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3 Big Mistakes to Avoid when Choosing your Financial Advisor

3 Big Mistakes to Avoid when Choosing your Financial Advisor

By Andrea Bereznak

Sharon was suspect when she came into my office for our first meeting. She had not been pleased with her previous financial advisor and was understandably wary of who to trust with her investment portfolio. After all, Sharon had worked for 30 years. She wanted to make sure that she was set up to live comfortably in retirement so she could focus on fostering her friendships, enjoying time with grandkids, and traveling. 

As Sharon and I spoke, it became clear that she had experienced three major warning signs that she was working with the wrong advisor.

Overpromising on Returns

When they met, Sharon’s advisor focused on how some new investment was “definitely going to beat the market.” Don’t get me wrong, strategic selection of investments is critical, but there is a tradeoff between potential investment return and risk. Your personal situation is unique and the right amount of risk for you may not be the same as any particular market index. Avoid working with someone who cares more about picking winning stocks and timing the market to stoke their ego than about putting in place a portfolio that focuses on your long-term financial stability.

Poor Explanations of Investments

Sharon didn’t want to be an expert in investing, but she did sometimes have questions about the investments she owned. When she asked however, she received vague answers, like “They are complex. Don’t worry, I have it under control.” This is a major red flag. If your prospective advisor can’t or won’t explain the investments they are recommending, run, don’t walk, away. 

No Care or Personal Connection

Perhaps most importantly, Sharon felt disconnected from her advisor. “Every meeting he puts a stack of reports in front of me, tells me everything is fine with my money, and sends me on my way, like I am just another set of charts and dollar signs to him.” Your financial well-being and future are deeply personal. Helping you achieve your financial goals is the principal role of your advisor, but your relationship with your financial advisor will feel empty unless they understand your core values, collaboratively develop a financial goal plan that reflects those values, and support you over time to achieve your dream life.


If you are looking for a financial advisor team focused on your unique financial situation, communicates openly, and that puts you and your goals at the center of the relationship, call us at (480) 507-2425 or contact us online. We’d love to meet you. 

The clients and situations depicted here are hypothetical only, and do not represent the actual performance of any particular investments or strategy. All investing involves risk, including the possible loss of principal. There is no assurance that any investment strategy will be successful.

 The content in this article was prepared by the article’s author. Cetera Advisor Networks, LLC does not endorse its content, and the views expressed may not necessarily reflect those held by Cetera Advisor Networks, LLC.