Can You Talk to Your Advisor?

Maybe you’ve seen those speed dating commercials where it’s clear in 30 seconds that the couple doesn’t click and it’s time for them to move on and keep searching for love. Chemistry is important with your financial advisor, too. Let’s face it, you have to be comfortable enough with your advisor to share your hopes and dreams — as well as your fears.

That essential chemistry begins when you find an advisor with good listening skills. And that doesn’t mean sitting across the desk from someone who consistently nods like a bobble head doll when you talk. Really listening to clients involves inviting them to open up, taking to heart what they say, asking some follow-up questions, and helping place their goals or worries in context of their bigger financial picture.

In my book, that intangible, know-it-when-you-feel-it good chemistry serves as the foundation for problem solving. That’s because feeling comfortable with each other enables us to ask each other questions and work together to find answers.

Finally, because the planning process requires some work and it’s a relationship we hope to enjoy for the long-term, it’s worth it to put the time and energy in upfront to ensure that the financial advisor you select is someone you like. Of course, you want an advisor with the expertise and skills to manage your wealth, but it sure helps if that person is also someone you honestly enjoy meeting with.

Just as satisfaction with your co-workers affects your overall job satisfaction – and your overall happiness, so, too, can an enjoyable relationship with your advisor positively impact both the planning process and your general sense of well being.

(Note:  For a discussion of the six core characteristics–Six Cs–an advisor should have read What Makes a Great Financial Advisor? and the Six Cs blogs on this topic.)

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