Guidance for breaking the news to our financial advisor

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Octavia
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Guidance for breaking the news to our financial advisor

Post by Octavia »

My spouse and I are newly retired with no debt and no children. Over the past several months we have come to the decision to move our portfolio to Vanguard to reduce fees (we're paying 0.9%) and simplify our investments. Our annual review with our advisor is set for the first week of October. We do not look forward to the conversation because we are genuinely very fond of him and we value the guidance he's provided over the past 15 years. He helped us plan for early retirement, but now that we're here, we're confident we can steer the ship. We feel certain the news will come as a surprise to him as we've never expressed (nor had) any dissatisfaction with his service. We hate to blindside him with our decision, but he was on a 6-month health-related leave of absence and this is the first time we'll speak with him since his return to work.

So, here are my questions:
1) Is it bad form to break the news at our annual review where his staff will be present? Or, is there a compelling reason to reach out to him sooner?
2) Should my spouse and I flip a coin to determine which of us tells him or should I feign laryngitis that day? :wink:
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cashboy
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Re: Guidance for breaking the news to our financial advisor

Post by cashboy »

Octavia wrote: Fri Sep 18, 2020 3:30 pm
So, here are my questions:
1) Is it bad form to break the news at our annual review where his staff will be present? Or, is there a compelling reason to reach out to him sooner?
I would reach out to them sooner than the meeting and tell them what you posted:

we value the guidance he's provided over the past 15 years. He helped us plan for early retirement, but now that we're here, we're confident we can steer the ship

you would not be the first person he has heard that from.
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vineviz
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Re: Guidance for breaking the news to our financial advisor

Post by vineviz »

Octavia wrote: Fri Sep 18, 2020 3:30 pm My spouse and I are newly retired with no debt and no children. Over the past several months we have come to the decision to move our portfolio to Vanguard to reduce fees (we're paying 0.9%) and simplify our investments. Our annual review with our advisor is set for the first week of October. We do not look forward to the conversation because we are genuinely very fond of him and we value the guidance he's provided over the past 15 years. He helped us plan for early retirement, but now that we're here, we're confident we can steer the ship. We feel certain the news will come as a surprise to him as we've never expressed (nor had) any dissatisfaction with his service. We hate to blindside him with our decision, but he was on a 6-month health-related leave of absence and this is the first time we'll speak with him since his return to work.

So, here are my questions:
1) Is it bad form to break the news at our annual review where his staff will be present? Or, is there a compelling reason to reach out to him sooner?
2) Should my spouse and I flip a coin to determine which of us tells him or should I feign laryngitis that day? :wink:
1) Probably not bad form, necessarily, but my instincts are that a 1-on-1 conversation is the best place for that kind of news.
2) Can't you BOTH feign laryngitis?

I'm half serious on #2. If your mind is truly made up about the move, I wonder if even having a meeting with the advisor at all is either necessary or desirable. Why not just get the process initiated at Vanguard now, and call the advisor to let him know?

Alternately, are you SURE you're ready to leave completely? Can your advisor continue to work on an hourly rate even if you move the assets to Vanguard? Steering your own ship on the investment management piece isn't terribly difficult, and a financial advisor typically provides very little added value in that arena. But if their firm is taking a more comprehensive financial planning approach, taking tax and estate issues into account for instance, then you might find that getting the same level of expertise on an hourly basis down the road is easier said than done. If your current advisor offers other fee arrangements, it might be worth exploring.
Last edited by vineviz on Fri Sep 18, 2020 3:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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capjak
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Re: Guidance for breaking the news to our financial advisor

Post by capjak »

I would start the transfer process and call him since you have a 15 year relationship.

He will likely try to convince you to stay put by lowering his fee (of course if he is willing to lower his fee why didn't he do it 15 years ago)?
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AlabamaPaul
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Re: Guidance for breaking the news to our financial advisor

Post by AlabamaPaul »

1. You've already paid for the review, so go, but at the end, ask to speak privately with your adviser. Let him know you appreciate all he has done over the years to get you two prepared for retirement and that you're now confident he has prepared you to handle your financial affairs through your retirement on your own...

