Q – I have a financial advisor. How do I know that I am getting value for my money? – Robin H., Toronto, Ontario
A – There’s no easy answer to this question. As advisors, we aim to provide a valuable service to individuals seeking to make sense of what can be a very complex financial world and bring order to their financial life. In short, it’s our job as advisors to be stewards of your financial life.
But your advisor needs to demonstrate the value he or she brings to your life. To begin with, ask your financial representative for a Client Service Agreement that outlines the fees charged for each service. Every fee should come with a list of deliverables that will be provided. It is important that both you and your advisor know what is expected of each other. A frank and open discussion of objectives, expectations, and costs goes a long way to determining whether you are getting “value” for your money.
If you feel that you are not receiving value for your dollar, the first step is to talk to your advisor about your concerns. Perhaps your objectives have changed. Or you are not as risk-tolerant as you thought. Perhaps your advisor has changed his or her approach. Whatever the reason, don’t just sit quietly and stew about it. This is your money after all, and you need to have a level of comfort that you are getting what you are paying for. – R.T.
Robyn Thompson, CFP, is the founder of Castlemark Wealth Management, a boutique financial advisory firm, specializing in customized financial, investment, insurance, and retirement planning. Phone 416-828-7159 or email today to firstname.lastname@example.org for a no-obligation, no-charge Castlemark Integrity Financial Planning consultation.
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Notes and Disclaimer
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The foregoing is for general information purposes only and is the opinion of the writer. No guarantee of investment performance is made or implied. It is not intended to provide specific personalized advice including, without limitation, investment, financial, legal, accounting or tax advice. Please contact the author to discuss your particular circumstances.