The person who manages your money indirectly manages your life because money plays a part in everything we do. It’s important to trust that person and be confident in their advice. Think about the last time you talked with your financial advisor, did you take their advice and did you trust what they said? If the answer is no, then maybe it’s time to find a new financial advisor.
As a Certified Financial Planner I can tell you that there are some qualities in a personal financial advisor that clients should look out for such as being reachable, being honest and always listening to your needs – that’s on top of being professionally qualified, of course. You don’t want to hand your hard earned money over to any Tom, Dick or Harry.
Here are 5 signs it’s time to look for a new financial advisor:
Unreturned phone calls and emails
If you leave a phone message or email for your financial advisor they should get back to you within a day or two. Unless they are on vacation – which they should notify you – you should have a response from your email or phone call within a maximum of 48 hours.
Even if your financial advisor doesn’t have the answer, they should keep in touch and let you know that they’re working on finding an answer or a solution.
No proactive communication
This is a big no no when it comes to managing your money. You should have a financial professional who keeps in constant communication with their clients. If you haven’t heard from your financial advisor within the last six months then it’s time for a new financial advisor.
As a client you pay for a service and I truly believe that an advisor should be in contact with their clients proactively, they shouldn’t just be there when you call – they should call you. This is especially important during a financial crisis, market downturn or other economy emergency. It may not be a phone call, but a good financial advisor keeps in contact with their clients through email and newsletters.
Lack of an online presence
Go to Google and look up your financial advisor by name and city. What do you see? If the answer is nothing, then it’s time to find a new financial advisor. In this day and age of digital marketing if a financial advisor wants to be known, trusted and grow their business then they need to be online. Referrals are great, but business development is so much more than a cup of coffee and a handshake.
Financial advisors need to be online because they need to let clients get to know them, learn about their investment philosophy and find new products and services. If your financial advisor isn’t online, what does that tell you? It tells me that maybe they’re stuck in the past and aren’t able to move forward. That’s a red flag.
Investments keep losing money
Investment portfolio values fluctuate with market changes, that’s just how it goes. But your investments shouldn’t be loosing money consistently over the long term. If that’s the case maybe you aren’t invested in the right options and need to review your portfolio strategy. Don’t let your advisor tell you what’s going to make money and how to invest because you – the client – need to be comfortable.
US News says investment losses and advisor guarantees are a sign to find a new financial advisor.
“Nothing is a sure thing in investments, and anyone who tells you otherwise shouldn’t be your advisor. Even real estate which almost always appreciates can tumble in value, as was seen in the last recession. Anytime someone uses the words ‘I guarantee,’ that’s a huge, huge flag.”
Does your financial advisor have your best interest at heart? Are they listening to your needs and making an investment plan based on your goals? If the answer is no, then it’s time to move on to a new financial advisor.
US News also says that being in a one-way relationship with your financial advisor means it’s time to say bye-bye. “People should be wary of any financial advisor who strikes an authoritative tone. A good advisor should work with their clients rather than dictating how money is to be invested. If your questions are in any way being dismissed, that’s a sign”.