Finding the right financial advisor for you can be tough. You may have an idea of what to look for and talk about prior to your first meeting with a financial advisor, such as your goals and the services they offer, but what happens when you finally choose a planner? How do you know that they’re really right for you?
Some make the switch to a new financial advisor because they’re unhappy with their current one, for a variety of reasons. It’s important to understand why an advisor may not be working out for you so that you can find a new one who better suits your needs. That’s what we discuss in this blog: 3 signs it’s time to find a new financial advisor (and what to look for).
You Feel Like You’re Not Making Progress
People seek a financial planner for help achieving short-term goals like buying a house, or they may want broader guidance on saving for retirement. Whatever your individual goals may be, the right financial advisor will make you feel like you’re making progress toward those goals. They’ll create a clear financial plan to help you achieve those goals.
Even if some of your goals take time, such as saving for retirement, a good financial planner will help you understand how your actions and other goals now will affect your long-term finances. Goals aside, maybe you want advice on cutting frivolous spending or budgeting. Your financial advisor can help you build better financial habits, too.
You should always feel like you’re on track with your financial plan, improving or working toward something, not remaining stagnant or moving backward.
You Don’t Feel Like You Are Being Heard
Life changes, sometimes in unexpected ways. We all experienced proof of that with the pandemic in 2020. Your financial plan should change along with it. If your financial plan doesn’t accommodate changes big and small, then it’s a waste of time. Work with a financial advisor who listens to your concerns and helps you implement any changes to your financial plan.
Let’s say you’re feeling nervous about your finances during the pandemic. You’re unsure if you should pull back on savings and bump up your emergency fund in case of job loss, or continue contributing to your retirement accounts while you’re still working. You bring up your concerns to your financial planner and they quickly reassure you that you’ll be fine. Stick to your current plan.
Did your financial advisor actually take the time to process how you’re feeling and what you’re saying? Did you feel like you were truly heard? If not, it’s best to find someone else who really listens to what you say.
You should be able to talk about your goals, fears, stresses, dreams, or concerns with your advisor. Your finances are very personal, and being honest about them requires vulnerability. Your financial planner should make you feel comfortable and secure, not burdensome or ignored.
You Don’t Feel Great When You Leave Their Office
Pay attention to how you feel whenever you leave your financial planner’s office. (Or, if you participate in virtual meetings with them, how you feel when you leave the video chat or get off the phone.) How do you feel when you leave your meetings? How do you want to feel?
Some people leave their financial planner’s office feeling “talked down to,” or like their planner only touched the surface level without really resolving their concerns.
On the other hand, the right financial advisor will make you feel good and like you’re really making progress on your goals. Their advice should leave you feeling confident about your financial future. Maybe you feel empowered to start working on your short-term financial goals. Maybe you feel calmer or more confident after discussing your worries.
Many people look for a financial advisor because dealing with money, or even thinking about it, is stressful. You may have negative emotions or memories tied to your finances. A good financial advisor can help you create more positive associations with your money. It may not happen right away, but you’ll start feeling good after your meetings—not anxious, confused, or unhappy.
Find an Advisor Who Is Right for You
If you’re unsatisfied with your current financial planner or you’re realizing you aren’t getting exactly what you want out of the relationship, remember that it’s perfectly fine to find someone else! What worked for one person in a financial planner won’t necessarily work for another. Find an advisor who meshes well with your personality, style, values, and goals.
Where should you start?
Look for an advisor who outlines a financial plan for you clearly and concisely, so you can track your progress toward your goals. You should also find someone who really listens to what you say and takes action on it. Finally, search for someone who makes you feel good about your financial decisions.
At Guiding Wealth, one of our goals is to always feel like a breath of fresh air to our clients. We want to leave you feeling uplifted and positive after every meeting with one of our financial advisors. To do that, we prioritize clear communication, flexible planning based on your needs and interests, and support for all of life’s big transitions. If you’d like to learn more about the services we offer, contact Guiding Wealth today.