2. You both need to support each other during the discussion...
retiredjg
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Re: Guidance for breaking the news to our financial advisor

Post by retiredjg »

An annual review with his staff takes preparation and time from both him and his staff. If you are firm in your decision, phone him or send him an email now so that he does not waste his/their time on you.

Express appreciation for his past service. Say just what you said in your post so he's know you actually do appreciate it. Just say thank you but we have decided to manage this on our own in the future. Don't make nice. Don't make excuses. Don't say anything that is not true. The less you say, the less awkward it will be for him and for you.

I think it would be bad form to let him get all prepped for the meeting and show up to say "we don't need you anymore". Feigning laryngitis is not respecting his good guidance/service to you in the past.
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Re: Guidance for breaking the news to our financial advisor

Post by bob60014 »

This is like holding a particular stock for sentmental reasons. Take the emotion out if this, totally. You (the both of you) are the boss and this is business, nothing personal. Politely inform him before the review and move on.
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Sandi_k
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Re: Guidance for breaking the news to our financial advisor

Post by Sandi_k »

I think it is bad form to tell him in front of others. I also think it's bad form to take the meeting, knowing you're moving on.

I would send a note now, with all of the praise that you've outlined, especially "we're now retired, we're in fine shape due to your guidance, knowledge and education, and it's now times for us to fly off into the retirement sunset." Or something.

Ask to spend the meeting time discussing the logistics or end-of-year tax planning needs for the move.

And bring him a nice bottle of wine and a Thank You note.
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Octavia
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Re: Guidance for breaking the news to our financial advisor

Post by Octavia »

And bring him a nice bottle of wine and a Thank You note.
He's not local, so can't bring him wine, but will most certainly write a thank you note.
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Re: Guidance for breaking the news to our financial advisor

Post by Lalamimi »

FIRST, print out all available statements, etc. Cause the minute FA knows, your account will be locked. We met with FA at EJ, but did not say we were looking to move at the time, as we were studying the issue. I had him sell a few of the funds that we agreed were not performing. They we had Fidelity contact EJ. Our FA did not even contact us. I had asked him for list of fees we were paying, and he never mentioned all the fund fees. SEOND thing, look at your portfolio and find out what WILL NOT transfer to new firm. Have FA sell those, give a vague reason if you want. We did not know to do this, and it took over a week for EJ to sell and finally transfer the money.
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Octavia
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Re: Guidance for breaking the news to our financial advisor

Post by Octavia »

Thanks, all. We were feeling uneasy about waiting until the annual review, so it's nice to have consensus on that front.

While we're not emotional investors, we are sentimental people. We'll miss him, but this is the right decision for us.

Also, "feigning laryngitis" was meant as a joke, but if one finds herself explaining that she was joking, she perhaps shouldn't have said it in the first place. Lesson learned.

Happy Friday!
earlyout
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Re: Guidance for breaking the news to our financial advisor

Post by earlyout »

And don't feel sorry for him. Estimate how much of your money he has at 0.9% compounded and you will realize he has been well paid.
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Taylor Larimore
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Re: Guidance for breaking the news to our financial advisor

Post by Taylor Larimore »

Octavia:

Leaving our friend and advisor at Merrill Lynch in 1986 was one of the hardest things we ever did. It was also one of the best things we ever did.

Best wishes.
Taylor
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bigskyguy
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Re: Guidance for breaking the news to our financial advisor

Post by bigskyguy »

retiredjg wrote: Fri Sep 18, 2020 3:45 pm An annual review with his staff takes preparation and time from both him and his staff. If you are firm in your decision, phone him or send him an email now so that he does not waste his/their time on you.

Express appreciation for his past service. Say just what you said in your post so he's know you actually do appreciate it. Just say thank you but we have decided to manage this on our own in the future. Don't make nice. Don't make excuses. Don't say anything that is not true. The less you say, the less awkward it will be for him and for you.

