I broke up with their advisor for them

By Scott Little • July 18, 2023

My clients came to me looking for help.  They were ready to leave their financial advisor at a major national brokerage. However, because they were not even comfortable reaching out to their advisor in their day-to-day relationship, they felt overwhelmed by the prospect of “breaking up” with them.

I offered, “What if I help you through it?” I told them that even if we had to talk every day for a month, I would do it.

They took me up on my offer. We talked every day for the next two weeks.

We ran into some friction when I found they had several mutual funds with their current broker that would be subject to fees if we later sold them through our custodian, Schwab. To avoid paying close to $1000 in fees, my clients needed to sell these funds before they left their advisor.  I walked them through how to do this, and in the instances where we needed to get a representative on the phone, I joined the calls to help make sense of any financial jargon.

Next, we prepared to notify their advisor. We rehearsed what they might say. “We don’t feel heard. You haven’t addressed our concerns. This other firm has done a financial plan for us and taken the time to understand us. We just want to go in a different direction with our money.”

When it came time to end the relationship with their old advisor, my clients were still uncomfortable making the call.  I took it one step further and did the intimidating part for them:  I called the advisory service with my client on the line to grant permission for me to speak for them. I terminated services then and there—I broke up with their advisor for them!

Sometimes change is good. It doesn’t have to be awkward if you handle it the right way, and it doesn’t have to be intimidating if there’s someone there to support you. I was happy to provide that support for my clients and move them forward in a way that I think, ultimately, will better serve their needs.

This client example is provided for illustrative purposes only.  Client engagement efforts and services vary based on individual needs and circumstances.

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