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Financial Planning > Behavioral Finance

Seniors Speak Out on Financial Advisors

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As an advisor, do you conduct surveys with your clients to find out how good a job you’re doing? Do you hear feedback on things you could do better and make the necessary corrections? We reached out to a handful of senior clients to let them speak out on financial professionals and the following is a warts-and-all account of what they think about the job their advisor is doing.

I feel like my advisor has done a real good job. I won’t lie; I’ve lost money like everybody else lost money a few years back. But he had helped me get most of my money protected. I like to gamble. My girlfriends and I go to Las Vegas once a year. So, I guess you could say some of the problem was with me wanting to take risks. For the most part though, he has been very helpful. I don’t mind picking up the phone and asking a question from time to time and he always picks up and has an answer for me. I know I probably drive him a little crazy with the questions, but he’s been very patient.

Amy, 72
Miami, Fla.

Well, they sure got my money. Have you ever seen those shows where the police put up a sting operation? Yeah, well they did that with my old advisor. He was a crook. I didn’t like him much to begin with. I knew there was something not quite right. My son is not a financial advisor but he’s pretty savvy and since that happened he has taken over our retirement. We’re retired now and mainly we want to have enough money to travel. My son’s done a good job with that. I’ll tell you, we are very thankful to have him to bail us out.

Andy, 73
Indianapolis, Ind.

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I don’t like slick sales people. An advisor should be an advisor. I worked with a bank before I retired. I wasn’t in a high-pressure sales situation and I realize that can motivate people in the wrong way. Still, a financial professional needs to act like a professional. The most important thing is to have the client’s best interest at heart. Because of my background I knew plenty of people in the financial field and had good people that I knew and trusted to help me with my investments, my retirement and my taxes. At the end of the day, finding someone you know and trust is about the most important decision you can make in relation to your finances.

Jason, 66
Salt Lake City, Utah

I know the reputation for advisors is bad. My brother was a financial advisor before he retired and he constantly fought against negativity. As he tells me there are some bad apples among advisors, sure, but no more than you find in other walks of life. Because of their position, when they’re bad, it makes the news more than a lot of jobs. Obviously, with my brother we had a great working relationship for years and years. When he retired he sold his business and we stayed with the new owner. He’s been just as good: Very professional, answers any question I have for him, steers me clear of the risky or get rich quick schemes. And what I like about both him and my brother is that they took the time to go over my whole account. If they saw something out of left field, they let me know. I would say expertise and great customer service are things I would look for in advisors and any professional I’m going to hire. It’s common sense.

Mark, 72
Portland, Ore.