The Big Breakup: How to Leave Your Financial Advisor

Daniel Penzing
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Why Do You Want to Leave

Your Advisor?

This is an important question to consider before you take steps to do so. Helping advise someone else can be a challenging job that requires a great deal of knowledge about financial products, taxation and the markets.

They’re definitely not a piece of cake, so advisors have to earn their money, like any other employee would. If you want to look for someone to fill the role of your financial advisor, try to find someone who has a similar story to yours – similar market, similar lifestyle, similar investment goals.

It’s also important to understand that there can be costs associated with leaving your existing financial advisor, whether they were worth their fees or not.

You will need to be prepared for this as you will inherit your advisor’s clients if you leave. This may put you in a position where you have to perform financial planning for your advisor’s existing clients, which can be both frustrating and expensive.

Before you do, you should know that your financial advisor will easily make more money continuing to manage your account than if he finds a new client who’s a close match.

How to Leave


One of the most common questions I get is, did I just throw everything away and run off with my money? Am I still working with an advisor? The answer to both questions is no. To explain, I’ll explain without the aid of a third party (cough, cough, financial advisor).


Many investors have been burned by advisors. Online advice is cheap and abundant, but that doesn’t mean it’s good advice, or right for you. For me, I wanted different types of help with different goals. (More on that at the end.) Investing is a learnable craft that can be approached in a multitude of ways. A professional investor understands that, which is why you don’t just see one type of investor.

<u>How? </u>

I will start with the process I first laid out in Part One, and will alter it as outlined below. In what follows, I’ll use a few acronyms without much explanation; that’s best done in Part One.

Always Follow Up

When you’ve decided to cut ties with your financial advisor – for any reason – it’s essential to follow up. If there’s more than one reason for the breakup, then revisit each issue. Remind the advisor of your concerns and put them to rest. If you still don’t feel as if your concerns are satisfied, explain the next step you’ll take to achieve satisfaction. That should be a simple step – assume that the financial advisor will want to keep your business.

Check Out Robo Advisors

Robo advisors is the buzzword in the financial world today. What are these new, shiny robo advisors and are they better than human advisers? Or are they worse? Are they even safe?

The word robo refers to the computer-generated, algorithm-fueled methodology that underlies modern robo advisors. These are the computer programs that generate financial plans and offer advice. Robo advisors are also known as digital or online advisors for obvious reasons. (These companies will also call themselves automated, online, digital, online advisory company, or virtual advisor. But all are the same.)

The idea is simple. You answer a few questions online and the robo advisor spits out a financial plan and advice. You get your financial plan via email, computer, or smartphone apps. You can even speak to a trained human financial adviser via video if you like. The human adviser is there for all the minor details, questions, and goals.

The benefits are more obvious. You can save some money. Robo advisors are cheaper than human financial advisors. They also give you access to your investments anywhere in the world. And if you are still confused about your financial decisions after reading the robo advisor results, you can always speak to a human adviser about it.

The Right Choice for You

We’ve all heard the saying, “When one door shuts, another one opens.” Regardless of whether that’s true, it’s easy to imagine another door opening that leads to a better financial future. If you’re dissatisfied with your current investment professional or simply not making progress with your retirement plan as you’d hoped, it’s time to break it off and start fresh.

Before you do that, though, there are a few things you should do.