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Breaking up is hard to do, but sometimes it’s for the best. Even if you’ve been with your advisor for years, think they aren’t giving you enough advice, or that she doesn’t have time for you, or you’re just ready to try something new , it can be It’s time to move on. So we asked professionals how to cut the cord with tact and efficiency. (This tool can help you find a planner that meets your needs.)
Put the break in writing
People often forget this, but some advisor contracts require 30 days notice to end a billing cycle. This means that “putting in writing that a client wishes to terminate their contract is important,” says Arielle Bittoni, chief wealth management strategist at Refresh Investments.
Beware of termination fees
As if the fees on the investments weren’t bad enough, this one is going to really annoy you: in your contract there may be a termination fee, where you pay a fee when you end the relationship. While Bittoni says her company doesn’t charge termination fees, she notes, âI’ve heard that depending on the custodian advisers used, clients may be charged account closing fees to move their investment accounts. It’s not billed by the advisor, it’s billed by the custodian, âBittoni explains.
Revoke your limited power of attorney
A good counselor will have told you what you need to do to break up before you start working together. âIf you work with an RIA (registered investment advisor) who uses a custodian like Fidelity, Schwab or TD Ameritrade, you may have only given them a limited power of attorney to transact and collect fees. If this is your case, call the custodian directly and request that the limited power of attorney be revoked. If you’ve already found an advisor you’d like to work with, they’ll take care of everything for you, âsays Jen Grant, Certified Financial Planner at Perryman Financial Advisory. (This tool can help you find a planner that meets your needs.)
Prepare for a successful transition to a new advisor
An advisor is required to transfer your financial records to your new advisor, but you should get copies of your old files (or view them online) before the transfer, just to make sure everything is going smoothly. If you plan to manage your own money, instead of letting your new advisor take care of the necessary transfers, you may need to lead the administrative process to move your investments. âAnother thing to remember is that the customer should keep their old account login information so that they can download all tax statements at the end of the year,â Bittoni explains.
Be clear about your issues with the advisor
âIf something doesn’t work, tell it like it is. That way you don’t waste your time or theirs and everyone can move on, âsays Grace S. Yung, Wealth Manager and Managing Director of Midtown Financial Group. âTell them what works for you and what doesn’t. Chances are, if you feel something is wrong, so are they. In her 26 years of experience, Yung says she has realized that you can’t click with everyone, and that’s okay. âIt’s about finding a good fit. If after a heart to heart it still doesn’t work for you, there are no surprises and you have given the opportunity to the relationship to work, âYung explains.
Consider giving them a chance to do it right
Grant says you should also tell the advisor what went wrong, and he may be able to fix it. If there is something that caused the split, like a bad customer service experience, I want to know. If it’s because of a service we haven’t offered, I also want to know. I want the chance to make things right even though the client has decided to leave, âGrant says. (This tool can help you find a planner that meets your needs.)
Whether it’s a romantic or financial relationship, no one likes to be a ghost. “No explanation is worse than receiving even the most difficult comments,” says Jeanne Fisher, Certified Financial Planner and Ambassador of the CFP Board of Directors.
Conclusion: âOpen communication is the key to a successful working relationship. Many times it may be that open discussions can set appropriate expectations for both parties. In addition, they can give each party the opportunity to contribute to the success of the engagement. It’s a two-way street, âsays Yung.