You Need to LOVE Your Financial Advisor!

By Jen LaFrance

February…the month of love. Frankly, Valentine’s Day isn’t really my thing but working on my relationships with my husband, my friends and my family is something that has always been on the top of my list.

The quality of our relationships in this life are so important. Which brings me to the question, why the heck are you still with that guy??? Yes, you! Why are you still working with that financial advisor that you said you could not stand? The financial advisor you said was rude to you? Pushy? Not sensitive to your situation? The financial advisor you have no connection with?

The advisor you have today could be giving you great recommendations but if you don’t respect him or like him you will never trust the advice he is giving you. Only you will suffer in that bad relationship.

Now, I should not judge. I went to the same dry cleaner for years. Each time I got in the car, I swore I would not go back there. They lost multiple items including two sweaters (cashmere by the way), were closed on random Saturdays, had no candy dish and were just plain rude. As much as this upset me, I never took the time to find a new relationship. There are 5 dry cleaners in my town. Why did I keep going back?

Finding a financial advisor is like dating. Yeah, and you remember how fun that was? God help me! It’s hard because you are working to find the right one. Those who took the time to find their soulmate will benefit in the end and when you find that person you will need to nurture the relationship. Even though you are hiring them to work on your behalf, you want to put the effort into the relationship too. You need to communicate! YES, let it out…say if you are scared of the market, tell them what keeps you up at night, tell them if you want more meetings during the year. DIG DEEP PEOPLE! Because, when you do, you will have an awesome relationship with your advisor. My clients come into my office and we literally laugh and cry. We are talking about money, life, family, our goals. This will be one of the most important relationships that you have. It’s your money. It’s your security. You need to feel comfortable with your advisor to be yourself and dump every thought you have in that office so you are on the same page. My husband will attest that I like to tell him EVERYTHING I’m thinking right before he goes to bed but you know what… he knows it all and that is what makes for a good relationship. And I’ll say it…You need to LOVE your advisor!

Like dating, it would be great to meet a financial advisor via a referral from a friend. You can hear a little about them and their practice. I suggest that the first meeting is like good ole’ fashioned dating. As my grandmother used to say to me, “there is no need to head up for a night cap right away”. Just meet for a cup of coffee and chat. Ask yourself the following questions:

1) Do I want to spend time with this person? 2) Can I share everything about my life with this person? 3) Will this be a long lasting relationship?

Nurturing our relationships when we have found something good is key. The grass always seems to be greener. If the core of your relationship with your advisor is strong, then don’t shop around. Through the years, I have had a handful of clients leave me for another advisor. It’s hard to take but they always come back. The other advisor seems full of fresh ideas, fancy client events and maybe better hair but when they get past all that, they know that we had something good. We had something special.

LOVE your advisor. Nurture the relationship and in turn you will have a successful financial plan that will follow. For the record, my dry cleaner now is fabulous! It’s a family run business in town with a wonderful reputation. They give my daughter lollipops and have a bowl full of Tootsie Rolls for me.