Guest Author - Sharon Michaels
A relationship between an advisor and client must be built upon a strong foundation of mutual trust and respect. As a client you have certain rights and reasonable expectations that a financial advisor should be able to meet.
Ive never worked with a financial advisor before, what are my rights as a client?
That is a very good question. Ask your financial advisor the same question and have them give you their own written version of this client rights list.
1. You have a right to expect and receive courteous, respectful service from your financial advisor. Clients, no matter the amount of money in the account, have a right to be treated in a fair, professional and ethical manner during their relationship with an advisor.
2. You have the right to expect that your financial advisor is acting in your best interest at all times. Your advisor must act with the utmost integrity regarding all your financial transactions. They should explain thoroughly the risks of investing and how it could affect your financial goals.
3. You have a right to open, honest and timely communication regarding your money and any financial transactions involving your account. You may request periodic written reviews of your account delivered in a timely fashion. You have the right to receive clear and understandable explanations regarding the handling of your account. Phone requests and questions should be returned and answered promptly.
4. You have a right to expect competency from your financial advisor. Your advisor should be knowledgeable, well trained and trustworthy. It is their job to competently assist you in reaching your financial goals.
5. You should expect the recommendations of your financial advisor to be based on your specific financial goals for the future. The transactions should be timely and at the best prices available at the time. At any time, you have a right to ask for a written review of transactions made in your name.
6. You have a right to privacy. As part of making sure your financial advisor is able make the best decisions regarding your financial future, you must share personal and financial information with them. It is the responsibility of the advisor to keep this information private and to use it only when making decisions regarding your financial account.
7. You have a right to fair and speedy conflict resolution and error correction. If you believe there is an error or a mistake has been made, contact your advisor immediately.
8. If you feel there are issues that cannot and have not been resolved, you may lodge a complaint. As a rule of thumb, talk with your financial advisor first to see if any dissatisfaction can be resolved amicably. If this cannot be accomplished, here are a few avenues of recourse:
Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc.- 800 487 1497
National Association of Insurance Commissioners 816 783 8500
Securities and Exchange Commission 800 732 0330
The goal of working with a financial advisor is to get and keep your financial house in order. The professional relationship between yourself and your advisor should be a win-win for both of you. If you have questions or concerns, speak with your advisor immediately. Good and honest communication is key.
**Please check with a financial professional before making financial decisions. This article is not intended as investment or financial planning advice.**
I recommend David Bachs Smart Women Finish Rich because there is an entire section on choosing and working with a financial advisor. I've included a link to Amazon.com: Smart Women Finish Rich
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