When to Change Your Investment Advisor: The Red Flags

By Mark Barnicutt on September 3, 2021

Like any profession, there are competent advisors and not-so-competent advisors in the wealth management industry. Our experience is that there are always warning signs for clients that it’s time to change investment advisors.

Here are seven signs to which investors should pay careful attention:

1.     Things Just Don’t Add-Up

To properly monitor the success of your portfolio requires that you receive regular portfolio performance reporting from your investment advisory firm. For instance, if, the official account statements you receive from your investment advisor’s firm don’t provide you on a recurring quarterly basis with the percentage performance (i.e. rate of return) that you’ve earned on your portfolio over time, this can be a challenge to monitor. As is common with many wealth advisory firms, the only performance statements issued by are received annually, or manually created by your investment advisor.

2.     Your Wealth Management Experience Feels like a Rollercoaster Train Ride that Never Left the Station

Your portfolio values goes up in bull markets and down in bear markets but you never seem to make any money, and this has gone on for several years.

3.     You Feel like You’re on the Road to Nowhere

Your portfolio is being managed without any well-defined and regularly measurable goals to which your investment advisor is held accountable.

4.     Your Investment Advisor Only Calls when They Have Something to Sell You

Your investment advisor does not proactively organize periodic portfolio reviews with you.

5.     Your Portfolio Feels like a Collection of Bad Ideas

Your investment advisor has not designed an Investment Policy Statement (i.e. a Portfolio Blueprint) for you that guides the design and ongoing management of your portfolio. As a result, your portfolio feels like a collection of randomly generated ideas over time that are rarely successful in a sustainable manner.

6.     You Don’t Clearly Understand How Your Investment Advisor Is Compensated

Every time you discuss compensation with your investment advisor, you feel like you’re trying to solve the mysteries of the universe. As a result, you don’t clearly understand the actual total dollars that you are paying for the services of your investment advisor.

7.     Your Questions Are Not Answered to Your Satisfaction

Every time you ask questions about the construction and ongoing performance of your portfolio, you feel like most answers are either superficial platitudes or loaded with lots of investment industry jargon – in other words, you never receive answers that actually answer the question!

If you are experiencing any of these issues with your investment advisor, it’s time to take a hard look at your portfolio, your fees, and whether you are getting the best advice for your needs.

>> HighView Financial Group is an investment counselling firm that becomes an outsourced Chief Investment Officer for affluent families and foundations. Schedule a complimentary discovery session to see if we’re the right investment counsellors for you.

You may also be interested in:

Mark Barnicutt
See Beyond

Receive Market Commentary + Stewardship Insights.