Recognizing the Telltale Signs: When It’s Time to Change Financial Advisors
August 24, 2023

In this episode, we delve into the complex and often emotionally charged process of changing financial advisors. We’ll discuss the telltale signs that it’s time to consider a switch, the questions to ask your current advisor, and what to look for in a new one. Join us as we demystify the transition process and equip you with the knowledge you need to make informed decisions about who is best suited to guide your financial future.

Episode Transcript

Note: This transcript was produced using AI, so please excuse any typos and inaccuracies…

Marc Killian  00:11

what’s going on? Welcome into another edition of the podcast. It’s plan wise, retire free with Judy Wilson and myself here to talk a little bit about when it’s time to change financial advisors. So we’re gonna dive into this episode, a little complex, maybe a little emotionally charged once in a while when people find themselves in this scenario, and we’ll talk about some signs that it’s time to maybe consider that switch, and possibly some questions to ask your current and possibly new advisor. So just to kind of demystify the process a little bit for those who find themselves there and get maybe hung up on the, you know, what do I do? How do I do it kind of conversations. So that’s what we’re gonna get into this week here on playing wise retire free. Dude, my friend what is going on with you? How are you? Hey, buddy,

Jude Wilson  00:53

I’m doing well. Good to hear your voice.

Marc Killian  00:55

It’s always good to talk with you. What’s new in the world besides heat?

Jude Wilson  00:59

Look, that is the biggest discussion around most dinner tables right now is it’s too doggone hot.

Marc Killian  01:05

It’s toasty, but we’re getting there. We’re getting there. So we’re taping this. This is late August. I think we’re dropping this podcast late August. So that’s kind of the normal time when it’s, you know, pretty darn hot. In the south Florida for sure. Definitely. Right. So July and August. No, no strangers to heat that time of the year. So it’s getting there pretty soon. Before you know it. It’ll be it’ll be football season and fall weather. So

Jude Wilson  01:28

yeah. And another hot thing to talk about around the dinner table besides the heat is among couples is should I fire my advisor like that for transit.

Marc Killian  01:39

That’s fantastic. Thank you have your finger right on the pulse of the nation, right. So that’s a great point that let’s just talk about a little bit. Because especially if you find yourself, you know, probably 40 and up starts, this starts to kind of feel like maybe it’s a conversation, maybe you’ve gotten an advisor in your 30s or even in your early 40s. But maybe when you’re into your 50s, you’re starting to wonder if it’s the right, you know, set up for you. So people often have an emotional or maybe even a sentimental connection due to their financial advisor, I’m sure you’ve come across this in your practice where maybe it was somebody was working with their prior person for 10 or 15 years. And they realize it’s maybe time to move on. But they’re not sure how to do that, because they kind of, you know, kind of like them.

Jude Wilson  02:22

Yeah, it’s it’s something that we see here every week. And if a financial advisor that’s been in business for more than two years, or tells you that they’ve never been fired, run the other direction, because to be very straightforward with you, I’ve been fired before. And it’s part of the natural evolution with a client. And sometimes the clients letting you go may not necessarily be a logical decision. But what I’ve seen in my career is there’s usually three phases of a relationship with a financial advisor, and the client. The first phase is usually when you kind of just get out of college or just getting going. And maybe your your buddy was a financial adviser, and he convinced you to give them a few minutes. And you started working with him. Didn’t have a lot of assets, but you know, needed to get basic financial planning going. The next phase, I generally see with people that they’ve gotten their finances going there, they have substantial income, they’re starting to build a net worth, and they want someone who’s a little bit more knowledgeable on that accumulation phase. You know, what, what do I do with my 401k? Well, you know, I’ve switched jobs several times. And generally that first advisor may not have been the fit or left the industry.

Marc Killian  03:46

You said when they’re, you know, the accumulation phase, but you mean the transition from accumulation Correct. Into the preservation stage? Sort of Yeah, I’m tracking with you.

Jude Wilson  03:56

Yeah. Thank you for that. Yeah. So at that phase, usually clients is thinking about, I’ve created this net worth. So now I want to make sure that I have income for life, and I can continue to live the lifestyle that I want to write that’s shifted, right. Yeah. Yeah, that’s moving from accumulating dollars to making sure you preserve dollars and have income. So the person that necessarily brought you up the hill is not necessarily the person that takes you down the hill, right. And those are usually the phases that I see people start to look around and see. Do I have the right died for this phase of my life?

