What investors need to know about succession plans and how to transition to a new financial advisor

As a group, financial advisors are aging, which means many of them are about to retire or at least start working fewer hours, just as doctors, dentists, and other professionals do.

You may have heard a friend say her financial advisor retired and sold his practice to another advisor 50 miles away. Now, someone your friend doesn’t know, and will have difficulty meeting in person, is handling her financial future.

Or, you may have heard of an advisor bringing in an intern a few years before retirement, gradually handing over responsibility and the managing of client assets—whether the client likes it or not.

For a client who has worked with the same advisor for decades—and may be close to the same age as her advisor—the change could come just when she needs advice the most: as she financially manages her own retirement.

That’s why it’s important that investors know what will happen to their assets if their financial advisor retires, unexpectedly dies, or becomes disabled. A succession plan is important for a financial advisor to have, and it’s also important for them to share the details of the plan with their clients.

I encourage all investors to have a candid discussion with their financial advisor concerning their plans or aspirations toward retirement and who they plan to have take over when that occurs.  If the future advisor currently works in the same firm as the current advisor, it’s a good idea to set an appointment to meet the future advisor and assess whether you are comfortable with the amount of experience they have, as well as their portfolio management skills.

Women should take extra care to ensure the future advisor hears them, acknowledges their concerns, and is prepared to assist them at the level of care they need or request.  If an advisor gives deference to a woman’s husband during these initial meetings, you can expect they will continue to do so later.

If your advisor retired and left your financial future in the hands of a person you are not comfortable with, you are not obligated to continue working with them.

If you are looking for a fee-based advisor that is independent, and you have at least $100,000 to invest, let’s explore working together.  Stratos Wealth Partners are a group of professionals providing financial guidance and impartial strategies for wealth accumulation and management.

Contact Stratos Wealth Partners at 928.460.5507, visit www.prescottwealthmanagment.com, or stop by the office in the Santa Fe Depot, 100 E. Sheldon Street, Suite 105 in Prescott.

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.  Securities offered through LPL Financial, member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through Stratos Wealth Partners, Ltd., a registered investment advisor and a separate entity from LPL Financial.  Stratos Wealth Partners and LPL Financial do not provide legal advisor or tax services. Please consult your legal advisor or tax advisor regarding your specific situation.