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Have questions? Email Send your question to bfriedberg@smartasset.com

4 Signs It's Time to Fire Your Financial Advisor

When you’re trying to build wealth, having an expert in your corner to help guide your decisions could be a good idea. The problem is, what do you do when you and your advisor are no longer on the same page? If you’ve been with your advisor for a while and you’re thinking about making a change, here are four signs it’s finally time to show them to the door.

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1. They Dismiss Your Input

Folks hire a financial advisor to tap into the advisor’s knowledge and expertise. But that doesn’t mean a financial advisor should assume free rein over your investments. After all, it’s your money on the line, (not theirs) so they ought to be responsive to your feedback.

If your advisor constantly pushes you toward products you don’t feel comfortable investing in or waves away your concerns without taking the time to address them, that’s a sign that they’re not tuned in to your needs.

2. You Can Never Track Them Down

4 Signs It's Time to Fire Your Financial Advisor

A good financial advisor will have a steady base of clients that they work with on a regular basis, so naturally they’re bound to be busy. If they’re too busy to take your phone calls or schedule regular check-ins, however, that’s a big problem.

While you don’t necessarily need to have them on speed dial, you should be able to get your advisor on the phone if you have a question about your investments or you want to change strategies. Constantly getting the run-around is not only frustrating, but it can cost you money in the long run if you can’t keep the lines of communication open.

Related Article: The Four Types of Finance Experts

3. They Don’t Give You the Details

Whether you’re investing $5,000 or $500,000, you want to know how well your investments are doing and how much of your returns are getting eaten up by fees. If your advisor’s not forthcoming about the status of your assets, you’ll probably begin to question why they’re so tight-lipped.

Likewise if they’re giving you the numbers without explaining what it all means, that’s equally problematic. If you’re not a seasoned investor, you might not know what an expense ratio is or what your ideal asset allocation is, and it’s their job to fill you in. If they’re not doing that, you’ll really have to ask yourself what you’re paying them for.

Try out our free asset allocation calculator.

4. They Don’t Take the Time to Get to Know You

4 Signs It's Time to Fire Your Financial Advisor

A financial advisor’s role is to evaluate your financial situation and formulate an investing strategy based on where you stand. That means looking at your income, your family size, what you hope to achieve through investing, the kinds of assets you have and the level of risk you’re comfortable taking on.

If your advisor is offering you investment advice without taking these things into account, they’re putting you at a disadvantage in terms of reaching your goals. You may be just one of many clients they work with but that doesn’t mean you don’t deserve personalized input. A cookie-cutter approach may benefit the advisor, but it’s not going to do you any good.

Do Your Homework

If you’re ready to dump your financial advisor, you don’t want to just pick a new one on a whim. Asking in-depth questions about the kinds of investments they handle, how their fees are structured and how they manage their relationships with clients can give you some insight into how well the two of you will be able to work together.

Photo credit: ©iStock.com/shironosov, ©iStock.com/michaeljung, ©iStock.com/mediaphotos

Rebecca Lake Rebecca Lake has been writing about the nuts and bolts of personal finance for nearly a decade. She is an expert in investing, retirement and home buying topics. Her work has been featured on The Huffington Post, Business Insider, CBS News, U.S. News & World Report and Investopedia. As a homeschooling mom of two, she's always looking for ways to make the most of every dollar.
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