Q – My financial advisor and I don’t see eye to eye on a number of key strategies. I’ve decided that I want to transfer my investments to another account, but I am not sure how to go about it. Do you have any advice on how to fire my advisor? – Bob L., Guelph, Ontario
A – Letting go of your finical advisor may be one of the hardest things you will do as an investor. It’s never pleasant, but it happens. Try not to let your personal feelings toward him or her control your decision. This is a business decision. You pay your advisor to provide you with guidance and support. If you have fundamental disagreements on strategy or he or she is truly not performing to your expectations, then you are within your rights to leave. It’s your money, after all!
If you’ve decided to take that step, make sure you have a new investment account set up with another institution. Then call your advisor and have a frank conversation. Keep it simple. “I have decided to go in another direction and would like to close my accounts with you. Please advise me of any DSC (deferred sales charge) and transfer-out fees in writing and notify your transfer department that ABC Brokerage will be sending in transfer forms.” That’s all there is to it.
Expect your advisor, whether an independent boutique or a department of a big bank, to try to persuade you to stay. But if your relationship has soured to the extent that you have decided to part company regardless, simply state that you are standing by your decision and say good bye.
Once you receive your transfer-out/DSC fee letter, you can decide on your next steps. The transferring institution will transfer the assets to your newly created account, and you will be free to do as you wish. Remember, it’s your money – you always get the final say. – R.T.