Finding a Modern Financial Advisor: 3 Questions to Ask

Whether it’s political unrest, a Black Swan event, a housing crisis, or a global pandemic, there are very few “normal” years left in the world of finance. In the “post-normal economy”, as Barry Ritholtz frames it, financial advisors must be different from yesterday.

Markets are more unpredictable. Volatility has become the norm. Digital asset markets never close. Those are just some of the elements that have made investing even more challenging. Now, more than ever, it’s important to have a financial professional on your side who can keep you from making decisions you might regret. The start of the pandemic is an example. Almost all of my clients called me wanting to sell their shares on the exact same day. In the 33 days between February 19 and March 23, the MSCI World Index fell 34%, and it seemed my clients had reached their breaking point. we sold? After thoughtful discussion, the answer is mostly no, and I can tell you that many of them thanked me six months later.

My point is that the needs of investors are changing. Financial advisors must continue to adapt and evolve with the individuals and families they serve. While it’s also important that your financial advisor is in good standing with the SEC, has high integrity, always puts your best interests first, and is an expert when it comes to your financial planning needs, I’d say that’s what is at stake: the financial advisers of tomorrow must be much more.

Below is my list of three questions to ask yourself when deciding if a financial advisor possesses the qualities that should be available to them in the post-normal economy:

Are they a personality fit?

It is imperative that your financial advisor can anticipate your needs and understand how you may react to worldly factors that may affect your portfolio. Your financial advisor should take the time to get to know you on a personal level, not just your portfolio. Do they understand your lifestyle? Your family dynamic? Having a deeper understanding of who you are will help them stay one step ahead and communicate with you through the right channels during turbulent times.

An anecdote that can help portray my thinking is the story of a client of mine who was extremely politically oriented. When Barack Obama was re-elected to serve his second term, this client wanted to sell everything and wait. He was adamantly against selling his portfolio and backed up my advice with historical data. Looking back it’s 20/20, and I’ll be the first to admit I’m not always right, but in this specific case the market delivered strong returns each of the next four years and the Dow Jones Industrial Average hit a new high of 118. The point is, if he didn’t back down, that client would have missed out on market returns that he could never have regained.

Are they able to build a deeper relationship than the advisor-client dynamic?

It all comes down to trust. Do you feel like your financial advisor is always going to act in your best interest? He goes beyond being a fiduciary; You should feel that your financial advisor deeply understands your personal needs and goals. Do you feel that your financial advisor is your confidant? Your friend? They need to be more than that. You should feel like your financial advisor is an extension of your family.

While I don’t think you need to go to your financial advisor for every financial decision in life, it’s important that you see them as part of your “inner circle” and not someone you talk to quarterly to discuss your portfolio and plan. financial. In today’s world, which is always online 24/7, your financial advisor needs to be someone you communicate with regularly and connect with on a personal level.

Are they able to offer a diversified investment portfolio?

In the current market environment, it is extremely important to diversify your portfolio away from stocks and bonds. In fact, the traditional 60/40 portfolio is dead. If your financial advisor does not provide creative strategies to diversify your portfolio and invest in alternative assets, then you are not providing your clients with modern financial advice.

Investors need a hedge against inflation and an alternative to traditional fixed income and equities.

To truly diversify and give yourself the opportunity to experience extraordinary returns, you need to invest in alternatives, including venture capital, real estate, and private equity.

In the midst of the war between Ukraine and Russia and after a global pandemic, it is impossible to predict the next crisis that will shake the markets. But one thing is for sure: there is nothing “normal” about your financial life. To protect yourself and your hard-earned portfolio, be sure to work with a financial advisor who possesses the above qualities. If there is anything to be picky about in life, your financial advisor should be at or near the top of the list.

Managing Director – Financial Advisor, Manhattan West

Tyler Robuck is a Managing Director and Financial Advisor at Manhattan West, where he provides personalized wealth management solutions to high net worth clients, artists, and small business owners. He brings a wealth of experience, knowledge, energy, and compassion to help clients achieve their goals. Having worked through countless market cycles, he prides himself on being a clear and consistent voice in periods of growth and volatility. Outside of work, Robuck enjoys meditation and is a yogi.

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