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If an adviser can't support himself from his own investing/trading, then then he is supporting himself from the fees assessed clients (directly or indirectly. That's an agency conflict.

I've interviewed dozens of advisers. Within two minutes, it was obvious they were reading from someone else's playbook, not speaking from their own, in-the-trenches experiences, with this exception. Those who had a passion for markets and who were pulling good money out of them were exactly the ones who were most able to offer a client good advice.

YMMV, of course. But that's the touchstone I'd suggest anyone use.

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