But my Financial Advisor doesnt ask the right questions!
Sadly, generally speaking, not all financial advisors are fully committed to exploring your hopes and dreams and then matching your financial plans to deliver those expected life experiences. Its not their fault, they are often young and inexperienced in the ways of life or have not embraced their own life journey yet, and they are obligated to sell you products determined by the company they are employed by.
As a client what can you do to change the way your financial advisor works with you in order to meet your unique needs? What can you do as a client to move the relationship to a level that puts you in the driving seat and educates/helps your advisor to spend more time investing into you, your financial behavior, your plans and your dreams?
At the outset its important to understand that your financial advisor may be completely resistant to the thought of understanding your behavioral approach to your finances (other than your ability to manage risk). But equally important is to know that the financial industry is changing ? more and more attention is being paid to how to increase business and retain clients through changing the behavior of the industries advisors.
So here are some keys to changing the client/advisor relationship:
- Research what the financial advisory company is saying about itself. Look at websites, marketing material; listen to executives recorded messages: look for the types of phrases listed below and ask the question ? what will you do to deliver this statement in terms of the financial advice you propose to give to me?
- tailored client advisory service
-the best possible expert advice for your situation
-exceed their clients’ expectations (do they know/understand your expectations?)
-advisers will help identify exactly what you require to meet your needs and achieve your goals (how?)
- Understand your own risk attitudes. Be clear about what you really think risk means to you. This self-awareness will help you to navigate the risk conversations more effectively and will ultimately deliver a greater level of success in the relationship.
- Encourage the advisor to ask leading questions. Prompt them. For example:
-Would you like to know about a significant financial experience in my life? (this might refer to a financial loss, a financial gain or seeing something similar happen to a family member)
-Would you like to know about three noteworthy plans I have that have not as yet come to fruition.
-Can I tell you about proposals my children have for paying for their education?
There is, of course, no guarantee that your advisor will adjust their performance to embrace a more behaviorally based advisory relationship with you, but at this juncture the next question that you should be asking is this: – do I really want to continue to give my business to a financial advisory company who cares more about product sales than the plans I have that I trust will prosper me and give me and my family not only a good life but help us to deliver the hopes and dreams we have?