When advice is one-sided

Question: Karen, my otherwise good financial adviser, often e-mails me articles on Obama’s handling of the economy. These pieces are politically one-sided, and it’s not my side. Should I complain?

Answer: Very irritating, these folks with an ax to grind who relentlessly forward “interesting” e-mails to everyone they know.

Of course you can ask Karen to stop with the clipping service. But there’s another issue here. We presume that her financial advice is informed by her assessment of the government’s economic policies. That doesn’t necessarily mean she’s steering you to investments that are wrong for you. But you might ask Karen how her philosophy shapes her recommendations. After you hear what she has to say, you need to make a decision. You can skip the e-mail, but you can’t duck the question: Do you want your investments managed by someone whose take on the economy is the opposite of yours?
Questions? Email Money Magazine’s ethicists – authors of “Isn’t It Their Turn to Pick Up the Check?” (Free Press) – at

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