There are a variety of characteristics a successful client-advisor relationship should have. Chief among them is that the relationship must be consultative. In my practice that involves much more than simply working together with clients in an open and honest partnership to meet their goals.
Know what you are paying for and know how your advisor gets paid.
A trusted competent advisor must provide the knowledge and insight necessary to chart an investment course for his clients – as well as the discipline necessary to keep them invested when markets get choppy. Moving away from the nautical metaphors I recently heard an advisor’s role compared to a pedestrian bridge over an eight-lane highway.
Theodore Roosevelt once said “Nobody cares about how much you know until they know how much you care.” That old adage has become almost a customer service cliché but nowhere does our 26th president’s advice ring more true than in the financial planning profession.
Maybe you’ve seen those speed dating commercials where it’s clear in 30 seconds that the couple doesn’t click and it’s time for them to move on and keep searching for love. Chemistry is important with your financial advisor too. Let’s face it you have to be comfortable enough with your advisor to share your hopes and dreams — as well as your fears.
I have a one-word answer to that question: An advisor must be trustworthy.