I think it would be bad form to let him get all prepped for the meeting and show up to say "we don't need you anymore". Feigning laryngitis is not respecting his good guidance/service to you in the past.
Agree completely. This is precisely what we did just 6 months ago. Be straight and honest. Besides, 15 years of a relationship is significant, and has benefited him/her well. You owe him/her honesty and courtesy, no more and certainly no less.
Shallowpockets
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Re: Guidance for breaking the news to our financial advisor

Post by Shallowpockets »

I would agree with the advice to download and acquire ALL the finances you can find. There have been other threads regarding this. Once you sever the ties there may be a lock on everything you own through them because you are no longer a client.
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Re: Guidance for breaking the news to our financial advisor

Post by neilpilot »

Octavia wrote: Fri Sep 18, 2020 3:30 pm My spouse and I are newly retired with no debt and no children. Over the past several months we have come to the decision to move our portfolio to Vanguard to reduce fees (we're paying 0.9%) and simplify our investments..........
I assume that the 0.9% your paying him is an advisory fee. Have you taken into account the additional savings if you plan to convert your current holdings to Vanguard funds at lower ERs?

It's entirely possible that your savings will be significantly more than 0.9%.
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Stinky
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Re: Guidance for breaking the news to our financial advisor

Post by Stinky »

He's been well-compensated for the past 15 years for taking care of your account. You should feel no shame in leaving him.

As others have suggested, download everything, start the transfer, then drop him a note or call him. No need to have an annual meeting.

Congratulations on taking control of your own finances. Just think of all the fees that you'll be saving over the remainder of your lifetimes..... :moneybag
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Steelersfan
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Re: Guidance for breaking the news to our financial advisor

Post by Steelersfan »

I would send him an email ahead of time using some or the words expressed above. I would add that you'd don't think a review is needed before you leave and let him take it from there.

Can you move the assets without any assistance from him?
Big Dog
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Re: Guidance for breaking the news to our financial advisor

Post by Big Dog »

Don't waste his time attending the Annual Review. Get the paperwork started at Vanguard to initiate teh asset transfer. Then give him a call and let him know what you outlined in the initial post. Tell him that the transfer is already in process.
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8foot7
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Re: Guidance for breaking the news to our financial advisor

Post by 8foot7 »

While I understand these types of conversations can be difficult, remember that he charged what he thought was fair and you paid it. It was a business transaction. You can still be friends when he doesn't have his hand in your pocket, and if you're not, well that underscores the transactional nature of it, doesn't it?

I would definitely let him know before he spends time preparing for your review unless you have specific questions for which you feel like you've paid to get the answer.
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Octavia
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Re: Guidance for breaking the news to our financial advisor

Post by Octavia »

Lalamimi wrote: Fri Sep 18, 2020 4:11 pm FIRST, print out all available statements, etc. Cause the minute FA knows, your account will be locked.
SEOND thing, look at your portfolio and find out what WILL NOT transfer to new firm.
Thank you for this cautionary tale. Very helpful.
JS-Elcano
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Re: Guidance for breaking the news to our financial advisor

Post by JS-Elcano »

Octavia wrote: Fri Sep 18, 2020 3:30 pm My spouse and I are newly retired with no debt and no children. Over the past several months we have come to the decision to move our portfolio to Vanguard to reduce fees (we're paying 0.9%) and simplify our investments. Our annual review with our advisor is set for the first week of October. We do not look forward to the conversation because we are genuinely very fond of him and we value the guidance he's provided over the past 15 years. He helped us plan for early retirement, but now that we're here, we're confident we can steer the ship. We feel certain the news will come as a surprise to him as we've never expressed (nor had) any dissatisfaction with his service. We hate to blindside him with our decision, but he was on a 6-month health-related leave of absence and this is the first time we'll speak with him since his return to work.

