Applaud yourself for taking the initiative to find a financial planner. But don’t be content; evaluate what you’re getting for your money. What has he or she done for you lately? Is it time to fire your planner?
Here are a few clues that it’s time to part ways.
- When did you last have a date? “A great relationship with someone counseling you on your financial life should be marked with at the very least annual contact. It’s not a good sign if you can’t remember what your advisor looks or sounds like,” says Edward Collins, founding partner of Artisan Wealth Management LLC in Lebanon, New Jersey.
- You never see eye-to-eye. You don’t agree with your spouse on everything, and that won’t be the case with your advisor either. “But there should be a significant level of trust that has developed. Competence on the part of your advisor helps you develop that level of trust. If your advisor is not demonstrating enough competence regarding your particular circumstances, consider moving on,” says Collins.
- How much do you know? If you have no idea how your investments are doing, what you’re invested in and why, beware, says Huntington-based Cary Carbonaro, managing director of United Capital of New York & New Jersey. Worry further, if you don’t know what you’re paying in fees and why.
- They are out for themselves. Warns Michael Prus, president, Scale Investment Group in Detroit, “If the advisor is only using planning as a means to sell you an annuity or insurance products, this is a red flag that means they are about the commission, not your financial best interest.”