Financial Advisor. Financial Consultant. Wealth Advisor. Wealth Manager. Financial Counselor. These are all monikers that we see on business cards of people claiming to have the ability to handle your investments.
I spent seventeen years in the financial services business marketing investment products of various financial institutions. People like to call these products “Solutions”, but I’m not sure that most of them solve much more than a revenue gap for the presenting firm. More on that another day. For now, I’ll just say that in all those years, I only met one person that I would take a recommendation from. The rest were turkeys.
FINRA has the “Know Your Customer Rule”. You can read it here: http://finra.complinet.com/en/display/display_main.html?rbid=2403&element_id=9858
The one question that you need to ask yourself is this; “How well does my financial advisor (or whatever their title is this week) know me?”. This should form the basis of any decision as it relates to investment recommendations offered. Has the individual taken time to understand your needs? Do they know your experience with investments in the past? Have they helped you identify future needs for the money? What if the investments doesn’t work out? Will the advisor put pressure on you to stay in it?
Many, if not most, financial service professionals that you come into contact with wont take the time to get to know you. They don’t have the time. They also don’t have the interest. Their interest is to sell you a product and move on to the next prospect.
Ask yourself: “How well does my financial advisor know me?”