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Dale Jackson

Personal Finance Columnist, Payback Time


It’s rare to find an advisor to take you through a life of investing and into retirement. It’s even more rare for that advisor to stay with the same investment dealer through it all.

In a rapidly-evolving investment industry, firms get acquired and advisors often change firms. When that happens, clients are often asked to stand by their man – as the song goes.

When faced with the choice, clients must first decide if they are pleased with the service – and determine if it’s the advisor or firm they really like.

Here are a few questions to ask:

  • Will your current investment strategy be impacted, or will your advisor need to fall in line with the new firm’s mandate?
  • Will your advisor’s client list increase or could the firm push your advisor’s attention to higher net-worth clients?
  • Does the new firm provide the same quality research, estate or tax planning services?
  • Do they have a wide selection of investment products or are they confined to promoting proprietary products offered only by that company? How good are those products?
  • Will charges like closing costs and transfer fees be imposed if you need to transfer products?
  • Is the fee structure changing?