Marc Killian  04:38

Yeah, and some of those triggers dude are never having the conversations brought up or or maybe skirting the conversation not necessarily maliciously, but just you’re they’re not talking to you about Social Security in the strategizing or max maximization there excuse me, or or legacy right, those kinds of pieces. It’s always just about you know how to grow The money. So that could be, again, a sign that it’s time to look for that that new adviser. Those are usually some of the big year marks, would you agree?

Jude Wilson  05:09

I would agree 100%. And so things people should be looking out for in their particular phase of life, let’s kind of talk about the accumulation phase first, and then we’ll move to the distribution phase. In the accumulation phase, you want an advisor, that’s going to look at you holistically. And when I say holistically, it’s kind of a fashionable term now, but really looking at the big picture and bringing it down to your specific situation, looking 360, if you will, because it’s not I tell clients all the time, having an investment statement is not a financial plan. And a lot of financial advisors are looking to get people into a portfolio and have them contribute to the portfolio and grow their net worth. But that’s all they they’re looking at. And I tell clients well, even if you make 50% return on an investment, but tomorrow, you get hit by a bus, and you’re no longer able to work, you need other solutions than just that investment portfolio. So so we’ve got to think proactively, and we’ve got to look at everything, we’ve got to look at possible threats to your income, right and call those financial termites. I thought


you’d heard me mentioned that I have, but I get a giggle every time. You know, things that

Jude Wilson  06:38

could be eating away at your net worth money that you’re losing unknowingly and unnecessarily missed that you don’t see. Everybody knows about the risk that they do see? Yeah, typically, you know, pretty senior spouses and risk everybody does for sure, yeah. But nobody talks about some of the risks that you don’t see. Like, if you get in that car accident, and you hit the neurosurgeon, and he’s no longer able to practice. He’s coming after you. So how do we protect

Marc Killian  07:05

you through, you know, financial termites? You know, it works well, because they obviously they eat, you know, eat would destroy things. So I get the analogy, financial fleas, rolls right off the tongue a little bit, right? Fleas, fleas are just irritating. So maybe fleas are more like the fees. Right? Right. They’re irritating. They don’t necessarily eat to eat to down to the bone. I guess maybe they could? I don’t know. But no, it’s a great point. Right? So those are some signs that maybe the change is on the horizon. So now you said you were going to talk a little bit about the opposite side.

Jude Wilson  07:36

Yeah, so in the distribution phase, if you you have a financial advisor, and they’re not talking to you about, okay, this is your runway between today and X date that you want to make work optional. Here’s how we’re going to generate income to make sure that you can live the lifestyle that you become accustomed to, without fear of the market ups and downs. If they’re not talking to you about that way prior to your retirement, that’s a key sign that you have an accumulation advisor. And that person is not thinking proactively ahead of time. So, and you said it also, when you’re looking at the distribution phase, people are now considering greater aspects of their financial life like legacy planning. Do I want to leave something to the kids and the grandkids? Yeah. You know, what do I want to happen when I get to the level of a stage in my life where I can’t take care of myself independently? Yeah, for sure. These are all things that should be thought out well in advance, you know, if you have a good financial advisor, they’re thinking about these things, 10 years prior to these events happening in your life.

Marc Killian  08:57

Yeah, and I guess, and again, that’s really kind of the some telltale signs that maybe you’re working with a professional who is just as no longer fitting your needs, it doesn’t mean they weren’t necessarily doing something wrong, or anything like that. It’s just simply you’ve outgrown that situation, or it’s moving in a different direction, because you do need to talk about security taxation, for example, you want to that’s a big one, obviously. Right? So if they’re just worried about the accumulation, they’re not necessarily worried about the taxation port side of things, or the distribution of that wealth afterwards in a tax efficient, efficient manner. Right. So all those kinds of things are important. So any kind of clarifying questions, some good questions, dude, we could share with folks if to maybe ask their current advisor first of all, to find out like, okay, are they the right fit for me? Let me let me ask them a couple of probing questions to see you know, if that helps me figure that out.

Jude Wilson  09:45

Yeah, I would ask if I was in a similar situation. Let’s break it down into two segments. Again, accumulation and distribution. If I’m in the accumulation phase, the question that I’m asking my financial advisor is What does complete financial plan look like to you, and then just sit back and let them talk. If they’re solely talking about your investment strategy, that’s probably the wrong person. Also in the accumulation phase, I want to ask my advisor, when you’re looking at my at my big picture, what risk factors should I be considering? And then just let them talk. And if they don’t have a process for both of those things, you’re probably talking to the wrong person. Now, in the distribution phase, one of the big questions is, how do I have consistent income for life, regardless of whatever the market is doing? And then also, I would ask, does your strategy also look at tax implications that could arise? When I’m in retirement, we do a seminar called taxes in retirement, and people are surprised at where taxes could possibly affect their income for life. Oh, so those are just a few questions that I would pose to a financial advisor if I was sitting across from them.

