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Should you be getting more from your financial advisor? 8 questions to ask

August 25, 2023 Article 4 min read
Your financial advisor should act with your goals and best interests in mind. From financial and estate planning to investment advice, are you confident you’re getting the support you deserve? Ask yourself these eight questions.
Wealthy business man on a boat.Are you getting as much as you deserve from your financial advisor relationship? Knowing you have a range of complex needs — investment advisory services, personal tax planning, legacy and estate planning, even business transition services — you’ve earned more than just an investment broker. The right financial advisor will help you take a proactive, holistic approach to growing and protecting your wealth. Consider these eight questions to assess your personal financial plan, advisor relationship, and whether it’s time to consider new opportunities.

1. How well do I evaluate or act on top trends and emerging investment opportunities?

The right advisor will know what’s most important to you, advise you on economic dynamics, and help you understand decisions for your unique plan and circumstances. While it’s always prudent to pay attention to the latest trends and opportunities, not every one will be the right match for your situation. A financial advisor should have the expertise and care to match your portfolio to effective options that may exist for you and be proactive in their advice.

2. Do I have enough cash reserves to weather market and economic fluctuations?

A financial advisor should help you structure your portfolio to ensure you have enough to ride out a storm. They’ll work with you to figure out how much you need based on your current lifestyle, spending, income, risk tolerance, returns, and your short-, mid-, and long-term goals. 

3. Do I have full transparency into the state of my total portfolio?

You should always feel that your advisor is giving you the whole picture. Your advisor should help you understand your specific investments, what’s performing well (or not), the fees associated with each, and whether they receive compensation based on those recommendations. Any new recommendations should always be thoroughly explained as well.

4. How well is my investment strategy performing given current market conditions?

Understanding your performance, especially when comparing it against the market, requires deep financial and economic expertise (and often resources not typically accessible to the average investor) — and don’t forget performance net of fees. Without objective guidance, you may not be able to accurately evaluate your portfolio performance and the associated fees, leading to missed opportunities and less-than-optimal returns.

5. How often am I tempted to abandon my long-term investing strategy?

It’s common for investors to make rash decisions based on emotions like fear, overconfidence, and intuition. A financial advisor can help you see beyond short-term fluctuations in the market and avoid bailing on a long-term strategy that hasn’t had the chance to pay off yet (or help take wins off the table in an appropriate way when it has.) They can also offer alternative solutions to help you make better decisions, avoid emotional investing, and understand the impact of each scenario.

6. How often am I reviewing my estate plan to make sure it’s in good order?

The right financial advisor considers your estate plan within the overall scope of your wealth management plan. They’ll work with you and your legal advisors to help you adjust for any regulatory changes, new opportunities, and events in your personal life that give reason to update your plans.

7. How objective are my financial advisor’s recommendations?

Many advisors receive incentives influencing the guidance they provide or the products they recommend. An objective, independent advisor brings advice and solutions to your unique situation without any kickbacks or conflicts of interest. 

8. Do my advisor’s ideas add value and bring me closer to my financial goals? 

A financial advisor isn’t just there to help you manage what you already have, they should be bringing new ideas that help protect and grow your wealth. If you don’t feel that you have someone looking for opportunities for you, it may be time to add a new financial advisor to your team.

Schedule a complimentary review 

If you’re ready to have more confidence, transparency, and understanding of your financial plan and investment strategy, let’s get in touch. Schedule a complimentary review today.

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