Secrets Revealed From A Retired Advisor

Do you ever wonder what your advisor is hiding? What he or she can't say? What they're thinking? We asked one of our friends and past advisor, who wishes to remain anonymous, to reveal his secrets. He divulges what he loved (and hated) about his role as an advisor and what you should know as a client. Here are his responses below:

Secret #1: We have a boss too

We have a boss too! Some of our clients realize this, but a vast majority do not. Even though our clients hired us and are giving me access to their funds, the bottom line is that we work for our employer. It is our primary responsibility to sell you products that the bank or institution offers and we are held accountable if we do not perform. We have to do what is right by our employer first and foremost. 

Secret #2: We Are In Sales 

All though we are here to advise you financially, ultimately we are in sales. Our job is to sell you on opening accounts and investing with us. This is not always a bad thing! Most people do not have any retirement to speak of and opening these accounts can be extremely beneficial to their future. However, different types of advisors that may have different sales quotas. Remember this when searching for an advisor. 

Secret #3: Your Money Is Your Responsibility 

Being a financial advisor doesn't necessarily mean we are looking after your holistic financial life. Our responsibility is your investments; your responsibility is everything else. Our duty is to get you invested in your accounts and to check up with you on a semi-regular basis. However, your money is still your responsibility alone. Do not think your financial advisor is constantly checking your account because we may have hundreds of clients to worry about, even thousands if we work at a bank branch. Please take time to check on your accounts regularly. 

Secret #4: We Do Not Promise Any Returns 

It is illegal in our industry to promise any returns so if you have heard that we are guaranteeing a return, run. We cannot promise you on any outcome; we can simply show you historical data and facts about the investment. It is up to us to present you with an investment that meets your criteria, but we cannot promise that you will not lose money or gain a certain amount of money in your investment. This means that no matter what financial advisor you go to, no one should be promising returns. 

Secret #5: The More Money, The More Attention

In our industry, advisors can be classified by what network (or net worth) you serve. Most advisors that are not affiliated with a bank will only want to speak to you if you have substantial investable assets. That means if you are between $0 - $500,000 of investable assets, you may not find advisors eager to work with you. Advisors like to cater to ultra high net worth clients if they can. The more money one client has equals more money and fewer headaches (clients) to deal with. You may get snubbed by some advisors.

Final Thoughts...

Financial advisors do want to help you get on the right track; however, we also have bosses that rely on us to perform a certain way. We are not always in full control of the situation, and many clients do not realize this when they come to us for advice. Finance and banking is a regulated industry that has strict rules on what we can and cannot do. There are great resources like broker check to use if you are concerned about your advisor.