Marc Killian  11:10

Okay, so maybe this is the most important question of all, dude, and we’ll kind of wrap up with this little conversation here. What made you feel like you needed to change, right, like so the first question you might want to ask yourself is what even got you thinking about that? And then from there, then go, okay, then what do I need to ask the potential new person I’m shopping?

Jude Wilson  11:30

Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. And the two things that I hear the most, because almost every new client we have comes from a previous relationship with a financial advisor, meaning they had to fire their financial advisor to become a client, right? And the two things that I hear most of the time, actually free, there was no overall plan. No benchmarks to see, am I winning the game? Am I behind the game? Am I right? On Course, there was no financial plan, it was just, you know, investments or insurance that he sold me. Number two is lack of communication. My Financial Adviser would call me once in a blue moon when he had something new to sell me. And then the third that I hear, which I always push back on, is the lack of returns that I had from the financial advisor, I push back on that one sometimes, because the financial advisor can’t control the returns that you get, they can only advise you on what investments may be best for you at that stage. Right? So I try to dig in a little deeper when a client tells me that to see, did you really give this guy or girl enough time to generate a decent return for you over time and not just moving? Just because you had one or two bad years in a row?

Marc Killian  12:50

Right? Yeah. And I think when you’re shopping, right, for the new one, really ask yourself, what do we need as we’re aging, right? Is this person got the right credentials and the right experience to help us through some of these other phases that we’ll encounter, you know, past the age of 60, or pass, you know, again, it’s not just getting to retirement, it’s about getting through it as well.

Jude Wilson  13:11

Absolutely, because what we preach here at the firm is that we not only want to help you achieve your goals, but we want to be the last financial advisor that your family ever works with. So we’re working with you, your adult children, potentially even your grandchildren. And that’s, that’s the type of relationship that a financial advisor should want to have with you is that they’re planning and being proactive, not just for today, but to get you to and through retirement, you said it best.

Marc Killian  13:45

Yeah. You know, and thinking about that, right? When you’re shopping for a firm of any kind, ask yourself What kind of place you want to work at work with, you know, so some people want to go to the big flashy, you know, no matter what kind of business it is, they want to go to the big name brand with the big building and the big this, that and the other and others want to work with a boutique firm, you know, so there’s all kinds of ways little things to factor into your decision making process. But the big one obviously is going to be what kind of relationship what is the value that you’re getting for the information that you’re receiving? And doesn’t have that good? I mean, there’s nothing wrong don’t don’t underestimate you know, the the tummy rule right, the good feeling the good vibe that you get right you want to make sure that when you’re sitting across and working with someone to your point and you’d like you to set for your retirement maybe also for your kids and even into your grandkids that you like the person that you can get along with them as well right because it’s a little easier I think to take the good news and the bad news or the hey let’s work on this or let’s do that when you kind of have a good rapport

Jude Wilson  14:43

Yep. And that’s that’s why we call our team members our work family and our clients, our client family because we want to treat everybody like family when they come into our our firm and we do educational events. We do fun events, we want to share not only in the success of your financial plan, but we want to build a relationship with clients for life. So that’s, that’s how we do here.

Marc Killian  15:12

Okay. It just, you know, the family aspect just minus the Thanksgiving arguments over which, who made the best stuffing? Right, that kind of thing. So absolutely minus that. Yeah, I’m a little early for Thanksgiving conversation. I better hold it for too late. Alright, that’s gonna do it this week for us on the podcast. Thanks for hanging out, folks. Again, if you got questions or concerns about, you know, do you have the right advisor? Or is it time to make a change what some things that you need to look at, or if you’re shopping and you’ve got this, you know, check out this podcast because someone sent it to you, or whatever the case might be, feel free to reach out to Jude and his team at centrist financial strategies and get on the calendar and come in for a consultation. Many times, consultations and conversations to get started are complimentary. So it’s a great way to find out what’s the right fit for you, because it’s got to work both ways. It’s gotta be you gotta be the right client for June. And, of course, they’ve got to be the right advisor for you. So reach out to him. Find them online. It’s interest. That’s interest, C E N T R U S And don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast on Apple, Google, Spotify. Whatever podcasting platform you like, Dude, my friend. I will see you next time. Thanks for hanging out. Until next time our friend Take care. Yes, sir. We’ll catch you later here on playing wise retire free.

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