Get the most from your financial adviser?

In today’s value-driven world, we should all look to get the most out of every dollar we spend.

Best Wealth Creation in Townsville Management Team has years of experience in advising clients.  We recently sat down and talked about the clients with whom we had our strongest and most rewarding relationships.  We discussed who received the best service to satisfy their needs.  In other words, the client’s who received the best value from us when we were advising them.

A number of common themes emerged as we began profiling our best client relationships.  Here are some tips for clients looking to get the most out of their financial adviser.

Be open and honest.  We are all human!

To provide good advice, your adviser has to understand not just where you want to go in the future but where you are today.  That means he/she has to know about your entire personal situation, even if he/she isn’t managing all of these areas.

There are many examples of clients not informing the adviser of their entire situation.  Just remember that if you keep your adviser in the dark, he/she will be unable to give you advice that fully reflects your situation.  As a matter of fact, you may receive advice that is completely inappropriate for you.

Be honest with your adviser in response to recommendations.  If you need more information, most advisers will happily provide it.  But when you simply don’t feel comfortable with a recommendation from your adviser, say so – don’t use a request for additional material to avoid giving an answer.  Talk straight.

You need to put in effort too (there is a lot involved in the advice process)

To get the most from any relationship, you have to be clear about what you’re looking for.  A good adviser can help you clarify your goals – but you have to be prepared to spend some time upfront with him/her to do that.  Spending time with an adviser early on to build a more accurate understanding of your situation will pay big dividends.

Continue to commit regular time

Once you’ve established your initial goals, make it a priority to return calls and meet for updates.  We’re all busy these days – in light of that, many advisers have begun replacing some face-to-face meetings with structured phone conversations that might last 30 minutes.  Let your adviser know how much time you’re able to spend – this will vary with your situation, but if you aren’t prepared to commit at least an hour each quarter, you can’t expect to get the best out of him/her.

Finally, when scheduling a meeting, be clear about the issues you want to discuss, so that your adviser can prepare and make the meeting productive for you both.  Your adviser should have an agenda for every time you meet.  And this agenda should always allow time to discuss any issues or concerns you may have.

Remain Constant

Once a direction has been established, you have to stick to your fundamental strategy.  That doesn’t mean following your plan blindly, ignoring significant changes in the environment or new opportunities.  These issues are dealt with during the review process as the adviser adjusts and alters the client’s strategy to suit changes in personal circumstances, legislation and the economic environment.  As such, it is very important that the client be on the most appropriate ongoing service model.

Maintain perspective

Given markets over the past years, it’s understandable that many investors are stressed out.  Good advisers understand that and will talk about how you feel and whether you need to make changes to your portfolio.

Be open-minded

When talking to your adviser, give him/her the benefit of the doubt and maintain an open mind about the advice you receive.  That doesn’t mean you’re going to say yes to everything he/she recommends, all recommendations should be understood by the client and logical justification for how they will help you to achieve your desired outcomes.

If you become sceptical, do not trust your adviser, and therefore continually question the advice given, it becomes difficult for the adviser to serve you well.  Constantly second guessing your adviser is counterproductive.  If you’ve reached the point where you don’t trust anything you hear from your adviser, it’s time to find another adviser.

Be reasonable

Clients who get the best from their advisers understand that no one can predict the markets with certainty.  That doesn’t mean you’re happy when experiencing steep declines in your portfolios, but it’s not useful to point fingers and look for someone to blame.  Remember the best investors in the world were all caught out by the last market downturn.

Be patient if your adviser can’t immediately respond to your calls.  And be realistic in the amount you pay for his/her advice – you certainly want to pay a fair price but if every conversation about fees becomes a battle, ultimately neither of you will be happy.

Remember, you only pay for what you get and if we value what you get then we are normally happy to pay.

Markets over the last few years have tested the mental and emotional fortitude of clients and advisers alike, the good news is that most relationships have survived intact and the markets now appear to have put the worst behind them.

Contact us to arrange a complimentary initial interview with a Best Wealth Creation in Townsville adviser.