So, here are my questions:
1) Is it bad form to break the news at our annual review where his staff will be present? Or, is there a compelling reason to reach out to him sooner?
2) Should my spouse and I flip a coin to determine which of us tells him or should I feign laryngitis that day? :wink:
Assuming you will pay your 0.9% fee for this year I would take advantage of the annual meeting and then let him know after the meeting but before the end of the year.
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Octavia
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Re: Guidance for breaking the news to our financial advisor

Post by Octavia »

Alternately, are you SURE you're ready to leave completely? Can your advisor continue to work on an hourly rate even if you move the assets to Vanguard? Steering your own ship on the investment management piece isn't terribly difficult, and a financial advisor typically provides very little added value in that arena. But if their firm is taking a more comprehensive financial planning approach, taking tax and estate issues into account for instance, then you might find that getting the same level of expertise on an hourly basis down the road is easier said than done. If your current advisor offers other fee arrangements, it might be worth exploring.
All excellent points, thank you. Yes, we're sure we're ready.
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Brianmcg321
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Re: Guidance for breaking the news to our financial advisor

Post by Brianmcg321 »

I would do it via a phone call before.
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FrugalInvestor
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Re: Guidance for breaking the news to our financial advisor

Post by FrugalInvestor »

retiredjg wrote: Fri Sep 18, 2020 3:45 pm An annual review with his staff takes preparation and time from both him and his staff. If you are firm in your decision, phone him or send him an email now so that he does not waste his/their time on you.

Express appreciation for his past service. Say just what you said in your post so he's know you actually do appreciate it. Just say thank you but we have decided to manage this on our own in the future. Don't make nice. Don't make excuses. Don't say anything that is not true. The less you say, the less awkward it will be for him and for you.

I think it would be bad form to let him get all prepped for the meeting and show up to say "we don't need you anymore". Feigning laryngitis is not respecting his good guidance/service to you in the past.
I agree with what retiredjg says. But as capjak suggests I would get the wheels moving on the transfer process first.

Advisors are salespeople and one of the skills of a good salesperson is overcoming objections. Your advisor will present very convincing arguments as to why you're making a mistake. He'll also try to instill guilt due to your long relationship and all he's done for you. Don't forget, he's been well compensated for it, it wasn't done out of pure friendship. He will try to get you to hesitate so he has an opportunity to change your mind. Having the process in motion will help prevent this from happening.

Oh, and if you break it at the meeting you'll be ganged up on. Skip the meeting, break the news one-on-one and stick to your guns.
Have a plan, stay the course and simplify, but most importantly....Ignore the Noise!
000
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Re: Guidance for breaking the news to our financial advisor

Post by 000 »

Octavia wrote: Fri Sep 18, 2020 3:30 pm My spouse and I are newly retired with no debt and no children. Over the past several months we have come to the decision to move our portfolio to Vanguard to reduce fees (we're paying 0.9%) and simplify our investments. Our annual review with our advisor is set for the first week of October. We do not look forward to the conversation because we are genuinely very fond of him and we value the guidance he's provided over the past 15 years. He helped us plan for early retirement, but now that we're here, we're confident we can steer the ship. We feel certain the news will come as a surprise to him as we've never expressed (nor had) any dissatisfaction with his service. We hate to blindside him with our decision, but he was on a 6-month health-related leave of absence and this is the first time we'll speak with him since his return to work.

So, here are my questions:
1) Is it bad form to break the news at our annual review where his staff will be present? Or, is there a compelling reason to reach out to him sooner?
2) Should my spouse and I flip a coin to determine which of us tells him or should I feign laryngitis that day? :wink:
I would cancel the meeting. There is no need to attend, unless you enjoy participating in awkward human encounters.

You can have the new custodian initiate the transfer. If you wish, an e-mail can be sent saying goodbye and confirming the transfer.
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celia
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Re: Guidance for breaking the news to our financial advisor

Post by celia »

I would also cancel the meeting. You shouldn't be wasting his/his staff's time on you anymore. If you've already moved some money, he already knows what is happening, but may/should call to confirm that you initiated the transfer (rather than the money disappeared due to fraud).

If you haven't yet captured the cost basis of all assets in taxable, you need to do that ASAP.
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Re: Guidance for breaking the news to our financial advisor

Post by pennywise »

AlabamaPaul wrote: Fri Sep 18, 2020 3:44 pm 1. You've already paid for the review, so go, but at the end, ask to speak privately with your adviser. Let him know you appreciate all he has done over the years to get you two prepared for retirement and that you're now confident he has prepared you to handle your financial affairs through your retirement on your own...

