments that are neither bespoke nor one-size-fits-all, let us call them ready-to-invest.

It is as silly to claim that, everyone being different, you necessarily need custom-made investments as it is to claim that, everyone being different, you necessarily need custom-made clothes. Is bespoke better? Yes, but it is also much more expensive. (Although by buying brand names, you can still manage to buy ready-to-wear at the price of bespoke — be it clothes or investments).

Finding ready-to-invest that fits you

And it is not because a banker (i.e. a salesman working for a bank) or a financial advisor (i.e. a salesman working for himself) talks to you face to face that your investments will be highly customized. You will be put (explicitly or not) in a broad group and you will receive the same advice as other investors in this class. And the class may depend more on the products that pay a good commission than on your needs. Why else would there be so much money invested in exorbitantly expensive active funds?

Wealth managers or private banks can certainly advise you if your situation is very special. But unless you are a millionaire, you will not have access to such bespoke advice, only at best to an advisor who will put you in the right ready-to-invest class, or at worst to a salesman who will sell you the products earning him the highest commission.

Since you probably do not need bespoke (is your position that special?) and since you could not afford it anyway, what is important for you is to find ready-to-invest that fits you. I am confident that investing is not that complicated and quite a few people could do it themselves. As to the others, those who are not really quite sure of themselves, they must get simple, efficient and honest advice:

(Whether this advice comes from a human being or a mathematical algorithm may not be what matters most.)

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