What makes a good – or bad – financial advisor?

What makes a good – or bad – financial advisor?

Close up hand choose smiley face and blurred sad face icon on wood cube

The truth is, it can be difficult to assess the quality of services provided by a financial advisor. Sure, you can look at portfolio returns. But good financial planning is about so much more than returns. So how do you know if you’re working with a good, or bad, financial advisor? We use this space to tease apart a MarketWatch article by Jennifer Booton titled Seven Red Flags that Signal it May Be Time to Dump Your Financial Adviser that features thoughts from Yeske Buie co-founder, Dr. Dave Yeske.

1. They Don’t Ask About Your Life
  • We genuinely love learning about our Clients’ lives, families, interests, hobbies, passions, and dreams. On many occasions, our financial planners ask just one question at the beginning of our hour(s) long meetings with Clients – “Tell us about yourself…” We consider it a true a privilege to have the opportunity to learn about our Clients so deeply, and we seek to listen to and capture what Clients share with us via their unique Live Big Map.
2. They’re Not Working In Your Best Interest

At Yeske Buie, we believe that to best serve others, we must feel the world through their hearts. This core belief means that we always put our Clients’ needs first, we seek to understand who and what matter most in their lives, and we use the best available science to craft uniquely tailored financial plans. What’s more, we don’t embrace this approach because it’s trendy. Our founders have been advocates for requiring advisors to act as fiduciaries for decades.

3. They Panic Under Pressure
  • Another one of Yeske Buie’s core beliefs is to take an evidence-based approach in everything we do, which means that we seek out and lean on the best available science and practices to help us make decisions and serve our Clients. This approach allows us to remain grounded, even under difficult or turbulent circumstances. Here’s more from Dr. Dave Yeske:

“I think the basis for anyone to consider changing advisors following the pandemic comes down to this: did your advisor stick to his/her knitting and execute on a grounded strategy that was already in place or did your advisor thrash about in a panic?” says Dave Yeske, certified financial planner and managing director of Yeske Buie. “If your advisor panicked and exited the market or curled up in a fetal ball and went radio silent, you probably need to shop around for someone who works from a grounded set of principles and has a more engaged, proactive style.”

4. You Have Outgrown Each Other
  • The Yeske Buie story is a compilation of extraordinary relationships, beginning with the relationship between our two founders (first life partners, then business partners) and continuing with a commitment to strengthen our relationships with our Clients, our team, and our community. And if there’s one thing that we’ve learned about relationships, it’s that they require care and attention. We seek to foster relationships in a variety of ways, one of which involves learning more about our Clients via tools (like the ones below) from our strategic partner, Money Quotient.
5. They Don’t Understand Your Values
  • Financial planning is often thought to only include asset management, investing, and number crunching. And all of those pieces matter! But we believe that none of it matters if it’s not personal, relatable, and aligned with who you are. Our discovery process is the first step in our financial planning process, and it is one of the most important pieces of our relationship together. During this time, we strive to learn about the people in your life, the organizations that speak to your heart, the activities in which you like to participate, and any and everything else you want to share with us. We often say that the operating instructions for the financial plan come from inside – your values system, your mind, and your heart. And of course, our first discovery meeting isn’t the end of discovery – it’s an ongoing and eternal process! Life happens and life changes. Our goal is to live in a constant state of discovery, to always be learning who you are and what matters, and to ensure our work with you keeps who you are as a human top of mind.
6. They Aren’t Transparent About Fees
7. They Speak In Jargon That’s Not Relatable To You 
  • A few of our favorite phrases at Yeske Buie include we’re good people to think with® and we want to walk and idea around the block with you. We know that financial jargon is frustrating, and we aim to simplify ideas and concepts and meet Clients where they are to ensure they feel confident in their understanding about their financial plan. One of the ways we do this is via our bi-weekly newsletter, TheLiveBigWay® Digest, which shares simple and informative team-produced content to help Clients feel more knowledgeable about financial concepts and current ongoings in the economy.

We hope you find this review of Yeske Buie’s approach to financial planning to be helpful, and if you know someone who is in need of a financial planner, we hope you’ll consider referring them to Yeske Buie. If you choose to do so, please know that there is no pressure to pre-qualify the person – we welcome and appreciate all referrals. Also, rest assured that we will help those referred to us find a good match for their specific planning needs, even if it’s not us. So if you know someone who could benefit from financial planning, let us know!