I Fired My Financial Planner

It’s official; I fired my financial advisor for lack of professionalism.

This is how it all started. I was pretty happy with my previous advisor that I chose at the time based on a friend’s recommendation. Last summer, she was promoted to a branch director and all her clients were passed on to another financial planner who already had an established clientele. Unfortunately, I did not get to choose this guy; I was simply assigned to him. All in all we met only once at my request because I wanted to meet him face to face.

Following the one and only meeting last summer, there was never any contact between us for almost a year (except when I asked him on the phone to dump a lump sum in my mortgage last December). On Friday April 30 he got back to me after I left him a couple of messages during the week and we had a discussion in which I requested information on opening a trading account linked to a line of credit dedicated for investing only. He promised to get back to me during the same day or on Monday May 3 at most.

Come Monday there was no sign of him; during all of last week I left him 3 voice messages and ended up emailing him last Friday to no avail. You could have imagined how I felt last week watching the markets having a major correction with no money to deploy, talk about missed opportunities. If you’ve been following this blog, you know me by now; I’m a buyer when everyone is a seller. Needless to say, I was pissed off.

Since I work in downtown Montreal, all the banks have branches close by. So early this week, I took a 5 min walk from work to a branch of National Bank and asked for a new financial planner. We met on Tuesday and I decided to proceed with her as my new advisor.   In this process I have to send the new planner an email officially requesting to switch branches which in turn is forwarded to the old planner in order for him to transfer the account.

Lo and behold my ex-planner came back to life that same day; he sends me an email apologizing for the delay because he was out of the office often. This is a case where he either is acting like an idiot or taking me for an idiot, it can’t be both, has to be one of the 2. You see I left him 3 voice messages and an email because his answering machine message of the day indicated he was at the office for that date and asking his callers to leave a message because he will get back to them. Why would I leave you a message if you were not at the office? And even if you were not and I left you a message, why should it take you more than a day at most to get back to me and feed me any bullshit to buy yourself time if you were that busy?

The fact of the matter is that I am not a wealthy client; I don’t buy the bank’s mutual funds and other products. That probably places me at the bottom of his list. All I have is a mortgage at variable rate that I am paying off as fast as possible, so even here the bank is not making the full potential in profits. But I am still a customer, and I deserve a minimum level of service, he should’ve picked the phone and called me back.

I did not bother answering his email; he knows why I dumped him.  He failed at the heart of his profession: relationship with the client.  I made it clear to the new planner that I expect to be answered, period. I am now setting up the new account and looking forward to the next correction where I will be ready to feed on investor worries.

Have you ever had a bad experience with your financial planner?

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