2. You both need to support each other during the discussion...
+1 on both of the above.

As far as telling an advisor you are going to leave, I have found it helps me in these types of situations to frame it-to him and to yourself-in very dispassionate terms. "This is a business decision that is the best option for us."

Because that is exactly what it is. It also helps to keep in mind your relationship with him is also a business-based one. He works for you and you provide a portion of his income. In any service based relationship, especially one that is ongoing, it is almost impossible not to mentally transpose it into a bond of friendship. That's what we humans do; we are social creatures. I sometimes ask myself "would s/he be friendly if I wasn't paying?" and that is a pretty simple way to get clarity about exactly what the relationship is based on.

You know in the end he won't be devastated because he eagerly anticipates spending time talking to you and your wife. He will be disappointed to lose a client. And you are not severing ties because he is a boorish relative you don't want to debate politics with at Thanksgiving. You are leaving because you feel your financial life will be better served elsewhere.

The simple truth is best and for dignity's sake best conveyed to him individually, not in front of his staff.
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Re: Guidance for breaking the news to our financial advisor

Post by Nowizard »

I would do it sooner, then go to the review. That allows him to determine who is there, though that also allows him to prepare not only for avoiding being blindsided but to prepare a response for keeping himself involved. If he has provided great benefit, give him a gift. Prepare your written questions about how to go about transferring assets, contact Vanguard about their involvement in the process and interact between the genuine thanks for his services and the fact that you are both retiring him and yourselves. He must have offered good advice if you have been with him 15 years and are retiring early, a win-win to this point.

Tim
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Re: Guidance for breaking the news to our financial advisor

Post by MikeG62 »

Octavia wrote: Fri Sep 18, 2020 3:30 pm My spouse and I are newly retired with no debt and no children. Over the past several months we have come to the decision to move our portfolio to Vanguard to reduce fees (we're paying 0.9%) and simplify our investments. Our annual review with our advisor is set for the first week of October. We do not look forward to the conversation because we are genuinely very fond of him and we value the guidance he's provided over the past 15 years. He helped us plan for early retirement, but now that we're here, we're confident we can steer the ship. We feel certain the news will come as a surprise to him as we've never expressed (nor had) any dissatisfaction with his service. We hate to blindside him with our decision, but he was on a 6-month health-related leave of absence and this is the first time we'll speak with him since his return to work.

So, here are my questions:
1) Is it bad form to break the news at our annual review where his staff will be present? Or, is there a compelling reason to reach out to him sooner?
2) Should my spouse and I flip a coin to determine which of us tells him or should I feign laryngitis that day? :wink:
This is going to be a tough discussion no doubt. He will try and convince you that you are making a mistake and come up with all sorts of reasons to support his view. They are no doubt very well trained and coached on exactly how to deal with this issue. As a result, this communication needs to be short and to the point - communication needs to be clear that the decision has been made and is not open for debate or discussion. I think I'd set it up via e-mail and ask that he call to discuss the process of transferring the asset out to Vanguard. Even then I am sure there will be a hard sell, but I think it might help to position him appropriately so he relinquishes his position without a ton of discussion.

FWIW, I did something similar about 6 years ago. Had a broker running a call option strategy for a portfolio of stocks he assembled on our behalf. Was a very small % of our overall financial assets. Same broker/person who helps me buy my muni bonds. I sent him an e-mail informing him that I wanted to simplify my finances as I was approaching retirement. Told him the decision had been made to wind down the call option strategy account and the only thing to discuss was winding down the positions and transferring the securities (and/or cash) elsewhere. It went fine after a brief discussion where I explained to him over the phone why I was doing this (wasn't that he did not read the email, but he felt compelled to try and talk me out of the decision). We sold the stocks with the smallest capital gains. I transferred the others to Fidelity. Plan was to sell them off once I was retired (and out of the highest marginal tax bracket), but I've chosen to hold them as they are blue chip companies that continue to do well.
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Kelrex
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Re: Guidance for breaking the news to our financial advisor

Post by Kelrex »

I would try to tie up as few feelings in this as possible.

