Stock market crashes don’t just test investors’ mettle. Abrupt downturns also can reveal what kind of financial adviser you have.
Some people will discover, to their horror, that they’ve been dealing with outright crooks. Ponzi schemes are among the cons that fall apart when markets do, as investors try to pull their money out and discover it’s gone.
More commonly, people learn that their advisers didn’t put the clients’ best interests first. The adviser may have recommended investments that were unsuitably risky or hard to sell, or failed to adequately diversify clients’ portfolios.
Even if you dodge the worst, your adviser may not deliver the value you expected. It’s reasonable to assume you’ll get some degree of hand-holding, reassurance and personal service when you choose a human adviser over less expensive options, such as a robo-adviser or investing on your own. The answers to the following questions could help you decide whether it’s time to look for an adviser willing to live up to those expectations.
HAVE YOU EVEN HEARD FROM YOUR ADVISER?
Demanding instant responses isn’t realistic at a time when advisers, like the rest of us, are grappling with pandemic-wrought changes. They may be working from home, struggling with unfamiliar technologies, trying to keep their pantry filled and home-schooling their kids. Family members may be ill or at risk. Plus, they may be busy responding to clients who are a lot more freaked out than you are, or at least more vocal about it.