Do you work with a financial advisor? Have you wondered whether it might be time to make a change?
It can often be difficult to know when it's time to fire your existing advisor and move on to a new one. Many people make that decision because of poor investment performance. While poor investment performance may be a reason to make a change, there are other reasons that should raise a red flag.
Rather than focus on performance, you may want to consider their commitment to service. Are they focused on your needs? Are they responsive? Do they seem to have the knowledge and qualifications necessary to provide you with top-notch service?
When you first started working with your advisor, did you hear from him or her on a regular basis? Did he or she reach out to you regularly, maybe even too often?
Most advisors know that a client relationship is most vulnerable and sensitive when it's new, so they overcommunicate during those times. However, as time passes and the relationship begins to stabilize, the communication may drop off. You may reach a point where you only hear from your advisor a couple of times a year.
Ask yourself when you last heard from your advisor? Was it because you called them or because they proactively reached out to you? When they do reach out, is it a helpful conversation or is it more of a sales call?
Communication is a critical part of any client-advisor relationship. If they're not holding up their end of the relationship, it may be time for a change.
Let's face it â¦ you're in a unique field. The traditional rules of retirement planning may not apply to you in the same way they apply to other people. While it's important for you to contribute to retirement plans, IRAs, and other savings vehicles, you also have to keep capital free to manage and invest in your practice.
Many advisors see free capital as an opportunity. Their primary goal is to get you to put that money under their management. You need an advisor who understands that while you need to save for retirement, you also have to run a business.
An advisor who specializes in working with dentists can give you the information you need to make the best decision possible for you and your practice. Their aim is to advise you on your entire financial health, not just on the money you have with them.
This is a big question that many investors don't fully investigate. The fiduciary standard requires an advisor to be legally bound to act and advise in your best interests. It may seem like all financial advisors should be required to be held to this standard but that is not the case.
In fact, many financial advisors aren't held to the fiduciary standard at all. Rather, they follow a "suitability" requirement, which means that any recommendation they make must be suitable for you. There's a big difference between what's suitable for you and what's in your best interest. Many investments could be suitable for you, but that doesn't mean they're in your best interest.
Ask your advisor if they are held to this fiduciary standard. Their answer may surprise you.
This may be the biggest issue. The whole point of working with an advisor is to meet your financial goals. If you're not doing that, then what value are you getting?
Now, it's important to ask why you're not on pace. Have you rejected or dismissed his or her advice? Or has he or she failed to offer any actionable advice? Have his or her recommendations just been flat-out wrong?
If their advice isn't getting you where you want to go, you may want to look elsewhere.
Once you've made the decision to switch, start interviewing advisors as soon as possible. Your new advisor can help with all of the necessary paperwork and can make the transition as seamless as possible.