Do you find yourself wishing you could get more for all the money you’re spending on a financial advisor?
If they keep piling on the advice but you just keep putting off using it — it might not be your fault, after all.
Sometimes financial advisors simply aren’t aligned with our goals, and therefore the advice they give isn’t as useful as we wish it was. It’s OK to acknowledge that misalignment and move on to find a relationship that’s more fulfilling for both parties.
Keep reading to learn how you can finally make the most of the financial advice you’re paying for, including:
- How to identify whether or not your current financial advisor relationship is working
- How to find a good financial advisor if you’re not happy with your current one
- How to use software to make the most of working with a good financial advisor
Are You Having Any of These Issues With Your Financial Advisor?
If any of the following scenarios sound like your experience working with an advisor, it might be time to find a new, good financial advisor who’s a better fit for your goals (which we’ll help you do in the next section!).
It Seems Like Your Financial Advisor is Speaking Gibberish
They want you to put how much money into which kind of new account?!
Do you find yourself asking questions like this frequently after reading an email from or getting off a video call with your financial advisor?
You’re not alone in that confusion. A lot of people — especially those who are new to working with a financial advisor or finances in general — have a hard time understanding advice from their financial advisors.
While this could be a matter of poor customer service on behalf of your financial advisor, it’s more likely the fact that they’re simply not the right kind of financial advisor for your monetary needs.
You Keep Getting Financial Advice That Isn’t Tailored to You
Are you a new and relatively risk-averse investor who keeps getting advice to put a lot of money in foreign emerging markets, volatile stocks, and other places commonly recognized as being on the risky side?
Or, does your financial advisor keep giving you savings advice that would make way more sense for someone who’s much closer to retirement?
It could be that your financial advisor is simply too busy to prioritize giving you personalized advice, which isn’t great. But even worse is that you could be paying a premium for what’s ultimately some sneaky (and poorly-executed) automation.
You Can’t Understand the Complex Reports They Send You
The truth is that most financial advisors really are doing their best to help their clients. That must be why they keep sending you those long, monthly reports — right?
You would know if you ever opened them, but we don’t blame you for not even looking at them anymore. After all, when was the last time you understood or were able to take a single action based on those reports?
Unfortunately many financial advisors are still using the original software that hit the market when their jobs started to become digital decades ago. They don’t understand that the reports their software is generating are too complex for non-professionals — that or they’re stuck in their legacy systems (and their ways).
They’re Too Lax With Security
If you’re working with a financial advisor who’s had to take their services further (or fully) online in a rush as a result of COVID-19, they might not be equipped to provide the same level of security you’ve come to expect from online-native businesses.
Take for example the not-so-unusual case of Morgan Stanley coughing up a million dollars to settle with the SEC after allowing one of their financial advisors to transfer private client data to their home computer.
It’s important that any financial advisor — whether they’ve recently gone online or digital is “old news” for them — uses a third-party custodian to hold your assets to help prevent fraud and other data breaches.
After all, if a personal data breach can happen to the big guys, it can happen to you and your financial advisor.
How to Pick a Good Financial Advisor
The above issues hit a little too close to home?
Follow these steps to find a new, good financial advisor who understands your needs and is prepared to help you manage your money better.
Know Your Financial Advisement Goals
Choosing the right tool requires that you understand the job you want it to do.
In the case of choosing a good financial advisor, that means defining your own monetary goals and what you want from a financial advisory engagement.
Here are some thinking points to help you come up with some solid goals:
- Long-term life goals (like retirement)
- Short-term life goals (like a holiday vacation)
- Interest in getting into new asset types (like crypto)
- Interest in developing alternative and/or passive income sources
- Increasing your savings effectiveness with increasing your income
Get Familiar With the Different Types of Financial Advisors and the Services They Provide
There are several types of financial advisors from which you can choose:
Traditional financial advisors are the kind many of us think of first — the certified financial expert you would have met with in-person before the world went remote. This kind of advisor offers the most personalized service and is a good fit for those who want hands-on advice, need help developing a whole-life financial plan, and/or happen to have a more complex monetary situation.
Online financial advisement combines automated financial advice and virtual access to human financial advisors. This relationship offers a high level of flexibility — personalized monetary advice when you need it and simple, automated financial management when you don’t. This solution is better for the slightly more experienced person who is already moving forward on most of their financial goals and just has financial questions from time to time.
Robo-advisors are fully automated, algorithm-based financial “advisors.” Robo-advisors don’t offer advice as much as they use data to make informed financial decisions and automatically manage investments on your behalf. Robo-advisors can work both for people who are new to financial management and don’t yet have complex needs — as well as more experienced investors who want to set it and forget it.
Understand How The Level of Service You Want Will Impact Your Budget
Financial advice doesn’t have to be out of reach. Today, you can choose a type of advisor based on what you’re willing to spend.