You make these types of decisions about business constantly by moving on from various businesses and service providers. Don't let the fact that you have to actively have a conversation to do so fool you into thinking that this service provider decision is somehow more meaningful than it is.

You paid a professional handsomely for a service that you no longer require. If you had a done a ton of real estate investing and had always used the same real estate lawyer for all of your purchases, but then in retirement no longer needed real estate law advice and decided to use an estate planning lawyer instead, would you feel bad? Would you feel like you had to handle the real estate lawyer's feelings gently?

This really is no different. You don't need the services of this professional anymore.

If you have felt that this person has gone well above and beyond for you in terms of delivering service and results that are truly disproportionate to the cost, then sure, I can see putting in some extra effort to show your intense gratitude.

However, this is investing, unless you were a moron to begin with and this person risked pissing you off and losing your account to save you from yourself making idiotic decisions with your money, then chances are, they provided the service you paid for and nothing more.

Also, if your FA does take it personally, then that's on them, not on you. That's utterly unprofessional actually.

Remember this: the process of terminating this professional arrangement will ONLY be awkward if the professional whom you have paid handsomely for their work DECIDES to make it awkward for you.

If you are dreading this, then do it over email, and keep it simple and firm. If you want to be kind, then don't waste their time with the annual review. That's a big part of the work they do to keep your account.
renegade06
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Re: Guidance for breaking the news to our financial advisor

Post by renegade06 »

cashboy wrote: Fri Sep 18, 2020 3:42 pm
Octavia wrote: Fri Sep 18, 2020 3:30 pm
So, here are my questions:
1) Is it bad form to break the news at our annual review where his staff will be present? Or, is there a compelling reason to reach out to him sooner?
I would reach out to them sooner than the meeting and tell them what you posted:

we value the guidance he's provided over the past 15 years. He helped us plan for early retirement, but now that we're here, we're confident we can steer the ship

you would not be the first person he has heard that from.
+1
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Re: Guidance for breaking the news to our financial advisor

Post by z3r0c00l »

I would deliberate a bit on the thousands of dollars he siphoned from your hard earned money which, arguably, did not offer thousands of dollars in value over Vanguard. Over 15 years I bet he got a few nice vacation's worth out of you. A few minutes of that thought would help me cut the cord, and did when I dropped my advisor at Chase, granted I did so after only a year with merely 15,000 AUM as a young man. And yet I was still annoyed to learn that this so called advisor was more a sales person than anything else.
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WhaleMan
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Re: Guidance for breaking the news to our financial advisor

Post by WhaleMan »

To make it easier, I informed him I wanted to switch from AUM to an annual retainer/hourly model and asked his rate for this. I knew he wouldn’t convert but it changed the ‘break up’ conversation cuz he declined my business.

Then I just switched all accounts to vanguard.
NotWhoYouThink
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Re: Guidance for breaking the news to our financial advisor

Post by NotWhoYouThink »

Skip the review. He is scheduling the review to keep you as a customer. If it is a lost cause the kind thing to do is to let him avoid the cost of preparing and focus his efforts on recruiting new clients or maintaining current ones.

Yes, you paid him to do a job, and if he did a good job you both benefitted. If you are now willing to save the cost of his help and do the job yourself that's ok. He's lost clients before.

Make sure you have saved statements showing the basis for all your investments before you schedule the transfer to your new custodian.
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beernutz
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Re: Guidance for breaking the news to our financial advisor

Post by beernutz »

I went through similar feelings when I discontinued my Schwab managed portfolio arrangement earlier this year. I was "sold" the managed portfolio by our local Schwab rep and I'd been meeting and doing annual reviews with him for the last 14 years in addition to periodic phone calls which were as much personal as they were business.

