There are some great financial planners out there, and then, well, there are some who are not. I’ve been spending a lot of time lately on the phone with financial planner types while I have been sorting out the details of my father’s estate and also his retirement funds, and rather than come up with a definitive list of what to look for (or not) in a financial planner, today I’m taking a humorous approach. But, based a tiny bit in fact as I’ll mention at the end. Enjoy!
1. When they’re talking to you, they’re constantly being interrupted by calls they *have* to take.
2. They play games on Facebook on their iPhone the entire time you are meeting with them.
3. Their door is shrouded in black for the “death of the economy”.
4. Their company was part of the big financial bailout and yet they’re scheduling a vacation with the big bonus they just got. During your meeting.
5. When you talk, they yawn.
6. Then pass you a prewritten financial plan that reflects nothing that you just said.
7. When you ask questions, they say “Everyone is losing money, just roll with it.”
8. They look at their watch and tell you that you are making them late for their racquetball match so could we wrap it up now?
9. None of the above applies to you because you haven’t been able to get your advisor on the phone to schedule a meeting in months.
10. Or years.
Obviously, many of these things probably haven’t happened to you or happen very often. But my one takeaway message from my financial planner experience so far is find one who is actually listening to you and values your time. If it sounds like they’re giving you a predetermined script no matter what you say, they probably are. If it sounds like they have their best interests in mind, not yours, they probably do. If you choose to work with a financial planner, make sure you are being heard and feel like an important part of the process. Or you might not be part of the process at all.