Note to My
Financial Advisor

I speak with my financial advisor once a year. It’s the annual review thing. Follows a set schedule, and it’s pretty old-school.

Does this do it for me? Up until recently, I didn’t give it much thought. Seemed ok, returns not terrible, I’m on track to do something between retiring comfortably and not so comfortably… and that was that.

But times they are a-changing. Fees, everyone’s talking about them. I’m in lots of mutual funds, is this now wrong? Fees too high? What about Robo-advisors? Fintech? These are apparently cheaper alternatives, are they any good? Should I be looking into them?

I probably will explore, of course I want to make sure I’m getting the best service and advice for the least cost. And that’s the problem. Up until now, there’s been NO discussion about cost. Whatever it is, it’s all hidden. And now I feel a little like I’ve been duped.

Does this mean I’ll do something drastic, like drop my advisor entirely? Probably not, at least not for now. But here’s a few things I would like to say to my advisor. In fact I’m going to send a copy of this to him!

And that’s the problem. Up until now, there’s been NO discussion about cost.

  1. The fees thing – you should have discussed this with me years ago. Let me
    know what it is. Explain your value. Truth is I know I can be impulsive and if
    nothing else your value could be steadying my course financially. But
    because you never ever communicated this, I’m left wondering how well
    you know me beyond my investments.
  2. Since I’ve now lost some degree of trust in you due to the fees thing, what
    will you do to regain that trust? The once-year meeting thing is…
    perfunctory. Same-old. Start by explaining my options… ALL of them. ETFs,
    direct stock purchases, yes those where your hidden commission might not
    be ideal for you. Do the math. How much am I paying? Maybe offering me
    for-service fee would be better. It might go a long way to feeling you’re on
    my side in this!
  3. Get personal beyond our annual face-to-face! If Facebook and LinekdIn can
    get personal for free, why can’t you? Send me content that relates to my
    real needs. Not for someone way richer, or poorer, or younger, or something
    else that makes what you’re sending me less than relevant.
  4. I’ve mentioned some of these things in the past – like ETFs – and this has
    been somewhat brushed aside. Treat me like an adult, tell me the real story,
    and I’ll feel a whole lot better about working with you!

Don’t get me wrong. I actually like my
advisor, he’s a good guy. But here’s the
thing. I’m placing all this trust in his
direction. How do I know if there are
better directions? If he would use some
of the new analytics and data to support
what I’m investing in, maybe leverage the
newer technologies along with a very
human approach – I’d be good!

Will he come through? Stay posted…

If he would leverage the
newer technologies
along with a very human
approach – I’d be good!

By | 2017-05-25T20:32:39+00:00 January 23rd, 2017|0 Comments

About the Author:

Len Smofsky is Executive Vice-President of BLUERUSH – a leading digital services and solutions company. Len leads the INDIVIDEO™ team of personalized video specialists and strategists, with a focus on personalizing the customer journey. Please feel free to contact me directly at:

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