Has your financial advisor earned your trust?

As individuals we all look for trusted relationships before we share confidential numbers. We expect our advisors to dig deeper into our financial situations and only when we trust we open up and share our data that forms the basis of his action plan for our financial well-being. Are you sure your financial planner has built that trust in the relationship? Do you feel comfortable sharing facts with him? Are you confident to share your personal failure with your advisor? Are you sure all information that matters to your money life has been shared with him? If you answered NO to any of these questions, then clearly your financial advisor has not earned your trust.

A financial advisor should be a person of character marked by his integrity and intent; and competence marked by his capability and results achieved for you. In order for him to take you through the journey of financial success, a strong bond needs to be fostered with him. Here are some tips to gauge whether your financial planner is giving importance to build a trusted relationship with you, that’s core to your financial well-being:

  1. Has he shown interest to know more about you? Has he enquired about your past financial decisions, current financial problems, expectations of engagement with him and changes you would like to have in your financial life after signing him up? Does he talk about himself more than asking about you and your issues?
  2. Is he a keen listener? Psychologists say that understanding a situation and empathizing with the person precedes any solution being offered by the advisor.
  3. Does he push products or pull information about you? What interests him more – whether you are suited for a product or he is suited for a customized solution to your problem?
  4. Is he service oriented? Does he deliver as promised? Does he take your feedback on his services? Does he clarify if he has addressed the situation as per your expectations?
  5. Is he flexible in his approach? Does he do the change actions during his sessions with you demonstrating flexibility as well as competency to deal with changes emerging in discussions with the clients?
  6. Is he open with you? Does he accept his mistakes if done any? And does he share the facts irrespective of being good or bad?
  7. Does he explain his recommendations to you and help you adopt the change for your benefit?
  8. Does he know your money-personality? Has he attempted to understand more about your behavioural traits with respect to money and your tolerance to financial risks?

If you have answered YES to all the questions above, you are in safe hands. Enjoy your journey! And if you have answered NO to more than one question, then it’s time you questioned him on those attributes that you felt were not according to this column.