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6 Ways To Know It’s Time To Leave Your Advisor

Jan 07, 2022 FAQs

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Breaking up is never easy, even if the person you’re trying to “break up” with is your financial advisor (FA). Perhaps your current FA is an old college friend who means well but doesn’t specialize in the services you need. Or maybe you inherited your parents’ advisor along with their portfolio, even though they don’t match your style…communication style, fashion style, or maybe they have no style at all!

The relationship can feel so intertwined with finances that it can be overwhelming. Is a change worth the time? Worth the headache? The right match is always worth it when it comes to your financial success. A break up may be in order (and worth it) if any of the following is true.

1. Your financial advisor is too pushy.

We don’t suggest following your gut when it comes to investing but this could be the one exception. Human relationships can’t follow a set of rules or a model, so your gut may be the best “buy/sell” indicator when it comes to evaluating your relationship. Does your financial advisor pressure you to make decisions quickly or take steps you don’t feel comfortable with? If you’re feeling intimidated by your financial advisor, your relationship with them is likely not a healthy one.

This point applies to advisors who act like they’re superior to their clients due to their financial knowledge, as well. Even if they have a strong reputation, following advice from someone who doesn’t respect you is never a good idea. Chances are, these FAs aren’t taking your financial needs seriously—so it’s best to find someone who does. An advisor should be a collaborative partner who helps you understand all of your options while sharing their opinion on why it’s worth considering one over another.

2. Your financial advisor talks above your head.

A financial advisor should be able to communicate in plain language what investments you own and why you own them. You shouldn’t need a dictionary to understand what they’re saying. “We reduce unsystematic risk in your portfolio by selecting stocks with negative covariance or stocks in industries with low positive correlations, thereby generating notable alpha in your portfolio.” Can you translate that into real-person speak? Because your advisor certainly should. Or better yet, they should not use those terms in the first place.

With anything, especially finances, it’s important to work with a team who offers straightforward advice that properly frames all risk, removes hassle, and empowers you to have more control over your time and options. At Monument Wealth Management, we pride ourselves on doing just that without all the jargon and “BLAH, BLAH, BLAH”. If this isn’t what you’re currently getting—move on.

3. Your financial advisor won’t call you back.

No one wants to be in a relationship with someone who won’t give them the time of day. And nobody likes to be the one who consistently initiates contact either. With that in mind, why should you put up with this behavior from your financial advisor? When your FA blows you off, they’re telling you that you aren’t a priority for them—and that means maintaining your relationship shouldn’t be a priority for you.

With its team-based approach, Monument Wealth Management has solved this all-too-common problem. The Monument experience is one in which you get the attention and unfiltered opinion of the whole team and know everyone by name. Additionally, we offer many other resources to ensure we are consistently attentive and engaged with our clients—you’ll hear from us however and whenever you prefer.

4. Your financial advisor is a golddigger.

There’s more than one way for financial advisors to make money, and some of these methods don’t always align with what is in your best interest as a client. Are you paying your advisor for the advice they give you, or is your advisor being paid by third parties for selling you their investment products? Products aren’t necessarily a bad thing, but you should know how your advisor is compensated and you shouldn’t have to go digging through regulatory documents to find the answer.

If your advisor is paid solely via commissions, you may be better off finding one with a more straightforward and transparent fee structure—one that works solely for YOUR financial well-being without conflicts of interest. As a fiduciary, Monument is fee-only, meaning we are compensated by our clients, not third parties. This ensures that our advice is always based on what is best for you, not swayed by outside parties. We do not view the fiduciary standard as a burden. We view it as a privilege, enabling us to work with our interests completely aligned with yours, as it should be.

5. Your financial advisor doesn’t care about your life journey.

Life inevitably changes, and changes are bound to have an impact on your financial situation and priorities. Whether your family situation has changed, you’ve switched jobs or been promoted, or you’re transitioning to a new phase in life, that naturally means your wealth plan and corresponding investment strategy might need to adapt. But what if your financial advisor hasn’t taken the time to adjust to these pivotal life events?

In some cases, your FA might keep giving you the same old advice for years on end—even if it no longer applies to you as well as it once did. Bottom line: if the advisor isn’t proactive in checking in with you and making adjustments to your wealth plan, it’s a red flag. A wealth plan is not a “check-the-box” item that you stick in a file folder and forget about.

Monument Wealth Management’s take on wealth planning, Private Wealth Design, is not set it and forget it. Your Private Wealth Design is not done the moment it is created; rather it’s an ongoing process that we continuously revisit together and adjust to suit your life and goals as you and the world evolve.

6. Your financial advisor still paints by numbers.

The process of planning for your future isn’t a short one and it’s definitely not going to be the same as someone else’s. Paint by numbers might be a fun activity, but it isn’t right for ensuring financial success on your terms. As the person responsible for helping you make decisions with long-term impacts and consequences, your advisor should be able to build a plan that’s as unique as you are.

Life is complex, it’s a lot more than tallying up the numbers. An FA who only offers an off-the-shelf, cookie-cutter plan may lead you in the wrong direction. It’s important to right this wrong before it’s too late.

At Monument, we specialize in taking complex, three-dimensional problems and crafting solutions that are intelligent, thoughtful, and creatively conceived. No slice and bake cookies here! Private Wealth Design is about answering YOUR questions and designing the life YOU want to live.

What a financial advisor should look like.

Financial advisors should be a trusted resource that you feel totally comfortable collaborating with without fear or anxiety. Unfortunately, there has been a lot of distrust in the financial industry in the past, but there are good advisors out there…you just need to find them and vet them first. Good news, we’ll make it easy.

The team at Monument Wealth Management consists of seasoned financial professionals who don’t buy into the financial industry’s buzzwords and egos. If you want to talk plainly and honestly about your wealth, you can count on us to give it to you straight. Your unique Private Wealth Design and its actionable advice maps out the path for success in meeting your goals—all while serving your best interest…without the annoying jargon.

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