The biggest challenge in investing is not volatility in the stock market or unpredictable government policies or even the threat of inflation.  The biggest challenge is finding someone you can trust to get you through all of the other stuff.  It’s been frequently reported that money is one of the biggest stressors in life (regardless of age or financial situation), so it makes sense to believe that who you trust with your money questions can be essential to your quality of life overall.  That’s a pretty important role to play.  How do you find this person? 

Phil posted a good article with questions to ask an advisor here: Questions to Ask an Advisor Candidate

In addition to his great questions, I’ve found that a helpful question to ask yourself the “is the kind of person who…” question.  Here’s an example:

Last year we had our air conditioner replaced.  When choosing a service provider, I was at first overwhelmed by the sheer number of choices.  All posted positive reviews on their websites, all seemed knowledgeable and professional.  But then I read a review that said, “(this guy) rescued a cat from underneath my house while he was here.  I cannot make this up!” And I thought, that’s the one.  The kind of person who stops in his professional work to rescue a frightened animal is the kind of person who I would like to work with.  (And, PS, he did a beautiful job with our air conditioner!) 

What kind of person do you like to work with when you work with a professional? 

The answer may be different for each type of professional (for example, you may prefer certain attributes in a surgeon that you would not necessarily find important in a plumber) – or not!  You could also have a preference across the board, no matter who you are working with.  There’s no wrong answer here – the important thing to do is simply to ask the question.  By doing so, you can gain amazing clarity to help you make decisions.  Listen to the answer, and find out what’s important to you.  Your answer is like your North Star, a guidance system that leads you to the right place – and the right person.

I once had a client who was facing a tough decision ask me, “what would you advise your mother?”  I thought that was a great question.  It requests a high level of care and integrity, as well as personal regard.  That is the level of care I want to be giving my clients. 

If you aren’t getting this level of respect and care from your advisor, give us a call.  You deserve a relationship built on trust.  People that you can trust do exist.  You just have to find them.