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How to Break Up With Your Financial Advisor - Part 2 Thumbnail

How to Break Up With Your Financial Advisor - Part 2

Have you come back after reading part 1? Well then, we’re happy to help you go through even more reasons why it may be time to break up with your financial advisor, along with the method to actually do it should you decide to. 

Reason 4: Lack of, or Poor Communication

With the variety of communication methods at our fingertips thanks to technology today, there’s no reason your financial advisor can’t communicate with you regularly about how your portfolio is doing, what changes he/she would like to make that are in accordance with your plans and their advice, big industry news that you’d be interested in or even just to wish you a happy birthday. Between calling, emails and even old fashioned snail mail, the last thing you should feel is ignored by your planner. 

Every person is different in what they would qualify as “enough communication” so this reason should be taken with a grain of salt. Less but quality communication, for you, may be just fine. But, if the quality is lacking or it really isn’t as much as you’d like, then consider this a red flag for your unique situation. Additionally, if you want to contact your advisor but something is holding you up, then that’s a red flag, too. You shouldn’t be afraid to call someone whose job it is to help you feel knowledgeable about your own financial wellbeing.

Ideally, you should be getting more feedback than just an annual review. Additionally, any questions or concerns should be taken seriously and responded to in a prompt manner. If you feel like your conversations (when you do have them) are being rushed through or you’re being passed off to an assistant (and it bothers you), then that’s a problem that needs attention. 

Reason 5: It’s a Bad Fit

Just like in any relationship, your most trusted advisors (financial or otherwise) should be a good personality fit. It helps you work through problems more effectively, makes communication easier and, in a perfect situation, actually be a pleasant relationship! You want to work with a financial planner that has an investment ideology you can get behind, not one you feel at odds with.

A really good client-advisor relationship is one where you feel you can trust them with the most important news in your life. The dynamic doesn’t have to be warm and fuzzy, but what it should be is professional and positive. Picking an advisor is an emotional choice too, not just a mental one. If for some reason you and your current advisor butt heads more than you don’t, then perhaps it’s a sign you’re just not a good fit together. Worse yet, if you ever feel pressured into making a financial decision, then it’s time to move on.

Like with reason 4, this one comes with a grain of salt as well. If your advisor performs well in all the very important areas, they don’t overcharge you, there’s no conflict of interest, etc. etc, then perhaps it’s not a good enough reason all on it’s own. However, if it is one in a list of reasons, then it’s certainly valid. 

How To Do It

If you’ve decided it’s time to move onto another financial planner, we recommend reading our post 10 Interview Questions You Should Ask A Financial Advisor first. A quick review of what you want to ask would be: 

  • “What are your credentials/certifications/licenses?”
  • “Are you a fiduciary?”
  • "How do you differ from other financial planners?”
  • “What is your fee structure?”“What’s your investment ideology?”

After you’ve chosen a few to interview and made your selection, it’s time to let your soon-to-be previous advisor know. Depending on the type of relationship you have with them, a conversation may be the best method, either in person, virtually or by phone. If that’s not necessary, you can be less personal by sending an email. Your last option is to let your new financial advisor do it. This is probably the least recommended option, especially if your relationship with them had always been cordial and professional. 

Regardless of the method you choose, be firm and polite and you have the choice to decide how much or little detail you give as to reasons why. 

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