Sometimes the worst advice is the advice that you don’t get.

If you were asked whether you are receiving good advice regarding your finances, how would you respond? Most people that I’ve asked typically respond with a resounding yes. After all, people don’t like to admit that they may have made a judgement error or that they don’t really know if the advice and guidance that they’ve received over the years is good or bad.

Sometimes the worst advice is the advice that you don’t get.

Based on all the people whom I have seen in my 35 year professional career, good advice doesn’t often come from hanging around the water cooler at work, your brother-in-law muttering a few words between bites of turkey or the neighbor who is quitting his job to become a day trader. Good advice is advice that suits your personal situation, not that of a broad class of people like you.

For example, if you cannot tolerate investment losses, good advice for you would be both helping to select the lowest possible risk opportunities to preserve wealth and then assessing the consequences of arranging your savings in such a way that may increase your income tax bill or not keep pace with inflation. If you can afford to live the lifestyle that you want without earning more than the rate of inflation, then zero risk investing may be the right answer for you.

On the other hand, if you have more money than you need, can sustain significant investment losses and can’t resist the opportunity to potentially grow that money, then investing aggressively with lots of ups and downs may be good advice for you.

Commonly we see people that think they have an estate plan. But this is an example where you may have several advisors asleep at the switch and de facto delivering bad advice because they are not talking about the consequences of your plan and ways to improve it.

A simple example is that same investment account. If that account is owned jointly with you and a spouse or a child, we may have as many as three professionals who may not be giving you the advice that you need to properly plan your estate.

This would include your investment advisor, the lawyer who prepared the estate plan and your accountant, who sees 1099s from that account. They all should be asking you if you care about saving death taxes and simplifying the eventual settlement of your estate. If the answer is yes, they’d be able to shed some good advice on you and likely recommend courses of action.

John P. Napolitano CFP, CPA is CEO of U. S. Wealth Management in Braintree, Mass.  Visit JohnPNapolitano on LinkedIn or The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. John Napolitano is a registered principal with and securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through US Financial Advisors, a Registered Investment Advisor. US Financial Advisors and US Wealth Management are separate entities from LPL Financial. He can be reached at 781-849-9200.