4 tips to get the most from your Farther advisor relationship
Hooray! You made the wise decision to partner with a financial advisor to help guide your money decisions. 92% of Americans say that nothing makes them happier or more confident than when their finances are in order and working with a dedicated advisor significantly improves their feeling of financial security. In fact, it doubles the likelihood that they will feel that way compared to someone who is not working with an advisor.
Working with an advisor is not just about investments. While ongoing financial planning and coaching are a valuable part of the relationship, preventing costly, emotionally driven money mistakes is a big part of the job too.
Here are some tips to make sure you are getting the most of your advisor relationship and realize the greatest benefit:
Ask questions - lots of questions
The quickest way for you to feel comfortable sharing your information with your advisor and building trust is to ask questions. A lot of them.
Your advisor is dedicated to supporting you and your needs. She or he will be asking a lot of questions as well in order to get to know you and to start shaping a set of recommendations for your wealth-building journey. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be asking your own questions.
If there is anything you don’t understand fully in your conversations with your advisor. Or if anything sounds different than what you have heard before. Or if you just want to get to know your advisor better - ask. The more questions you ask the more confident you will be in your partnership.
Too many client/advisor relationships fail because clients are afraid or embarrassed to say what’s on their mind.
At Farther, we encourage your questions. The more you ask the more you can learn about our process and why it’s designed to help you.
Here are some questions that might be helpful for you to ask during your initial advisor meeting:
- What is your educational background?
- What (if anything) did you do before becoming a financial advisor?
- Do you offer specific or general recommendations?
- Will you help to implement these recommendations?
- Do you offer financial advice on non-investment issues, such as estate law or accounting? If so, at what point would you bring in someone else to help?
- Can I have other people in my family join our meetings like my spouse?
- How do you keep in touch with your clients?
- How often will we meet/talk? Quarterly? Annually?
There are very few industries that are more personal or emotional than the financial services industry where you need to talk about money.
According to Investopedia’s Affluent Millennial Investing Survey, 30% of affluent millennials report having lied to their financial advisor (FA) or a money management app about their spending or investing habits. Why do people lie to advisors or even a money management app?
Because talking about money and how much we spend can be embarrassing. It requires a lot of courage and vulnerability to share where you are in your life with your finances, goals, and aspirations. But if you aren’t honest with your advisor about your financial situation, she or he won’t be able to effectively help you.
Farther is a fee-based Registered Investment Advisor (RIA). Our financial advisors are only compensated with fees (not commissions for selling you products) and are fiduciaries, which means we are held to the highest ethical standards in the financial services industry.
Our guiding mission is to help you go farther, and we represent your best interests at all times.
But to do so we need to have accurate information to deliver the best advice and guidance that we can. If you don’t share critical information about your debt and other investments you may have the advice and recommendations your advisor provides can’t be effective
Help us help you
One of the main reasons people achieve better outcomes when working with a financial advisor is that advisors can prevent making costly money mistakes. Entrenched bad habits or beliefs that won’t yield to common sense are hard to overcome and you may be making them without even realizing it.
Industry studies estimate that professional financial advice can add between 1.5% and 4% to portfolio returns over the long term. These outcomes are not from picking the right stocks. They’re from investing in a diversified portfolio and dampening emotions when making investing decisions.
Everything about money is emotional and having a qualified objective partner who can help you make decisions is critical to making your money go farther.
Making emotional money decisions without guidance is far more likely to derail you from your long term plans than accelerate the path to achieving them. Your advisor is here to help guide you and support you when you are considering decisions that impact your financial life.
If it doesn’t feel right, ask to switch your advisor
Relationships with advisors take time to solidify, especially because money and the emotions around it are so personal. However, if you are following the advice above - being honest, asking lots of questions, and not doing things outside the relationship to derail your path - and you still find it difficult to connect with your advisor then ask us for a new one.
At Farther we want you to have the best possible experience and that starts with how you feel about your advisor.
The best financial advice in the world won’t help you if you don’t feel good about who it’s coming from. If your gut doesn’t feel good about the relationship for any reason, we want you to tell us, so we can find a new advisor that you will feel comfortable with. You don’t have to justify your feelings to us. We get it! And we will act to make it right.
Choosing to work with a dedicated financial advisor has been proven to not only improve financial outcomes but mental health as well. These helpful tips will help ensure you get the most from your advisor relationship so you can reap those benefits and go farther.