When I decided to discontinue the portfolio management I called Schwab central, not him, as I thought it would be tough to tell him I was no longer going to be managed. He made it much easier though when he called me about a week after my account had transitioned back to self-management and made some backhandedly criticial comments which indicated that he really wasn't listening closely to me during our annual reviews. C'est la vie.
Don't gamble; take all your savings and buy some good stock and hold it till it goes up, then sell it. If it don't go up, don't buy it. --Will Rogers
Dottie57
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Re: Guidance for breaking the news to our financial advisor

Post by Dottie57 »

capjak wrote: Fri Sep 18, 2020 3:44 pm I would start the transfer process and call him since you have a 15 year relationship.

He will likely try to convince you to stay put by lowering his fee (of course if he is willing to lower his fee why didn't he do it 15 years ago)?
+1

OP really doesn’t owe the guy anything. FA was paid during the 15 years. A quick conversation is fine. I think it bad form to waste the tome of someone who is being fired.
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Octavia
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Re: Guidance for breaking the news to our financial advisor

Post by Octavia »

Taylor Larimore wrote: Fri Sep 18, 2020 4:29 pm Octavia:

Leaving our friend and advisor at Merrill Lynch in 1986 was one of the hardest things we ever did. It was also one of the best things we ever did.

Best wishes.
Taylor
Jack Bogle's Words of Wisdom: "Index funds endure, while most advisers and funds do not."
Thank you. There was no easy, painless way to way to go about it. He took it quite personally and we regret that he felt blindsided. He told us that he respected our decision, but believed we were making a mistake. What else would he say? Onward.
johnubc
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Re: Guidance for breaking the news to our financial advisor

Post by johnubc »

As others have stated - you have already decided, so why waste your and his time having the meeting. Having him and his team prepare for the event will be a waste of their time and having him travel will be a waste of his time and expense. If you feel you cannot speak to it properly, send an email with the option of a follow up phone call. He will certainly understand - and it happens on a regular basis. He has to assume he provides value to you and you are deciding that he is not providing enough value. It really happens all the time.
chassis
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Re: Guidance for breaking the news to our financial advisor

Post by chassis »

Octavia wrote: Sun Sep 27, 2020 7:31 am
Taylor Larimore wrote: Fri Sep 18, 2020 4:29 pm Octavia:

Leaving our friend and advisor at Merrill Lynch in 1986 was one of the hardest things we ever did. It was also one of the best things we ever did.

Best wishes.
Taylor
Jack Bogle's Words of Wisdom: "Index funds endure, while most advisers and funds do not."
Thank you. There was no easy, painless way to way to go about it. He took it quite personally and we regret that he felt blindsided. He told us that he respected our decision, but believed we were making a mistake. What else would he say? Onward.
@Octavia Congratulations on your decision. Onward!
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vineviz
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Re: Guidance for breaking the news to our financial advisor

Post by vineviz »

Octavia wrote: Sun Sep 27, 2020 7:31 am Thank you. There was no easy, painless way to way to go about it. He took it quite personally and we regret that he felt blindsided. He told us that he respected our decision, but believed we were making a mistake. What else would he say? Onward.
Congrats on following through on your decision in what seems to be a professional manner.

I don't want to throw the advisor under the bus, but I sincerely feel that no advisor who is doing their job well would have been "blindsided" by a decision like this. An advisor should be talking with clients often enough (and listening closely enough) that a move like this should never come as a surprise.
"Far more money has been lost by investors preparing for corrections than has been lost in corrections themselves." ~~ Peter Lynch
Kelrex
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Re: Guidance for breaking the news to our financial advisor

Post by Kelrex »

Octavia wrote: Sun Sep 27, 2020 7:31 am
Taylor Larimore wrote: Fri Sep 18, 2020 4:29 pm Octavia:

Leaving our friend and advisor at Merrill Lynch in 1986 was one of the hardest things we ever did. It was also one of the best things we ever did.

Best wishes.
Taylor
Jack Bogle's Words of Wisdom: "Index funds endure, while most advisers and funds do not."
Thank you. There was no easy, painless way to way to go about it. He took it quite personally and we regret that he felt blindsided. He told us that he respected our decision, but believed we were making a mistake. What else would he say? Onward.
What else would he say??
IMO, he would say literally anything professionally appropriate in that context, like offering to do a detailed analysis and comparison of the two approaches in order to demonstrate what he sees as the added value he brings to the table for his enormous cost???

