Relationships Matter Most

About Your Relationship with Russell Glickstern and Westchester Financial Planning

The success of the advisor-client relationship is based on mutual respect, honesty, and trust.  Be a well-prepared client.

Think carefully about the nature of our discussions and what you wish to accomplish. Prepare any questions you have in advance.  Take notes and ask questions until you are comfortable with a concept or suggestion. However, don't feel compelled to reach decisions right away. I encourage you to discuss your questions and concerns with me before making a decision.

Remember, our job is to look out for you and help you pursue your financial goals. Establishing a mutually open, honest relationship is an important step in realizing those goals. A financial advisor relationship is more than about numbers, and it can be incredibly close.  

The following are some guidelines to help you get the most value out of any financial advisor relationship.   Having a good relationship with your advisor is crucial to achieving success in the work you do together. 

Questions to Ask in a New Relationship

The following are some practical questions to consider asking when you are beginning a new relationship with a financial advisor:

What services do you provide/have expertise in?
How are you compensated?
What our your qualifications - education, experience, certifications, licenses?
What kind of clients do you typically work with?
How often do we meet to review my portfolio, its performance and/or progress toward pursing my goals?
What are your investment principles?
How will you help me achieve and maintain my financial goals?
When will you contact me?

Knowing When Should You Change Your Financial Advisor – Establishing a Good Relationship

  • You are afraid or intimidated to call your financial advisor - If you’re having trouble picking up the phone to ask a financial question, that’s a sign of a bad relationship.
  • Your financial advisor does not listen to you – You feel that your advisor does not have time for you and brushes you off. 
  • Your financial situation is changing, but the advice is not – Your advisor is more concerned about accumulation rather than preparing for your investment savings to replace a steady paycheck.
  • Your financial advisor only calls to trade – If you feel your advisor is looking to make a quick profit from a particular fund, it may be time to say goodbye. 
  • You are listening to other financial advice and are no longer comfortable with your advisor agreement - If you are not feeling fulfilled in your current advisor relationship, you have the option to leave.   

When Should You Contact Your Financial Advisor?

Often clients do not consider contacting their financial advisors when they experience a financial, personal, or life changes (but they should) such as:    

  • Personal or life changes (marriage, divorce, birth, sickness or death) 
  • Business changes (purchase or sale of a business and/or business loss or large-flow expense)
  • Financial changes (loss of employment, inheritance, debt repayment, work bonus/stock options, buying/selling a primary residence, vacation or rental property)
  • Estate planning considerations (long-term care, asset transfer, generational planning, estate taxes, charitable giving, business succession). 

Ways to Ensure a Good Relationship Your Financial Advisor

Share all of your goals: Not all of your goals may involve finances or require any specific planning work, but that doesn’t eliminate the need to share them with your financial advisor. Some of your unique goals deserve a discussion with your financial advisor since they may be able to find solutions for you.  Money is a tool to live the life you want and financial planning is about envisioning that life and figuring out how to get there. 

Be Open: If an investment makes you nervous, or you have a financial concern that has been worrying you, it’s your financial advisor’s job to help you work through it. It’s their job to guide you through your prosperity journey and handle any concerns that may arise.   Sharing your concerns about a negative or troubling situation is not a sign of weakness.  

Share changes to your employment or income: From major changes, such as losing your job or switching careers, to minor changes, such as an adjustment to your benefits, you want to keep your financial advisor informed of it all. A simple modification to your investment options (i.e. 401K) could require a rebalance or reallocation. If you leave your profession, you may need to re-evaluate insurance needs or prepare for a different cash flow situation. Your financial advisor will help you plan and prepare for what’s next.

Share personal life changes: Enlist the support of your advisor when you are faced with critical life events such as starting a family, new job opportunity, sudden wealth, marriage, death or sickness of a family member, launching a new business, and preparing for retirement

Inform them of any data or security breaches: The last tip to ensure a good relationship with your financial advisor is to inform them of any data or security breaches. Your planner has the ability to place additional restrictions on your account and provide added security to protect your financial information and wealth. Your advisor can also give you advice on how to protect yourself from future breaches.