Most of us have been there, stuck in a relationship where the expiry date has passed. We know it won’t work out, but we just keep sticking around to avoid the confrontation.

I’m not just talking about romantic relationships; I’m talking about the relationship with your financial advisor.

Here are a few reasons to consider making a change to your financial quarterback position:

 

1.You’ve drifted apart

Think back to your friend group in high school. Chances are, there’s only a small percentage you still interact with. People tend to drift apart as priorities and interests evolve. It’s the same thing when it comes to your financial advisor.

As you get older, your financial needs evolve. The advisor you worked with when you were 40 may not have the same skill set to match your financial needs once you’re 60. Those are two completely different life stages.

At 40, it’s about building your nest egg for retirement. Once youre 60, it’s not about saving money but rather how to draw down your funds as efficiently as possible. When you have a heart problem, you want to speak with a cardiologist and not necessarily your family doctor.

If your advisor doesn’t have the technical know-how to tackle your new set of needs, then it’s time for a change.

 

2. You’re not getting the service you once received

When an advisor starts their business, it’s easy for them to give excellent service. They don’t have many clients to worry about, so they’re able to spend more time working with the clients they do have.

As advisors acquire more clients, it’s challenging to continue with that same level of client service. Dealing with 50 clients is a lot easier than dealing with over 200, especially if you don’t have other advisors on staff to offer support.

To combat this, advisors segment their clients. This is generally done on a revenue basis, with the top revenue-generating clients receiving more service than others. If you’re not part of the top segment, chances are you are not receiving the best service.

If you’re not receiving the service or time you feel your family deserves, it’s time to cut the cord.

 

3. Your Priorities vs Their Priorities

I recently had a conversation with a couple who felt they needed to switch advisors. Their advisor had mentioned his plan to slow down a few years ago, but they had never put much thought into it.

That was until this past winter. They happened to be friends with the advisor on Facebook. For what seemed to be three straight months, their advisor was posting pictures from different vacation destinations. If their advisor was out seeing the world, who was making sure their retirement was still on track?

Another factor to consider is how much runway your advisor has left. If they are near retirement, do they still have the same motivation to spend time on your account? A younger advisor has more incentive to do well as they want to keep you on as a client for the next 30 years.

 

4. Performance

If I want to know who the best golfer or tennis player in the world is, all I need to do is look at the world rankings. When it comes to assessing the performance of a financial advisor, there aren’t any such rankings to go off. This makes it extremely difficult to determine if your advisor is a top performer.

There are three essential factors to evaluate.

a. Investment performance

b. Tax-reduction strategies

c. Fees

A top advisor will be highly competitive in all categories. If they’re only strong in 1 area, chances are there are better options available.

Since there isn’t a ranking system available to compare your advisor’s performance, my best piece of advice would be to listen to your gut. If something doesn’t feel right, I’ll venture to say that it isn’t.

 

How do you actually break up with your advisor?

 

There are three ways to go about this.

1.Initiate the transfer

Simply open accounts at the new institution you are working with and have them send transfer forms to your advisor.

Your old advisor will be notified of the transfer and is required to transfer the funds to your new institution within a week. Chances are the advisor will try to give you a call to change your mind. If you’re open to a discussion, answer the phone, alternatively, let it go to voicemail, and your funds will be transferred shortly.

 

2. Email

This method allows you to say your piece without having a verbal conversation with your advisor. An email would allow you to thank your advisor for their service over the years as well as explain the reasons you are making a change if you feel it is warranted.

Once the email has been sent, you can open accounts at your new institution and have them send the transfer forms.

 

3. Inperson meeting or phone call

If you’re comfortable discussing your reasons for making a change, schedule a call or meeting.

 

It’s your future

It’s important to remember that your relationship with your advisor is to ensure the success of your financial future, not theirs. If you ever feel that something isn’t right, there’s no harm in looking around to see what other advisors can offer you.

You might be surprised to find what else is out there.