SUM180 offers 9 signs it’s time to find a new financial adviser


Louisville, KY—February 12, 2016The conventional wisdom about assessing financial advisers is to beware of high commissions and conflicts of interest. Our work with women suggests a productive relationship with a financial adviser requires much more than avoiding these obvious landmines to financial wellbeing,” says Carla Dearing, founding CEO of SUM180. SUM180 is an online financial planning service designed by women for women. With the goal of making financial planning simple and affordable for women, SUM180 offers a radical alternative to current financial advisory services.

“We hear story after story from women about their experience with financial advisers. Common complaints are that they’re expensive and condescending. But their concerns go beyond these. While they appreciate the help, they don’t know if they can trust it. One woman told us, ‘My husband’s golfing buddy is our advisor, and that seems to be his only qualification,’” Carla continued.

“To help women determine whether they have the right adviser, we asked the financial advisers servicing SUM180 clients for tips on how to determine whether they have the adviser that’s right for them—or whether it’s time to find a new adviser. Their advice goes a long way to ensuring a productive relationship with an adviser,” concluded Carla.

Following are nine signs provided by SUM180 advisers that it’s time to find a new adviser:

  1. Your adviser doesn’t listen. Your financial adviser isn’t listening to you. Clients—whether individually or in a couple—need to know they’ve been heard.
  2. Your adviser talks at you. The ‘wrong’ adviser talks to hear herself talk. The ‘right’ adviser is constantly checking in to be sure the information being shared is understood.
  3. Your adviser dismisses your questions. ‘Just trust me’ isn’t an answer to a client question. Your adviser should always be able to explain why she is recommending something and what that means for you, specifically.
  4. Your adviser is condescending to you.   Few of us have a perfect financial history, and no one benefits from being berated for past financial mistakes. The ‘right’ adviser will start wherever you are and help you build from there, step by step. Your meeting with your financial adviser should leave you feeling empowered, not discouraged!
  5. Your adviser is a poor communicator. If you’re continually walking away from a session with an adviser thinking ‘I have no idea what she just said,’ it’s time to find a new adviser. A good adviser should be able and willing to explain something in as many different ways as necessary for you to ‘get it.’
  6. Your financial adviser puts her needs or desires above yours. The ‘right’ adviser works as a fiduciary who will always serve your best interests, not always be trying to sell you something.
  7. Your advisor is only interested in what assets you bring to the table. The ‘right’ adviser is looking at your entire life picture and is interested in your overall wellbeing, not just your net worth.
  8. You don’t trust your adviser enough to tell her everything about you financial picture. If you don’t feel you can tell your adviser everything, it’s time for a replacement. The best planning relationship is just that—a relationship between the client and the advisor. Listen to your instincts. Without trust and open communication, any financial advice you receive will be flawed or incomplete, at best.
  9. Your adviser is continually trying to ‘educate’ you about finance. Chances are, you don’t need to become a financial expert to reach your financial goals. An adviser who is constantly trying to ‘teach’ you may be emphasizing his or her own ego at the expense of helping you make progress on your goals. Find an adviser who breaks your financial plan down into manageable steps and then gives you the tools and information you need to implement them.


About SUM180

SUM180 is an online financial planning service designed by women for women. With the goal of making financial planning simple and affordable for women, SUM180 provides a radical alternative to current financial advisory offerings.

Specifically, SUM180 is differentiated in the following ways:

  • SUM180 meets women where they are. SUM180 plans are personalized to help women wherever they are right now on their financial journey; whether they’re just beginning, starting over or well on their way.
  • SUM180 plans are simple. Clients need only focus on just three of their most important next steps at any given time. This approach is empowering for most, but especially for women who have been “tuned out” of their financial picture for a period of time.
  • SUM180 doesn’t try to give clients a degree in finance. SUM180 clients don’t need to become financial experts to meet their financial goals. SUM180 provides the tools they need, without overwhelming them with the details they don’t need.
  • SUM180 offers a community for users, unfiltered. SUM180’s community forum allows users to support one another in their plans.
  • SUM180 serves; never sells. Earning and keeping client trust is SUM180’s highest priority. SUM180 never makes money based on the advice provided.

Additional information about SUM180 may be found at

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Robin Schoen
Robin Schoen Public Relations
215.504.2122 office
215.595.7542 mobile

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