How Do You Tell If Your Financial Advisor Is Ripping You Off?

A financial adviser is not an uncommon person to have within our life especially when our budgeting becomes more complex. The complexity of our budget mandates that we will eventually be out of our depth in terms of financial understanding and activities required to retain your regular tidings with money alright. However, a financial adviser doesn’t necessarily have our best interest in mind. No matter who it is or where we met them, there is always a chance that they only have a personal interest in mind. The best way to avoid this issue is by resolving it before it happens.

Their history is the best source of information


The earliest thing that can help you learn about potential issues you may run into with your financial adviser is checking their history. Work history, their relations with past clients, impressions from those past clients, overall reviews online, and many more areas should be consulted before hiring them. While it is a somewhat popular way of people finding the person they need for a job, never engage in word of mouth as a reliable source of information. The person or people spreading it may not even be aware of the negative behavior and affects the financial adviser may be practicing so to them they seem like a reliable person. Even if they are somewhat involved the problematic behavior may get handwaved away as a rare occurrence.

After pouring over their history you should be much better equipped when it comes to dealing with them. The history could tell you of potential falling out they had with previous clients or even charges that implicate them. All in all, this background check is the first and most important step to actually getting a good and safe relationship going with your financial adviser.

Checking up while early in a contract with them is also a good idea because things may float up that didn’t before. In this situation, you’ll still have the upper hand of knowing what’s going on before any adverse effects occur. This can be mandatory knowledge in case a legal battle is to be fought as well. If your research showcases odd or downright harmful behavior from the financial adviser we firmly suggest you communicate it to them or even immediately break up the agreement.

If you end up in a legal battle we suggest contacting mdf-law due to their years of experience with these types of cases. You should have somebody of that level of capability, especially when dealing with such a serious issue.

The clarity isn’t on a desirable level


When money is involved everybody prefers having a good understanding of what’s going on and what the money is being used for. The answers we want to hear when inquiring about the procedures should be very straightforward and understandable. While not every intricacy of business can be explained in a few words if you ask follow-up questions yet feel like the understanding of the matter isn’t improving, you may be led around. This goes double when it’s related to the payments the financial adviser takes for themselves. There is a possibility that those aren’t quite what they should be.

The financial adviser will often utilize a payment plan that is laid out with the cost of each and every item accounted for. Of course, clarity is twice as important here. We want to know what our money is paying for and realize what the whole plan actually entails. A financial adviser should be able to explain to them and rationalize why they are the way they are.

In situations where fees and payments aren’t justified properly, it may be time to return to research. This time you’ll be doing it with your own information and checking the fees that have been taken by your financial adviser for different bullet points of their payment plan. If something is off, then your financial adviser is probably up to no good. Needless to say, that’s not a good situation to be in and should be rectified as soon as possible because the losses we suffer from these situations can really accumulate.

Objections to your checks may point to issues


While some people simply prefer to be left to their own devices and work without any interruptions, it should still be understood that a person that’s engaged in a contract with them wants to check in on them. In the case of a financial adviser, it’s even more understandable as you have to give them interaction with your bank account which can be anxious at best.

Checking in on your adviser is the safest way to avoid potential scams and is the best way to nullify the chances that a financial adviser will rip you off. Make sure to know what’s going on with your assets and how they are being managed. Part of the profession of a financial adviser is very much to inform you as they need to gather information before providing useful feedback to you which in turn makes any bigger inconsistency between the management of assets and the facts we get about our assets suspicious.

The financial advisers that are professional and reputable will not mind if you check in on them because they understand the reason for it is your concern for the overall quality of the job.

They push investments you are wary of too hard


There are always those situations where we will disagree with a financial adviser despite their best efforts to convince us of the profitability of a certain investment. These situations may simply be a conflict of opinions but in certain situations, they could be part of a scheme the financial adviser is pulling.

No reputable adviser will be too pushy with their suggestions, their follow-up explanations and elaborations will only serve to clarify the situation to you rather than directly sway you into a deal you may not have wanted in the first place.

The pushy financial adviser may be trying to pull a scam on you and invest in places that will cause them to profit rather than you.


What you want from a financial adviser are insight, reliability, clarity, and safety. If a financial adviser cannot provide these, there may be something off in our relationship with them. Whether this issue is one of the financial advisers trying to rip us off or a misunderstanding is best confirmed with additional research and a necessary bit of skepticism. Of course, thinking the whole process through helps whenever any problematic situation arises so make sure to consider your options. If things start going south take initiative before the problem gets out of hand.

About Nina Smith

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