The following video is part of our "Motley Fool Conversations" series, in which editor and analyst Isaac Pino and consumer goods editor/analyst Austin Smith discuss topics across the investing world.

In today's edition, Isaac and Austin discuss an industry that increasingly plays a pivotal role in the broader economy: consulting services. These companies touch all aspects of the economy, but they often fail to provide returns to investors for several reasons. Find out whether investors should completely avoid these firms, or whether there are a few bright spots in an otherwise volatile industry.

Austin Smith and Isaac Pino have no positions in the stocks mentioned above. The Motley Fool owns shares of International Business Machines. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend Accenture Ltd.. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.