What to do if you’ve got the wrong financial adviser – Daily News

on Sep26
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What happens when you find that the adviser you selected is wrong for you?

If you discover that the professional you have engaged is not what you expected, don’t delay in redirecting your efforts. This is your future – you should feel confident and comfortable that it’s being managed well and the relationship is a positive and supportive one as you move through the process.

Here are signs you may want to consider replacing your current adviser:

You get the feeling that you are being treated as “one size fits all.” If you begin to feel that every question you have has a quick template answer or form, this can send the signal that your adviser either isn’t listening well to you or doesn’t know how to accommodate your situation. In either case, this is not acceptable.

You are receiving signs that your adviser is not as experienced as you had thought. If, in your conversations and exchanges with your adviser, you notice that he needs to confer with colleagues frequently before responding to questions or doesn’t readily know where or how to access the information you need in order to manage your account or situation, this can certainly erode confidence.

You feel your vision and goals for your future are discounted. Do you feel as though your adviser is not considering these or is dismissive of them in your conversations and transactions? If you are receiving signals that your adviser isn’t keeping your interests at the top of all she does for you, it’s time to make a change.

You are receiving communications from your adviser only when you are billed. This is a hot button for me personally. As a business owner that recognizes the importance of relationships, I am astounded again and again at the number of professionals who seem to remember the importance of me and my business only when it is time to bill for services.

You don’t feel comfortable with your adviser. An adviser should be part of your permanent, inner-most circle, and you should enjoy a comfortable and warm energy in the relationship. If you cringe when you think of meeting with yours, or you feel the experience is like taking a dose of castor oil for your own good, it’s time for a change.

Before you search for someone new, please consider the following:

Have you shared how you feel with your current adviser? You might find that you have misunderstood something in the process or a key communication. You have invested time and energy into this relationship, as has your adviser. She may have her own questions about you or the way that you work together. Take the time to explore this together and see if you can clear up your concerns before making a move. As the old adage says, “You take yourself wherever you go.” This means that if the confusion lies on your end, you will find that same confusion with your next adviser.

If this conversation does not clear things up, researching for a new adviser includes more than a simple referral from someone you know. Here are some tips for you, should you find yourself in such a situation:

Make no assumptions. This is not a time to make assumptions (nor is any other time, as a matter of fact. If you wonder, ask!) For example, just because an adviser is associated with a reputable brand, it does not mean they are personally on top of their game. I have also seen people engage an adviser because they support high-profile people in the area. This does not validate the professional himself – leaders make mistakes every day.

Be clear on what you want. You’ll want to interview candidates with specific questions that tell you they are prepared to serve you well. To do this, make sure you are clear about your vision and goals, and ask them how they would treat this. Ask them about their work philosophy and their approach to see if this aligns with how you would like to work. Don’t be afraid to push back if you are unclear about an explanation, or you prefer to work a little differently, as long as this fits within the best guidelines of what your adviser can do for you.

Before you leap, communicate. Before making the transition to a new adviser, consider doing your adviser and yourself a huge favor: Have a critical conversation to share why you have decided to work with someone else. This is uncomfortable for many people, and some prefer to have their newly-selected adviser reach out on their behalf to request anything pertinent and appropriate such as is needed for account transfers or other relevant information. But if you choose to do so, you will be doing this adviser a favor (and perhaps learn something, yourself). It is helpful to receive feedback that can improve the way that we serve others.

Provide valuable input. Think about what you would want to know if someone working with you decided to take their business elsewhere. What would be valuable input for you? How would you want to receive this?

In this critical conversation, it’s helpful to share the things you appreciated, what is not working for you and why, and the decision you have made to transition. Be careful not to sound accusatory or to personalize things, but simply to focus on sharing your personal experience. This is a kinder way to exit and will support a feeling of goodwill between you.

Patti Cotton works with business owners, executives and their companies to elevate and support leadership at all levels. Contact her at Patti@PattiCotton.com.

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