I Fired My Financial Advisor

I fired my financial advisor. That was meant to be a somewhat provocative, just like WCI's Fire Your Financial Advisor course.

Part 1 covered the license designations an FA can and should have.

Part 2 covered how FAs should get paid.

Part 3 – What's the difference between a financial advisor and planner?

Part 4 – How to find and vet a financial advisor

Part 5 – I fired my financial advisor

Johanna and I separated after about two years of working together. Before I go into why, I thought I would first discuss why a financial blogger would hire one in the first place. I mean, if I am giving information shouldn't I know what I am doing and not need one?

Why I Hired a Financial Advisor

Curiosity … and blog research!

I noticed that the other finance blogs were mainly (perhaps all?) staunch DIY and anti-FA.  Curiously, many also give advice about financial advisors yet have never worked with a true financial advisor or planner. So, I became curious and thought working with one would be great research for my blog and I may learn a thing or two!

Afraid to make any more big mistakes

I finished residency at age 38 with ~$200,000 in student loans and barely $1,000 in retirement accounts. That was a huge hill to climb. I could not afford to make any more big financial mistakes if I ever wanted to “retire”.

Combining finances

Things were getting serious with M. Although I felt pretty comfortable managing my own money, managing our money made me feel a bit uneasy as making mistakes would now affect two instead one.

What I Loved About Having a Financial Advisor

During the time that I worked with a financial advisor, I actually realized there were some great benefits. Here's what I loved:

Systematically going over our financial houses

The part of reviewing finances that takes the longest (at least for us) is gathering lots of important documents, scanning them, then uploading them into a secure website for them to review. These include all of our insurance policies, retirement plans, etc.

Our planner made sure we were adequately insured. Perhaps one of the most important things we accomplished was getting our estate plan done: wills, power of attorneys, and health care proxies. Too often this becomes a non-urgent to-do item that never gets done and then it is too late.

Advice (duh)

Johanna and her team had their work cut out for them. Their brand new clients get engaged then pregnant and then decide to move cities with new jobs. All of this happened within half a year!

I was unemployed for about 16 weeks during my maternity leave. Additionally, I was freaking out about not bringing in any money while I watched my checking account only go down. Lots of impulse shopping on amazon.com didn't help either. Perhaps it was all postpartum hormones but Johanna had to talk me down a few times. Having someone you trust say “you will be ok” is and was priceless.

The big picture

We discussed our goals and dreams. After all the information gathering, we received snazzy reports and graphs comparing different scenarios (renting vs. buying, etc). I also learned that we would and could reach financial independence a lot sooner than I thought.

Why I Fired My Financial Advisor

I guess you could say I am a true DIYer. Honestly, I love creating and updating spreadsheets with our numbers. I love crunching the numbers. And I am comfortable managing our money.

Our FA custodied some of our accounts and I did not like not being able to manage them myself. I suspect most people who hire FAs want to delegate these tasks. And perhaps lastly, I drank the FIRE Kool-Aid. We are currently optimizing and minimizing our expenses to reach FIRE. All of these factors combined meant that it was time for me to fire my financial advisor.

What Should You Do?

There are two schools of thought when it comes to money. Some people prefer to DIY their own finances. Other people choose to work with financial advisors.

There are so many variables to consider when choosing which path to take. If you do decide to work with an advisor, make sure you pick an advisor that you can trust. Working with a fee-only financial advisor is one way to ensure that your planner has your best interests in mind. Also, remember that your relationship with that advisor doesn't have to last forever.

What did you think? Were you surprised that I fired my financial advisor? Have you worked with a financial advisor? What worked and didn't work? 

Get our guide

Get the bestselling book - Defining Wealth for Women.

Posted in ,

Recent Posts

Wealthy Mom MD with Bonnie Koo | How to Protect Yourself in Today’s Digital Landscape

208: How to Protect Yourself in Today’s Digital Landscape

Discover practical strategies and tools to bolster your online security posture. From securing home Wi-Fi networks to implementing two-factor authentication and safeguarding children’s online identities, we’ll cover actionable measures to mitigate risks in today’s digital environment. But do remember, while these steps help a lot, you should still remain vigilant.

Wealthy Mom MD with Bonnie Koo | Building Your Dream Outside of Medicine with Tiffany Moon, MD

207: Building Your Dream Outside of Medicine with Tiffany Moon, MD

Dr. Tiffany Moon is a board-certified anesthesiologist, a social media personality, former Real Housewife, and a mom of twins. She’s built an amazing career outside of her clinical work, and she’s here to discuss the many opportunities that exist for physicians outside of practicing medicine.

Wealthy Mom MD with Bonnie Koo | How to Start Thinking like an Entrepreneur

206: How to Start Thinking like an Entrepreneur

Learn why everyone needs to know how to think like an entrepreneur, even if you have no desire to start your own company. I’m showing you the differences between the mindset of an entrepreneur versus an employee, what gets in the way of physicians thinking like entrepreneurs, and the importance of finding community in entrepreneurship.