Warning Signs It’s Time to Change Financial Advisors

Woman meeting with her male financial advisor.

Most financial advisors genuinely try to help people. They want you to manage your money, feel in control about where you’re going, and reach your financial goals in the future.

There is a rational fear, however, that some advisors may cheat clients to line their own pockets. Luckily, in those situations, red flags generally indicate that something is wrong. If you’re thinking of changing financial advisors, here are 5 signs it’s time to do it sooner rather than later.

1.) Your Advisor is Talking More than Asking – or he feels like a salesman instead of an advisor. 

Good advisors ask questions to ensure they’re the best person for the job and adjust their advice based on your goals. Being pushy, advising you to put all your money in one area, or recommending the same portfolio no matter your situation are all signs they’re working for their interests rather than yours. 

Beware of “customized” or “exclusive” investments. Good advisors have worked with clients with similar goals and should offer you those same investments. Just make sure the returns are realistic and you know the level of risk involved.

2.) Your Advisor Acts Unprofessional.

Do they take an exceptionally long time to respond to your inquiries? Is there high personnel turnover at the firm? 

This indicates that the company isn’t running smoothly. On the technical side, an unsecure website or client portal reveals that they’re not following best practices for digital safety, thus putting your personal information at risk. 

3.) Your Paperwork or Returns Seem Off.

A few red flags in this regard:

    • Your advisor’s name is alongside yours on the account. 
    • There is a lot of activity but no increase in value.
    • Your advisor described an investment as “high return for low risk,” but your returns haven’t changed.

These telltale signs all indicate something is wrong, whether your advisor is trading for more commission or he or she is in a full-blown Ponzi scheme. Either way: change financial advisors.

4.) You’re Asked to Sign Over Power of Attorney

Don’t do this! The advisor may offer to “unburden” you of financial hassle, but this lets them move your money into any account – even his or her own. 

In the extremely rare circumstance that this is legitimate, make sure the agreement stipulates that your advisor is only allowed to trade and can’t take out returns or move assets. 

5.) It’s Just Not Working for You.

We’ve listed red flags for scams, but there are simpler reasons for changing advisors, too. If you’re afraid to call your advisor, if he or she is not attentive even when you’re speaking, if he or she doesn’t adjust recommendations to your changing situation, or if you’re already seeking advice elsewhere, you’re ready for a change. 

The advisor/client relationship is just that – a relationship. If your advisor is not treating it like one, find someone who will. 

Find an Financial Advisor You Can Trust

At Focus Financial, we provide a personalized experience catered to your needs and financial goals, and we do this with honesty, integrity, and professionalism. Learn more about our values on our About Us page

Ready to find a financial advisor you can really trust? 

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