A Publication of WTVP

Building a trusting relationship with a financial professional is important because you’ll be sharing information about your assets and income, and you’ll want to feel confident when acting on any advice you receive.

But be wary of becoming too close. People often become good friends with a broker who’s not doing a very good job for them. Even when they begin to realize they aren’t getting their money’s worth, they can’t bring themselves to break the ties. The personal relationship has come to mean more to them than their bottom line.

I recall once when a couple in their 60s came to me to discuss whether there were better options for their money. Based on their financial professional’s advice, they had invested $1 million in variable annuities.

Variable annuities can be very expensive. The fees can range from 3 to 4 percent per year, so I pointed out to the couple that they were being charged exorbitant fees and could reduce $30,000 or more in costs. The husband was on board and ready to make a change, but the wife was hesitant. She didn’t want to jeopardize that friendly relationship they had with their broker. They decided to stay where they were, paying over $30,000 in fees each year, just because they want to keep that friendship.

So what should people do when they want to find an advisor they can trust, but don’t want to go overboard with the relationship? For starters, ask these questions:

Certainly, it’s important to have an advisor you can trust, but you still want to keep the relationship professional. When that relationship becomes more like a friendship, high fees almost always mean the investor will pay the price. iBi

Dennis Notchick, CFP is a Registered Investment Advisor Representative and Certified Financial Planner with Safeguard Investment Advisory Group ( in San Diego, Calif.