5 Signs It Could Be Time to Fire Your Advisor

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When you’re trying to build wealth, having a financial advisor in your corner to help guide your decisions could be a good idea. Unfortunately, some advisors may not have your best interests in mind.

So what do you do when you and your advisor are no longer on the same page?

Why Work With an Advisor?

A 2022 Northwestern Mutual study found that 62% of U.S. adults admit their financial planning needs improvement. However, only 35% of Americans work with a financial advisor.1

The value of working with a financial advisor varies by person and advisors are legally prohibited from promising returns, but research suggests people who work with a financial advisor feel more at ease about their finances and could end up with about 15% more money to spend in retirement.2

Consider this example: A recent Vanguard study found that, on average, a hypothetical $500K investment would grow to over $3.4 million under the care of an advisor over 25 years, whereas the expected value from self-management would be $1.69 million, or 50% less. In other words, an advisor-managed portfolio would average 8% annualized growth over a 25-year period, compared to 5% from a self-managed portfolio.3

SmartAsset’s no-cost tool simplifies the time-consuming process of finding a financial advisor. A short questionnaire helps match you with up to three fiduciary financial advisors that serve your area, legally bound to work in your best interest. The whole process takes just a few minutes, and in many cases you can be connected instantly with an advisor for a free retirement consultation.

Advisors are rigorously screened through our proprietary due diligence process.

Assuming 5% annualized growth of $500k portfolio vs 8% annualized growth of advisor managed portfolio over 25 years.
The hypothetical study discussed above assumes a 5% net return and a 3% net annual value add for professional financial advice to performance based on the Vanguard Whitepaper “Putting a Value on your Value, Quantifying Vanguard Advisor’s Alpha”. Please carefully review the methodologies employed in the Vanguard Whitepaper. To receive a copy of the whitepaper, please contact compliance@smartasset.com. The value of professional investment advice is only an illustrative estimate and varies with each unique client’s individual circumstances and portfolio composition. Carefully consider your investment objectives, risk factors, and perform your own due diligence before choosing an investment adviser.

5 Signs It Could Be Time to Fire Your Advisor

If you’ve been with your advisor for a while and you’re thinking about making a change, here are five signs it’s finally time to fire your financial advisor – and a simple way to find a new one.

1. They Are Not a Fiduciary

By definition, a fiduciary is an individual who is ethically bound to act in another person’s best interest. This obligation helps limit conflict of interest concerns and can help make an advisor’s advice more trustworthy.

If you’re working with an advisor who is not a fiduciary and constantly pushes investment products on you, they could be receiving a commission for selling those products. If you’re experiencing this, it could be time to find a fiduciary advisor who has your best interest in mind.

You can get matched with up to three fiduciary advisors who serve your area by taking this quick, free quiz.

2. They Dismiss Your Input

People hire a financial advisor to tap into the advisor’s knowledge and expertise. But that doesn’t mean a financial advisor should assume free rein over your investments. They should absolutely be responsive to your feedback.

Empowering people to make smart financial decisions.


Empowering people to make smart financial decisions.

3. They’re Difficult to Reach

A good financial advisor will have a steady base of clients, so they’re bound to be busy. But being too busy to take your phone calls or schedule regular check-ins can be a big problem, especially in a volatile market.

You should be able to get your advisor on the phone if you have a question about your investments or want to change strategies. Getting the run-around could result in losses if you can’t keep lines of communication open.

4. They Don’t Give You the Details

Whether you’re investing $5,000 or $500,000, you want to know how well your investments are doing. If your advisor’s not forthcoming about the status of your assets, you should be suspicious as to why they’re so tight-lipped.

Likewise, if they’re giving you the numbers without explaining what it all means, that can be equally problematic.

5. They Don’t Take the Time to Get to Know You

A financial advisor’s role is to evaluate your financial situation and formulate an investing strategy based on your income, family size, investment goals, current assets and risk tolerance.

Likewise, if they’re giving you the numbers without explaining what it all means, that can be equally problematic.

How to Find an Advisor With Your Best Interests in Mind

If any of the above scenarios describe your current situation, it could be time to find a new financial advisor – a fiduciary.

Not sure where to start? We created a free quiz to help Americans find vetted, fiduciary financial advisors who serve their area.

This quiz asks you a few questions, then matches you with up to three fiduciary financial advisors. You even earn a free consultation with each of your matches, so you can compare them and be fully prepared to pick a financial advisor.

Click Your State to Get Matched With Financial Advisors Who Serve Your Area
After you choose your state and answer a few questions, you can compare up to three advisors that serve your area and decide which to work with.
Take Retirement Quiz

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