Is It Time For Change?
In the industry we regularly joke about how the number one reason a client moves to a new financial advisor is that their old financial advisor died. Unfortunately, although amusing, it’s humour based in reality.
Let us go on record saying that having a pulse isn’t a great reason to trust someone with your financial future.
There are a lot of great reasons to make a switch, and we wanted to share some with you, in case you’ve been sitting on the fence and aren’t sure if your mechanic’s second cousin is giving you the kind of high-quality advice you need to achieve your goals.
Some red flags:
- The person you’re dealing with doesn’t have the credentials needed to provide you with a comprehensive financial plan. There are many titles and acronyms in our industry (you can find out more about those by watching this VIDEO) and they’re not always meaningful.
- They aren’t able to access solutions from outside their company. They work for ABC Finance, and they can sell you ABC Insurance and ABC Mutual Funds, and that’s pretty much it, which means they aren’t going to be able to access the right solutions for you at every step of the way. That adage, “If the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem starts to look like a nail,” is true.
- You’re confused. Yes, the industry is confusing. And yes, even we get caught talking about yield curves and retractable preferred shares. But it is possible to communicate complex ideas and solutions in ways that make it clear to everyone in the room. I know nothing about cars, but my mechanic explain why a cracked manifold is bad, and when I meet with a surgeon, I leave the room with a clear picture of what needs to happen and why. If those professionals can do it, we can, too.
- You still don’t know how much they get paid. Or how they get paid. Do they get paid? (Hint: Yes, they do. They also know how and how much.)
- They don’t ask you any questions. Financial advice should be tweaked based on changes in your life and circumstances. If you’re not getting asked a tonne of questions during regular reviews (at least annually), chances are the advice you’re getting isn’t as relevant as it should be.
- They make you feel like you can’t spend your money. Remember that they work for you, so they should be looking for solutions that work for you.
- They never say no. A good advisor can (and sometimes must) advise against something or explain the potential downside or negative ramifications. Expect that. Demand it, even. If your brother thinks you should put all your money into Bitcoin, any solid advisor will tell you that’s a very bad idea.
- You don’t feel heard. While your advisor definitely shouldn’t agree with you all the time, they do need to listen and understand your perspective and any concerns you have. It bears stating that an advisor absolutely must be up to date on changes to your risk profile or goals. Also, you should absolutely judge them based on how well you understand their answers to your questions.
- You’ve been ghosted. A regular review is an essential part of any financial plan. If you’re not getting one, you’re not getting the service you need or deserve.
We know talking about money can be challenging and feel weird. If you’re not sure if you’re getting the best advice possible, don’t let fear of an awkward conversation impact your retirement. If you want a second opinion, reach out to someone on our team. There won’t be any hard sell, we promise. We’re happy to provide a free review to anyone who isn’t sure they’re getting what they need from their current advisor.
Once we’ve done that, we may discover our opinion is the same as theirs, and you can rest easier.
Or maybe our opinion is markedly different. And then, if you like that different opinion, we should make time for another chat.