You already have a financial planner but you think you might need a change?
For some reason or other the financial planner you have is not the one you think you should have. It could just be a change in personnel or a personality matter. Or it could just be the passing of time or even a geographic change. Whatever it is the one you have just does not suit your needs.
It does not necessarily mean the current planner has begun giving you bad advice. In any case you’re still not happy and you want to change.
The first course of action is to bring the issues to the planner’s attention and make an appointment to discuss it with him or her. Be very wary of the planner that has no time to meet you and discuss your issues.
If the planner is that busy you really may have a problem. After you’ve had a chance to meet and discuss matters with your planner, and even after a good frank discussion, there are still underlying problems that cannot be resolved to your satisfaction. It is time for a change.
How to change your planner
Inform your current planner as soon as you believe you’ve made a decision, preferably in writing, so that he/she may consider your requirements from that point forward, this is a matter of professional courtesy and is good practice considering how much responsibility is given to the planner to look after your affairs.
There is no reason that the planner should be scheduling future work other than the required monitoring of existing investments until such time as a replacement planner is located by the client.
A good planner will spend considerable time conducting research and looking for appropriate future opportunities on your behalf. However, during this period you still need the current planner to warn you in case there’s some material problem with a portfolio that is time critical.
So as a client you don’t want to be left between advisers with no advice. In any regard the current planner if he/she is charging you on an ongoing advice basis will still be getting paid.
On the other hand, if you’ve opted out of ongoing advice, the planner will not be giving you advice that you have not requested or paid for. The issue of ongoing advice is very important and the decision to take it or not take it must be considered carefully.
Prepare your folder of information about your current investments including statements and notices that are the most recent and completely cover all of your investments.
You will need to commence a search for a planner which of itself is a separate topic (link to the search for a planner topic). Once you’ve reached a position where you think you have selected a planner, confirm with the new planner in writing they are indeed comfortable taking your business on and from what date.
A good planner will assist you preparing a simple one-page letter addressed to the product provider or administration service that is holding your assets and that will describe your intention to change financial adviser and will give the details of the new financial adviser such that the records can be redirected from the old financial planner to the new one.
Literally, it is a matter of updating computer systems and records so that instructions can be passed between the product providers and the planners in an efficient manner.
There is no need this point for any changes to investments or if you are part of an ongoing fee arrangement, you need to agree with the new financial planner will pick up the process and will continue in the short term, until the new financial planner has had a chance to go through an induction procedure with you and conduct a review to satisfy him or her that they understand your needs at the beginning of a new relationship.
Depending on the age of the statement of advice the new planner will seek to review the old statement of advice and go through this in person identifying changes to the details and circumstances.
The new plan will then look at the investments relative to their own investment strategies and approved product lists. If the adviser comes to the conclusion that everything is in order for the short-term he or she may schedule a future date for a full review.
Or alternately, if the adviser sees an immediate issue they are not comfortable with, they should bring this to your attention. Once this has been identified as a problem you may request the planner to commence a recommendation to deal with the problem.
As a client you have the option of not going through this process and leaving the problem in situ.