- Your adviser doesn’t listen. If your financial adviser isn’t listening to you, that can be a problem. I always try to make sure that my clients talk during our meetings. And especially if it is a couple, I want them both to talk and ask questions.
- Your adviser talks at you. The wrong adviser talks to hear herself talk, the right adviser will be tuned in to what you are receiving. She will always be asking “Does that make sense? Do you follow where I am going with this?” etc.
- Your adviser dismisses your questions. I have had several clients tell me that their previous advisers told them to “just trust me.” I don’t think that is an appropriate response when a client has a question. Your adviser should never dismiss your concerns. Rather, she should always be able to explain why she is recommending something and what that means to you as her client.
- Your adviser is consistently a bad communicator. Sometimes, even with the best intentions, your adviser may explain things in a way that leaves you more confused than when you started. But if it happens habitually, and your adviser seems content to leave it at that, it’s time to find someone else. As a financial adviser, my goal is to never have a client walk away saying “I have no idea what she just said. A good adviser should be able and willing to explain something in many different ways so that it makes sense to you.
One thing to always keep in mind: good communication with your financial adviser is a two-way street. If you don’t understand something, say something! I always tell my clients to speak up if something doesn’t make sense. Many times, if something doesn’t make sense, it is because I am not explaining it in a way that makes sense to them. So I will re-phrase what I am telling them. Everyone learns in a different way and it is just a matter of finding out how that client learns and processes new information.