Will a financial advisor provide an unbiased assessment of a financial plan I already have in place?
I already have an Investment Advisor connected with an insurance company who handles our investments. I would like to have an independent financial advisor who can provide an unbiased assessment of our financial plan and investments. Is it possible that an advisor would provide this service and what fee might be expected?
Looks like you have plenty of well-qualified advisors to pick from. A lot of good advice has already been written. At any rate, I'll offer you my take...
Trust is the foundation of every great relationship. Be sure you listen to your gut if something seems "off" about the recommendation you received. I encourage my prospective clients to get a second opinion whenever they are at a key transition point in their life. Ultimately, it's about what's best for you, the client. Even if you just need validation with the current plan, it's smart to do your due diligence before handing your life savings to someone else to manage. At the end of the day, it is the advisor's job to provide you a clear path on how to achieve a successful plan, and then instill the confidence in you to make changes where necessary.
Having previously worked at a brokerage firm and bank, I have a good grasp on varying investment philosophies, including market-driven and insurance-based. It's easy to say one is better than the other if you "sell" or "service" only one particular way of thinking. However, both investing strategies can be beneficial to the client when positioned properly. It really boils down to what features you value the most. I am a fee-only planner, but I think there are plenty of great advisors who work on a commission basis and do right by their clients. Unless the fee-structure totally disagrees with your value system, don't rule someone out solely based on their compensation model. Try to find someone who you believe will put your best interests first. Getting there is really about finding a good fit for both parties more than anything else.
Feel free to message me if I can be of any help. Good luck!
Yes, you should be able to find an investment advisor to review this plan. I've done this in the past and usually charge an hourly fee based on the complexity. Look for a fee-only fiduciary to find the most unbiased opinion. They are bound by law to serve your best interests and not to just advise you on "suitable" investments. Your current advisor may or may not be held to this standard.
As you can read from many of the answers already given, they contain built-in biases, so I think that the answer is no. However, and this is a big however, the biases may very well work out in your favor and quantify the cost of your doing business with your current advisor. I imagine a review would lead to a possible reduction in portfolio expenses, but that is just based on my own personal experience.
Your question, while well intentioned, is the same as asking could Mitch O'Connell give an unbiased review of Obamacare or could Chuck Schumer give a similar review of the proposed changes in health care. Implicit biases take hold.
Yes, many advisors will offer a valuable "second opinion" as you've described it above. I personally call this Financial Advocate services and charge on an hourly basis.
Financial planners vary widely in terms of their rates. Most fall within $150-$300 per hour.
Just as an aside, you may want to consider shopping around for a new advisor while you're on this mission. Insurance companies are notorious for the number and volume of fees they pass along to their clients. Hopefully, your advisor doesn't fall into this camp, but doesn't hurt to ask how much they charged you in fees, commissions, and front or back end loads.
You are making a wise choice to seek out a second opinion on your finances. Good luck working through the process!
With Kind Regards,
Sure, there are many advisors who will give you a second opinion of your existing plan. Most will give you a complimentary meeting to meet them. I would let them know that you just want a second opinion and are not looking to move your accounts. Advisors will typically charge either a flat fee or an hourly fee for this type of service. The range is quite broad. You can find some good tips to vet advisors at sec.gov and can check out an advisor's regulatory history on FINRA's brokercheck. Ultimately, go with your gut. If you don't like or trust the person, move on.