Problems with Financial Advisers: Judging Clients

One of the problems that I have experienced with financial advisers is their quickness to judge me and failure to understand my point of view. When evaluating an adviser, I look for someone who offers insights on complex financial problems. I don’t mind being pitched an off-the-shelf product but want to hear why it’s ideal for my unique circumstances. I shy away from those who seem to force an ill-fitting solution as appropriate for every situation (and demean me if I disagree).

Problems with Financial Advisers: Selling to Generate a Commission (Only)

To test the local advisers’ skills and integrity, I worked with my initial contact to execute the rollover of a 401(k) plan to an IRA; and then make investment recommendations that I either approved or rejected. Based on recent successes, the adviser seemed confident of recommended investments and their superiority to other choices.

I didn’t mention to the sales rep that I had a significant amount of money in an IRA in a separate account, possibly available for management for the right person. Again, my goal was to evaluate the adviser’s integrity and knowledge and then possibly expand our relationship.

Initially, I was pleased with the service. The rollover was completed and funds invested. But when another adviser replaced my initial contact, a new and improved recommendation was made. I was happy to test this new person’s investment savvy. But later I felt that the change in investments may have been contrived just to generate a sale. The investment did not seem superior and the adviser did not maintain the relationship.

Financial Advisers: Problems I Have Encountered (Series)

A few readings have compelled me to clarify my position on financial advisers plus tell cautionary stories. My experiences may help others understand what they may want to consider when engaging a professional to provide guidance on financial matters.

The impetus for this series was the #YourTurnChallenge on Seth Godin’s blog. The challenge is to write one post every day for seven days, starting today. After some contemplation (and despite a full schedule), I decided to accept this challenge. I thought it would be enlightening to readers and cathartic for me to write about my experiences with financial advisers.

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