Episode 15 – How to Give Your Financial Advisor the Pink Slip

Episode 15 - How to Give Your Financial Advisor the Pink Slip by Astra Financial

We all know being fired isn’t the most fun feeling in the world…but sometimes it has to happen. And sometimes it has to happen with your financial advisor. I know that can seem uncomfortable, especially considering that this person has intimate knowledge of your financial situation. But sometimes it’s just time to give your financial advisor the pink slip especially if you’re…

  • Not getting the service you feel you need
  • Being dismissed because you don’t have enough in the bank right now
  • Generally feeling like this person doesn’t have your best interests at heart…

Then it’s time to write the pink slip and move on to someone who WILL make sure you are well looked after.

Join financial planner Nicole Putz and I as we talk more about this topic during my latest podcast.

Show Notes:

Zena: Hello, and welcome back to another round of, “Our Heart of Money Talks”. This is episode 15 and today the lovely Nicole Putz and I are going to share with you how to give your financial advisor the pink slip. Nicole Putz is a phenomenal certified financial planner that helps millennial women and sets them up for money success. Thank you for joining us again.

Nicole: No problems and I’m happy to be here.

Zena: So, Nicole, what are some reasons you’ve seen that people give their advisor the pink slip?

Nicole: I love that. Something that just came up a while back with a couple actually, and they’re just new clients right now. What happened was, when they were younger, when they were 26 – they’re 33 now… they had gone to an advisor. And essentially what happened is they showed this person their bottom line showed them what kind of assets they have, the type of money they had in the bank, all those kinds of things. He just looked at them or she looked at them, I don’t know who it was, but basically just said, “Listen, when you’re older and you’ve actually got some money, come back to me later.”

And, they just felt crappy about themselves and said, “All right.” 

The only advice he gave them as they were walking out the door was to stop buying coffees like all the other millennials or something like that. 

It’s not that they fired this person per se, but they just made them feel really shitty. Like they kinda just became totally defeated. And yeah, that gap between the time they were 26 to now 33, when they had reached out to me…legitimately, that was the main reason they didn’t reach out to anybody for that long. 

And it doesn’t help because there’s already an intimidation factor whenever we’re talking about money…the emotions, the intimidation, and then the last thing you want to do is to be patted on the head and feel unimportant and that’s what they told them.

Just stop drinking your lattes. It’s so patronizing and it’s such a stereotype.

 The other thing is sometimes there’s just a whole bunch of red flags and there’s that gut feeling and you just have. Sometimes it takes a year or two or three to actually make that move. But you know, deep down. You’re like “This doesn’t feel like this person cares about me.”

Zena: Yes. Sometimes I’ve told people it’s, it’s not always that it’s a bad thing. It might just not be a good fit. They may have your best interests at heart, but for whatever reason, you guys just don’t jive or communication style.

Nicole: Definitely personality. Totally. There’s just a difference. On one end of the spectrum, you’re totally right in saying that. Some people it’s maybe not, they aren’t looking out for you. They’re just looking out for them, to put it in short. But just my view, like you said, a personality fit and so like you’re saying it’s, it might not be like you’re firing them on a bad term.

It’s just, you know what, I get along more with this person and I can be more open with them or candid with them, whatever it is. So in terms of money, maybe that’s who you ended up working with just because you feel more comfortable with.

Zena: In talking with people, that is especially true when they find out what I do for a living or when I’ve been talking to them for a while and they’ve said, Zena, how do I fire my financial advisor?

I say, “Okay, they’re not saying if… they’ve jumped straight to the how, and that means that they’ve been sitting in that with that for a while and sometimes for a few years. And so ending a relationship, no matter what kind is never easy and trusting someone new with your money is actually one of the most important decisions that we’ll ever make.

Nicole: We don’t take it lightly and you’re right. There has to be good communication that might not be there. Just personality-wise, it could be a clash. 

Zena: So what do you do if you’re not getting the service and advice that you deserve and how do you fire your financial advisor? Nicole, take us through maybe the tech portion, because honestly, when people come to us, they say, okay, how do we do this?

Nicol: That actually is one of their concerns about changing advisors. So when someone comes to us to transfer all their assets over, this is the process. 

 Essentially there are two ways you can do it. The first is very hands-off in terms of you as the client.

There are certain forms as advisors.

We can get filled out that essentially you’re going to transfer all your assets from one advisor to another, and you don’t have to do much in terms of just getting this account information. 

But then again, there’s the other side of things where – and this is probably more the human side of things where – if you’re coming from another advisor, regardless of what kind of relationship it is there is a relationship.

So now it’s up to the client. We can have a conversation and say, “Okay, you are ending this relationship so you can be as forward or as closed off as you want?” 

