Your advisor doesn’t have to be the next Bernie Madoff to cause your finances to dwindle. From being unavailable, to charging unclear fees, here are some ‘red flags’ when it comes to financial advice.
- Lack of Transparency
Being aware of how you are being charged for advice is essential. Financial advisors can work based on commission, fees, or a combination of the two. If this information is not openly disclosed with you, run. It is likely they are hiding excessive fees that earn them a substantial amount of money.
- No Interest in Your Needs and Goals
If your advisor spends more time pitching than asking questions, it is unlikely that your portfolio is aligned to your ultimate goals. Your money is on the line, so your advisor must know things such as your attitude to risk, where and when you plan to retire, and how much debt you currently have. Pitching without knowing about you is like a doctor suggesting surgery pre-diagnosis.
- Infrequent Contact
A financial advisor should be someone that you can always trust to be there for you, as circumstances never remain the same. If you struggle to get hold of your advisor, then they either have too many clients to properly serve you, or are simply poor with client relations.
- They Won’t Compare Results to Current Market Performance
If your advisor refrains from bringing this information into play, then they are likely trying to hide poor investment strategy or excessive fees. Ensure that you consult with your advisor often, as this will also allow for you to notify them of any changes in your financial situation.
- Constant Fund Activity
With a portfolio that includes fees for transfers, any heavy activity may not always be in your best interest. The excessive movement could simply mean that your advisor is putting their bank balance ahead of yours.
It is common to become trapped in high-cost and sometimes high-risk investments with big exit fees or other hidden traps. If there is any hint that you may have found a red flag with your advisor, don’t hesitate to get in touch.