How to get more from your relationship with your financial advisor

A couple reviews charts with their advisor

Learn how discussing subjects you may be either too afraid to ask your advisor or think are irrelevant may actually help your long-term financial success.

The most productive relationships between you and your advisors are ones where you discuss more than just finances. Learning more about you, your family, your long-term aspirations, and any concerns you may have helps your advisors work with you to develop a plan to cover most eventualities.

Yet a recent survey1 shows that there are a number of reasons why you may be holding back in your meetings with your financial or wealth advisor:

  • You may think that the question you want to ask is about something you should already know
  • You may think that what you want to discuss isn’t important to your finances
  • Your spouse or partner may be the key financial decision maker, so you may feel you have nothing to contribute
The better your advisors understand you and your family situation, the more they are able to help you financially over the long term.

The truth of the matter is that your advisor would like you to ask your questions and to bring up other concerns that may be more important than you think. Moreover, your advisor would like to hear your voice in meetings even if you don’t think you have anything to contribute; understanding the needs of all parties in the relationship is an important step toward everyone’s financial success.

As a private wealth financial advisor and managing director – investments, Jennifer Garcia of Wells Fargo Advisors shares that there are no bad questions.

“I had a client approach me following an event. She had been a client for some time, but her husband always took the lead in our regular meetings and she was always quite reserved,” says Garcia. “She told me that something had been bothering her. She hadn’t done any long-term planning. How would she manage if something was to happen to her husband? Would she be OK?”

Garcia was able to help her client by putting together a financial road map to help her visualize her future should anything happen and to address her concerns.

A related example would be when one spouse has health issues or memory loss. Your financial advisor can work with your legal and tax advisors to help with a plan that can honor the wishes of your spouse or partner as well as you and your family while helping keep your financial life on track.

Garcia also notes that conversations do not have to be all about the money side.

Important topics to discuss with your financial or wealth advisor include the following:

  • Family and family dynamics
  • Career and long-term retirement plans
  • Estate planning strategies and wealth transfer
  • Health and aging concerns

These subjects may not seem relevant, especially when you’re talking to your financial advisor, but they are. As Garcia emphasizes, the better your advisors understand you and your family situation, the more they are able to help you financially over the long term.


1. Wells Fargo Private Bank affluent women survey, February 2021
Any estate plan should be reviewed by an attorney who specializes in estate planning and is licensed to practice law in your state.