Or give you a warm congratulations on how much you have taught yourself that you feel confident doing this on your own, but offer a caution about certain aspects of your particular case that may get complicated and then offer, again, warmly, to be available to you in the future if you ever feel you need professional guidance again?

As I said before, I consider it wholly unprofessional to behave in a way that shows that losing a client is being taken personally. It's such a normal part of doing business that any and every professional should know how to handle it with grace and dignity.

Congrats on following through, and enjoy the DIY process.
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Rick Ferri
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Re: Guidance for breaking the news to our financial advisor

Post by Rick Ferri »

I can speak from the other side as a former broker for ten years, and former AUM adviser for almost twenty years.

1) Advisers lose clients every year. That's part of the business. They won't take you leaving personally, although some might fake that they do. Clients leave for various reasons, the most frequent being poor performance, high-fees, and a decision to do-it-yourself.

2) Whatever wording you come up with to break the news has been heard by your adviser dozens of times before. Here are a few words to use to end the relationship amicably:

"We appreciate all the help you've given us over the years; however, we've decided to go a different direction."

That will end it.

Rick Ferri
The Education of an Index Investor: born in darkness, finds indexing enlightenment, overcomplicates everything, embraces simplicity.
Lastrun
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Re: Guidance for breaking the news to our financial advisor

Post by Lastrun »

Octavia wrote: Fri Sep 18, 2020 3:30 pm My spouse and I are newly retired with no debt and no children.
Octavia wrote: Sun Sep 27, 2020 7:31 am He told us that he respected our decision, but believed we were making a mistake. What else would he say? Onward.
You made the right call. He helped you to reach retirement and his job is done. No reason to pay him 30% (1%x30years) of your retirement assets to manage your portfolio. I was in a similar situation a year or so ago and it is not easy. Your situation looks pretty simple and you should be able to handle it, and there is always this forum for the harder issues.
clip651
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Re: Guidance for breaking the news to our financial advisor

Post by clip651 »

Octavia wrote: Sun Sep 27, 2020 7:31 am
Thank you. There was no easy, painless way to way to go about it. He took it quite personally and we regret that he felt blindsided. He told us that he respected our decision, but believed we were making a mistake. What else would he say? Onward.
Congrats on following through! Onward indeed.

best wishes,
cj
Rex66
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Re: Guidance for breaking the news to our financial advisor

Post by Rex66 »

delete
Last edited by Rex66 on Sun Sep 27, 2020 9:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
Rex66
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Re: Guidance for breaking the news to our financial advisor

Post by Rex66 »

Rex66 wrote: Sun Sep 27, 2020 9:53 am did you really get anything from the annual review at this point? it just seems like you were setting yourself up for confrontation which you appear to wish to avoid.

glad it worked out though
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Stinky
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Re: Guidance for breaking the news to our financial advisor

Post by Stinky »

Octavia wrote: Sun Sep 27, 2020 7:31 am
Thank you. There was no easy, painless way to way to go about it. He took it quite personally and we regret that he felt blindsided. He told us that he respected our decision, but believed we were making a mistake. What else would he say? Onward.
Put it behind you.

You acted professionally. The advisor didn’t.

You did the right thing. Congratulations on getting it done.
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dknightd
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Re: Guidance for breaking the news to our financial advisor

Post by dknightd »

If I was a financial advisor I'd be glad to see my students move on. Yes I might miss the income. But I suspect there will always be new students
If you value a bird in the hand, pay off the loan. If you are willing to risk getting two birds (or none) from the market, invest the funds.
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Re: Guidance for breaking the news to our financial advisor

Post by MikeG62 »

Octavia wrote: Sun Sep 27, 2020 7:31 am
There was no easy, painless way to way to go about it. He took it quite personally and we regret that he felt blindsided. He told us that he respected our decision, but believed we were making a mistake. What else would he say? Onward.
I would not expect him to have responded much differently. The good news is the conversation is done and he will get over it.

Good luck moving forward with VG.
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