Knowing When to Fire Your Financial Adviser

Financial Planning

5 Signs It’s Time to Fire Your Financial Adviser

How to determine if the relationship between you and your adviser is no longer working.

You hired your adviser to get you to the financial finish line. If you’re not on course to meet your goals, it’s time to find a new one. But there are other signs the relationship isn’t working. Read on.

See Also: Pick the Right Money Manager

1. You’re off track. Meet face-to-face with your adviser annually for a checkup. Figure out whether you’re making progress. Have any goals changed? Is everything moving ahead as planned? Keep in mind that managers will have some bad years—if so, they should explain why they stumbled.

2. He speaks in gobbledygook. If you don’t understand your adviser, that’s a sign he may not be a good fit for you. Says Barry Glassman, a McLean, Va., adviser: “We get clients all the time because their former adviser made them feel dumb or talked over their heads.”

3. Your needs change. Maybe you’re getting divorced, or you’re getting more interested in income rather than growth. If your adviser’s realm of expertise doesn’t match your needs, consider finding one whose specialty does.


4. He’s just not into you. You should expect a certain level of attention. If you call your adviser and don’t hear back within 24 hours—even if it’s just to say, “I got your message”—that could be a sign that you’re not a priority.

5. You’re just not into him. Sometimes you simply don’t connect. That’s a problem, says Michael Prendergast, of Altfest Personal Wealth Management, in New York City. “You have to trust this person. Otherwise, you might not share some things, and then he or she might guide you in the wrong direction.”