If you are like most people, you are probably not tremendously pleased with your financial advisor. The reason for this,
generally, is that most people do not take the time to really think through what it is they really want out of a relationship with a
financial advisor. In fact, I?ll be so bold as to say most people actually don?t event want a relationship with someone who just
tells them where to invest their money. Instead, most people expend all of their ?relationship energy? on family, friends, church
and business. When combined with all of the relationships that develop from soccer, school and other recreational programs, most
people just want to do as little as possible to get by when it comes to their finances.
The problem is that money is the sustenance of our physical livelihood and to the extent that we don?t have enough of it, the
effects are felt everywhere in our lives. Not enough money fuels marriage troubles, kills dreams and hope, and adversely impacts
all of our other relationships. So, like it or not, we need to re-prioritize the way we approach managing our money, so that what
we do have is leveraged for its full potential. And to gain that leverage, a relationship with a financial advisor is most times the
optimal way to go.
For starters, think relationship, not transaction. You do transactions with bank tellers and grocery clerks. There is no ?business
reason? why they need to know your hopes and dreams, your values and how much money you need. On the other hand, to give
you the best advice possible, your financial advisor will need to know all of that and more. It is a given that you will spend time
with your advisor, so it is important that you actually like him or her. There should be good chemistry. You also need to be
comfortable with the way you will pay your advisor, whether on an hourly rate, a flat fee, commission, or a combination. There
is no right or wrong way to pay your advisor, only what is most appropriate for you.
Whether you meet with your advisor in person, or develop a long distance relationship is also not necessarily relevant. I work
with many clients that I have never met in person, but we communicate extensively over the phone, Internet, fax and mail.
In summary, here are four key points to remember:
To get the most out of your money, I recommend developing a relationship with a financial advisor.
Make sure there is good chemistry between you and the advisor. It is important that you actually like each other.
Understand the different ways advisors are compensated and choose the one that?s right for you.
Don?t limit yourself by geography. In today?s world of advanced telecommunication, we have the advantage of infinite
Stephen Bolt is the author of Money For Life.
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