Never go cheap with professional advice. You wouldn’t Google the cheapest brain surgeon if you needed surgery, you would look for the best. That said, any advisor should be able to clearly show you the way, or ways, they get paid. Not only should you be satisfied with the explanation, but for you to choose to work with them, you have to feel that it is financially worth it for you to enter into the relationship.
By all means get a second opinion or even more, but once you have considered what you need, and the fit with the advisor, ask yourself, does this person have my best interests in mind?
Trust is so important. Do you see them as the person to take care of the financial needs of your family if you’re not there?
Choose one advisor for your entire plan, including insurance, business, personal and investments. I have heard some people consider having one planner for some money and a separate planner for another amount, even a third. Here is why that doesn’t serve you: Some advisors will take that deal where they get the offer to work with 30 percent of a portfolio or with only $100,000 with your intent to ‘see what you can do with it’ then you may give them more. If you have considered using this approach I would suggest you reconsider for the following reasons.
- An advisor who’s offered less than half your portfolio may take the business, but if you have two or three advisors, each with a portion of your holdings, human nature is they will not do their best work for you.
- The relationship is likely to be short. No self-respecting professional would work under those conditions. Just look at your own business and ask if you would like it if someone did that to you. Sure you can make a quick sale, but if your business model is to be a long-term relationship, you will have created a relationship with someone who doesn’t value your time and the moment they see something they perceive as shiny and new elsewhere, they will leave to go there, and you will have wasted your time.
It is proven that not only does working with more than one advisor hold back your portfolio returns, but since the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing between separate advisors, then strategies get missed. If push comes to shove nobody is responsible for you achieving the goals that are important to you. Make one person accountable for a proper plan that covers all the areas that a comprehensive plan should.
Take all the time you need to choose the right professional. But when you do, give them the material they need to do right by you with suitable advice. Do you want quick advice or suitable advice? When I ask people this question they often get my point and make the time for the suitable advice.
Just as you can fire an advisor who does not fulfil their commitments to you, your advisor – if they run their own practice – can fire a client. While this doesn’t happen often, I have had to do this in the past, when I find my time or my advice is not respected. I am not saying you have to choose to do everything your planner recommends, but you are ultimately responsible for the strategies you choose to implement.
Think of the plan as Jessie’s Financial Toolbox. You can choose which tool or concepts may be right for you. It is typical for my clients to say, “Jessie, I like these three, let’s do it. These two, well they are not right for us now, or I have to get my assets, cash flow, or other variables in order to move forward with them.” In fact most advisors will not say this, but our job is to give you more of what you want and none of what you don’t want.
Ten ways to find the right fit:
- Evaluate who you are.
- Do you have anything that needs extra care?
- What experience does your advisor have with issues affecting business owners?
- What accreditations or designations do they have?
- Can they demonstrate they have a team?
- Do they love what they do, and have they been doing it a while?
- Can you trust what they say?
- Can they articulate their why?
- Will they tell you what you need to hear, not simply what you want to hear?
- Lastly, let your advisor know your strengths.
If you feel you are not receiving enough value from your current advisor in the 10 points above, and are interested in a second opinion, please reach out to me at Jessie@jessiechristo.com.
I continue to hear about advice given with no reference to the financial picture of the client. When the only tool is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail. I have seen this happen when one advisor gets his teeth around a good strategy and then everyone becomes a candidate. In fact the strategy may only be suitable for the exception and applicable only for a fraction of people.
Four questions you need to ask your prospective financial planner:
- Can I see your disclosure document?
- What is your ‘why’?
- Can I see your mission or vision statement?
- Can I see a list of your client testimonials?
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