Podcast Episode 214: Common Complaints People Have About Advisors

Today’s Wisdom:

We meet people every day that either work with or have worked with a financial advisor, and during those conversations we hear many of the same complaints. Let’s dive into the issues facing may pre-retirees and how we address them with our clients.

Want to save time? Click the timestamps below to jump ahead to specific spots in the episode.


What You’ll Learn:

Being in our position, we hear from people all the time about what they like and dislike about the advisor profession and we can understand their feedback. You want to have complete trust and confidence in the person helping you manage your financial future.

That’s our goal and it should be the goal for every advisor so let’s discuss these complaints and how we address them with everyone we work with. This episode will run through a handful of items that come up consistently and Joel will walk us through each planning topic.

First up is risk. The common complaint we hear is that an advisor is taking on too much risk in their portfolio. This is one that comes up quite a bit because not everyone completely understands the risk in their portfolio. Many people are either taking more risk than they have to or taking on more risk than they realize. Either way, though, this is a valid complaint because even there isn’t too much risk in a client’s portfolio, then an advisor isn’t doing a good enough job explaining what’s inside the portfolio. 

Our Money Map review process will work through risk with you and lay out a plan that meets your risk profile and allows you to have confidence in every investment you add to your portfolio.

The next complaint about advisors is that fees are too high. It’s important to understand what you’re paying for and what services you’re receiving. When you analyze it, determine whether the value you’re receiving matches or exceeds the price you’re paying. Working with us and many other advisors means getting service well beyond managing your money. There’s so much to what we do with the comprehensive approach, which is where you’ll truly find the value.

Even beyond the cost of an advisor’s services, fees within a portfolio can often be misunderstood as well. Make sure you’re working with your advisor to get an explanation of the costs within your investments and be cognizant of what you’re spending.

Another common complaint comes when returns aren’t as high as someone had hoped for. This could happen because proper expectations weren’t set or it might be driven by seeing friends or family getting bigger returns over a given year. But the first thing you need to do look at what you’re invested in and determine whether it meets your goals and objectives. The other side of that discussion is seeing how the rest of the market performed compared to your portfolio. If the market was down 20% and you returns were zero, then you’ve essentially netted a 20% gain during that time period. Regardless of how you’re performing each year, it’s important to understand everything you’re invested in and re-evaluate it consistently.

The final complaint that comes up in meetings is a lack of communication from advisors. If you’re only hearing from your advisors when they want you to buy a stock, then you aren’t getting the appropriate amount of service. You and your advisor should be having regular meetings that discuss everything within your portfolio and that proactive approach will pay dividends in retirement.

Let’s get started with the show. You can listen to it by using the audio player above and click on the timestamps to skip to a specific topic of conversation.

[1:08] – Peak of the homebuying frenzy?

[2:38] – Mailbag question on paying for a swimming pool

[5:38] – Complaint: Taking on too much risk

[9:21] – Different biases we have

[11:03] – How do you determine risk in your portfolio

[14:13] – Complaint: My fees are too high

[17:20] – Complaint: My account didn’t grow much 

[18:34] – Complaint: I only hear from my advisor when they want me to buy a stock

[19:03] – Mailbag question on investments for grandchildren

[20:49] – Mailbag question on investing outside of stocks

Thanks for listening to this episode. We’ll be back again next week for another show.


Final Thoughts:

“A lot of people have done a great job saving. They’re in better shape than they think they are and they don’t have to take risk. “

– Joel Johnson

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Thank you for listening!