Just because an angry bear market is mauling your portfolio doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s time to fire your financial planner. But you may want to break out the axe at the sight of the following five warning signs…
- Communication Breakdowns: Your financial planner hasn’t been fishing since May. If you suddenly getting the runaround even though your calls were returned when times were good, ask for an explanation.
- Amazing New Strategies: What happened to that long-term plan that sounded so good two years ago? Managing the market might call for some tweaks and adjustments, but be wary if your advisor starts pitching a distinctly novel plan.
- No Strategy At All: Your advisor should be able to explain how current performance fits in with your larger goals. “If the adviser doesn’t have a strategy they can articulate to you, you can pretty much guarantee that you’ll have poor results,” said David Twibell, president of wealth management for Colorado Capital Bank in Denver.
- Lots Of Transactions: Is your advisor racking up commission by buying or selling stocks every day? Even in good times, costly rapid-fire transactions require an explanation.
- New Office: If your planner hops firms, find out why. It may be for a nicer office with a plusher chair and sweeter salary, but it could also be a sign that clients at the old firm were dissatisfied.
Now may seem like the time to panic and stuff your mattress full of cash, but unless your financial planner gives you a specific reason to worry, stick with your long-term strategy.