Traditional financial advisors will be the most expensive because you’re paying for a professional’s undivided attention. On average, financial advisors charge about 1% of the amount they’re managing for you. Your assets might also have to meet a minimum threshold for a traditional financial advisor to take you on.
Online financial planners again fall in the middle of the road. Like traditional financial advisors, you can expect to pay a percentage of your assets. While the price will range based on the service, Personal Capital is a popular example that charges between .89% and .49% of the value of assets under management.
Robo-advisors often have no minimum asset requirement and charge an average of 0.25% to 0.50% of the assets they manage.
While charging a percentage of your assets is the most common way financial advisors generate revenue, you may also find one that charges an hourly rate, a flat fee per session, or even less often a subscription fee.
Finally, Conduct Interviews Before Choosing a Good Financial Advisor
The best way to make sure a financial advisor is going to be able to help you further your monetary goals is to get to know them — or it — a little better!
In the case of an automated advisor, this means actually diving in and testing out the system for a few days. If the software doesn’t offer a free trial upfront, contact customer service and see if they can grant you access.
In the case of a human advisor, chat with them online or over the phone to make sure they understand your goals and that your communication styles align. You should also make sure their credentials are legitimate and check for any complaints by looking them up with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board), and/or any other organizations with which they are affiliated or by which they claim to be accredited.
If you’re entering into a particularly expensive new partnership with what you hope is a good financial advisor, consider getting to know them even better with these 10 questions from NerdWallet.
While you’re at it, be sure to bring up how they work with software — and especially if they’re willing to work with the software that you prefer.
Why? Because today there’s new white-label software on the market that will improve your experience with your financial advisor and help them go on to work better with other clients, as well!
Sound promising? Then let’s explore.
Kubera Will Help You Make the Most of a Good Financial Advisor
Kubera is a modern, all-in-one financial management dashboard for tracking and managing your entire portfolio.
Built by today’s generation of investors who knew they could improve upon the tools that facilitate the financial advisement relationship, Kubera offers a white-labeling option and a unique set of features that will help your financial advisor simplify and modernize the way they engage with you.
Ease of Use
Kubera’s easy-to-use platform is akin to a classic spreadsheet when it comes to usability.
Each “row” can be connected directly to your online banking, investment, and other accounts (more on that next) to automatically display your asset information right in your Kubera dashboard.
And if you or your financial advisor wish to enter any assets manually, it’s also easy to quickly enter, update, label, and organize information in your Kubera dash.
Your financial advisor can even use the notes and upload features on each asset row to make financial recommendations and help clarify any confusing areas of your assets.
Manage All Assets and Accounts from a Single Dashboard
As we mentioned, Kubera can track any — and we mean any — asset and account type.
Track and manage your traditional assets, such as your bank and brokerage accounts (see which financial account types we integrate with here).
Track and manage your physical assets such as your homes, vehicles, and web domains thanks to Kubera’s integration with leading asset experts (such as Zillow in the U.S.) that feed your dashboard with real-time market data.
Even track and manage your digital assets, such as your cryptocurrency, domains, trademarks, digital businesses, and beyond.
No hopping between tons of different accounts for you or creating tons of different reports in disparate, outdated pieces of financial software for your advisor.
What is it that makes Kubera so darn good at connecting to all the modern asset types and accounts that you’re interested in?
We are always updating our technology to make sure it integrates with cutting-edge third-party aggregators so that we can serve the most markets possible.
Real-Time Currency Conversions (Including Crypto)
Kubera also saves your financial planner time on menial tasks while keeping you abreast of your true net worth by supporting most global currencies and offering real-time conversions.
That means you and your financial planner don’t have to waste time on conversions ever again. One of you just has to add your accounts in their native currency and choose your preferred currency and you can be sure you’re always on the same page when reviewing your portfolio together.
In addition, Kubera’s tickers track the leading individual stocks and cryptocurrencies to help you keep an eye on the market so you can make educated purchasing and selling decisions.
Unique Safe Deposit Box and Beneficiary Features
By white-labeling Kubera and offering it as an in-house solution to all their clients, your financial advisor can offer a feature that not many others in their field can — document and beneficiary management.
While this sounds complex, Kubera makes it extremely simple in practice.
All you (or your advisor, of course) need to do is store your important financial information and/or documentation (think a trust, a will, etc.) in Kubera’s digital safe deposit box. From there, our beneficiary management feature asks you to name an heir who will be given access to this stored info — as well as your financial portfolio — if a time comes when you’re no longer able to manage your Kubera account.
Cutting-Edge Security Measures
We of course have to mention Kubera’s bank-level security measures, which include cutting-edge encryption, two-factor authentication, and the third-party aggregators that we mentioned earlier that handle and secure customer credentials on our behalf.
That means you and your financial advisor can feel safe making the move to Kubera without risking any breaches.
Tell Your Financial Advisor About Kubera Today
And if you want to get your financial advisor on board to make the most out of your engagement, tell them to contact our team about white-labeling our solution at firstname.lastname@example.org.