I have an IRA that has the following characteristics:
1) Unrealized gain of 7% YTD
2) Realized loss of $12,000 YTD
3) Previous year realized gain of $3,000
It's a small amount of money that's being managed on my behalf by an advisor. These numbers seem strange to me and I'm trying to figure out whether the advisor is doing a good job. The $12k loss seems weird, it was from a sale of a bunch of different assets.
For an IRA, how should I be thinking of evaluating the advisor's performance?
For one thing, I'm not sure what the point (aside from complexity for the sake of obfuscation) is of distinguishing between "realized" and "unrealized" gains and losses in an IRA. Maybe I'm missing something, though.
Kind of tough to evaluate the performance without knowing what happened before as a baseline -- e.g., the assets underlying the "realized" loss. But as a starting point, I think that if you don't understand what the advisor is doing and don't have an obvious benchmark for evaluating his or her performance, that's a problem right there. Maybe you've done all this, in which case apologies, but first off I'd have a very basic conversation with the advisor about what your goals are for this IRA and what might be a reasonable way to evaluate progress toward those goals. And, of course, how the advisor is being compensated and how you can meaningfully evaluate what you're getting in return.