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Wealth, Super, Growth - 3 min read

Let's face it: relationships don't always work out. This is as true with financial advisers as it is with hair stylists, physicians, and high school romances. But what should you do when things aren't working out well with your financial adviser? Is there a way to break up with your financial adviser and "still be friends"? 

There is. You can relax because financial advisers are professionals who know that they're not the right fit for every person. Still, breakups can be tough. Your finances are personal, and there might be things your financial adviser knows about you that no one else does. You also may have developed a friendship over the years, and if your financial adviser is a neighbor or family member, the breakup may feel especially awkward.

To help ease the pain, we've put together some tips to help you get out of a non-productive relationship with your current financial adviser so you can move on to an adviser who will help you to grow.

1. Find the Differentiator

Understanding why you need a new financial adviser not only helps you to explain why you're breaking up, but it also helps you to have the confidence to make the move. Here are some examples of differentiators that may apply to your situation:

  • You may want a financial adviser who works on a fee for the service provided instead of an hourly rate for financial advice
  • You may want to work with an adviser whose firm abides by the fiduciary standard of care (putting their clients' financial interests ahead of their own)
  • You may like to work with a firm that provides a team of experts including taxation advice.

Once you know and understand the specific reasons you want to move to a different financial adviser, you'll be able to explain it to others, and you'll have more confidence in your decision.

2. Keep It Professional

When you break the news to your financial adviser, keep it brief and professional. Thank your adviser for his or her help in the past, and explain that things have changed and you're moving on.

If you want to share the specific reasons that explain your move, go ahead and do it. But don't feel obligated to explain. It's your money and your decision. You can keep your reasoning to yourself if you want to.

3. Be Prepared for Pushback

That said, your financial adviser may not want to let you go easily. Losing your business doesn't just hurt your adviser's pride; the loss will also hurt his bottom line. So it's more than reasonable for him to try and keep your business.

Be polite and respectful. Hear your financial adviser out. But if you've firmly made up your mind, just explain that you really do appreciate the work they’ve done for you in the past, but your mind is made up: it's time for you to go now.

4. Slip Away If You Must

If this sounds all too confrontational, perhaps a phone call alerting your adviser of your decision is enough.

This might not work so well if you have a long-established personal friendship. In fact, such a move could mark the end of a long-established personal friendship, but if your relationship with your financial adviser is formal and strictly business, there's nothing wrong with the “phone call” version of a break-up.

Yes, breaking up can be hard to do, but sometimes it's necessary for you to spread your wings and take your finances in a healthier, more profitable direction. 


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