But it’s up to the client to have that conversation, even if they want to say something to the advisor and, just say, “We’re just not a good fit anymore”.

It can be a phone call. So one of the things is that a client can phone that advisor and let them know if they have a good relationship and it’s just time to make a change. They can do an email. And I can give an example of crafting that one. It can be super simple and it’s a business relationship, so we can all handle these things, I’m sure.

 Or you don’t have to do anything cause there’s that paper thing where we fill out all the paperwork and then it just goes. One thing is that if there is somewhat of a relationship, or if we’re talking about, life savings here is that if you choose the paper route, you might get a phone call, sometimes they try and do a phone call and just ask.

Hopefully, it’s a really good relationship, they just ask why and what could they have done differently or for you not to leave. 

It can happen both ways. And I haven’t seen too, sometimes there’s a bit of resistance or there’s the process gets slowed down. I’ve seen the delay. I have a horrible story actually, and I don’t want to disparage the industry, but there is some gray area. I don’t know what the rules and regulations are, but just that institutions can actually hold off transferring your assets and paperwork for two weeks. They can put it aside because they give the advisor two to three weeks to contact that client.

I know that advisors sit on things for a couple of weeks, I’m not saying they all sit on it but I have seen it and it can be torturous. It’s brutal. And especially like you said, that’s going to turn people ofNo one that takes that time. That’s our job for follow-up. That has nothing to do with that. Anybody else can do what they’re doing, all the follow-up and everything because that’s the beginning of the relationship. We’ve got your back, Hand this to me, let me earn my 1% advisor fee.

Zena: Definitely. And that’s part of it is that we’ll take care of that. That’s not an onus on the client at all. One of the things before we actually do all the paperwork and just send it off is we talk about fees. I’ll send you an email and be like, here you can copy and paste this. It is exactly what I would ask on the phone or you can send a note. Here’s our jargon. 

Nicole: So yes, it’s just knowing exactly how to say it. It’s really easy for us so we actually guide you through all of them, the whole thing.

Zena: It can be seamless, but sometimes it isn’t seamless, but behind the scenes totally behind the scenes is a little bit of a struggle sometimes. But yeah, for like you’re saying, that’s what, we, as advisors trying to help you as clients, we try to make it as simple for you as possible, so you don’t have to deal with all of the, pardon my French, bullshit. Like it’s yeah, that’s part of our job is to make it easy for you. 

Nicole: Yeah. And so one of the emails that I found and I really liked this one that someone wrote and it says, “I want to thank you and express my appreciation for all of your help. Over the past few years, with my finances at this time, I’ve decided to move my accounts to another advisor that I feel is a better fit for me going forward. I wanted to notify you as you should be receiving the transfer requests. Wishing you all the best.”

 Perfect. This is one I’ve copied and pasted and sent to my client saying “Here, this is what you want, you can take it.” 

Zena: I love it. You know what? It’s simple. It doesn’t have to be complex. It should be enough that you’re already expressing the fact that you want to move. That should be all it needs to be. I haven’t received one of these yet, but I am not naive to know that there will come a time.

Nicole: I haven’t yet, but there will come a time and I can honestly say it if that comes, it will be graceful. It’ll be, “Let me do whatever I can to help this process. Any feedback you have for me would be great.” 

It’s not always that horror story that I mentioned. Most advisors are doing the right things. It could even just be like you mentioned at this top of the podcast where I predominantly work with millennial women. So if I’m working with a non-millennial woman, not to say I don’t, but if I, if I am in.

Say this, for example, a millennial guy decides, “You know what, we’re just not quite the right fit. I’m going to go work with someone else.”

I’d say, “Okay, cool.” It might even be a specialization thing, where you specialize in this, but I need someone who specializes in this, so only because of that, we’re not a good fit. And as advisors, we usually agree. We want you to do well, so the pink slips are not a hard thing. It doesn’t have to be; it’s very easy.

And so once you’ve got that adviser that you do want to work with, it’s just filling out some paperwork and you let all the mice behind the scenes take over a hundred percent. As a client, it definitely doesn’t have to be tough. It can be pretty, pretty simple.

I really hope there are no deferred sales or trailing commissions, but knowing ahead of time what those are just having a good grasp of that is helpful. Every institution has a transfer fee and it goes from $75 to $95 to $100. Most places will reimburse that. But if you are giving the pink slip and you’re moving to a new adviser, ask for the transfer fees to be reimbursed because maybe they just forgot to mention that…or not. 

Zena: So anyway, that’s it. That’s the pink slip rough talk. Thanks for joining Nicole. 

Nicole: You’re welcome. 

Zena: Until next time. We’ll talk soon.