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You may have lost money in your investment portfolio,
due to mismanagement and not even know it.

Adviser-related angst? A bit of proactivity might be in order.

Those growing warning bells that trigger in your head every time you receive an investment-related statement or speak with your adviser/broker might simply denote a bit of market-induced stress and angst, which is a common reaction for many investors from time to time.

Conversely, though, they might be signaling a legitimate concern regarding broker performance (or lack thereof), being a strong indicator that you might reasonably want to take some proactive and purposeful action regarding your invested assets.

Do what, though? The query stymies many investors, even individuals with substantial assets in play and impressive investing smarts. After all, you hired an investment professional for a reason, namely, because a fair amount of complexity attaches to a portfolio that is well tailored and makes personal sense.

Sometimes, though, an investor's gut feeling can flatly signal to him or her that the pro being relied upon is not doing things correctly. Regardless of whether the reason for that is negligence or bad-faith representation, an investor whose savings are being depleted needs to act, and without delay.

Here's what to do, as candidly advised in a recent media overview discussing a meaningful investor response to an underperforming portfolio: Ask questions.

To the degree you are able, you should feel empowered to directly challenge your adviser on subject matter ranging from asset allocation, portfolio rebalancing and so-called style drift to market volatility strategies, charged fees, fiduciary duties and anything else that concerns you.

And if, like many investors, you're just not fully comfortable doing so (for any number of reasons, including subject matter complexity), consider consulting in the first instance with a proven business law attorney who routinely represents clients in securities-related matters and with issues regarding financial advisers.

If your instincts strongly tell you that something's just not right regarding your broker and investments, you might want to trust them and act with due dispatch to safeguard your portfolio.

Your wealth was hard-earned, after all, and you have a reasonable expectation that your broker is managing your portfolio in a rational and competent manner.

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