Was there a time you felt heard or ignored by your advisor?

By Sharon Ho | March 25, 2019 | Last updated on March 25, 2019
2 min read

Mona Rossiter, 50s, consultant, St. John’s, N.L.

[I’ve felt ignored when] talking about fees and asking about fees. Those who charge the fees don’t want to discuss them. The [fees] seem high, and they are.

Last year was the first time I had a frank discussion with my advisor about fees. Sometimes you don’t know all the questions to ask. I never understood if it was [included] in my returns and exactly how much it was. I always felt uncomfortable so last year I broke that barrier. “Can you explain to me if the return on my investment includes whether your fees have been taken out or not? What is your fee?” Just simple questions. There was a reluctance to get into the fee discussion until he said, “No, actually that is your return on your investment before my fee. My fee is 1.2%.”

To protect the consumer it ought to be transparent on paperwork and the advisor ought to be obligated to sign something so it’s clear you had that discussion.

André C., 47, works in international trade and investment, Moncton, N.B.

[I’ve done] a lot of work on renewable energy and there were some things I found interesting. Whenever I wanted research or to learn more about the sector, [my advisor’s] team would prepare a report on the opportunities. It’s nice to have somebody who listens to you and has time to do some legwork for you. I’m sure not many people were asking for that type of research at that time.

In some instances, we had conversations about specific stocks and we said, “No, we don’t feel comfortable.” He understood.

I don’t think I’ve ever been ignored by this advisor. He’s always been very careful when he goes through the file with us. We’re incredibly lucky to have an advisor like that.

Tim Corcoran, 56, vice-president of a waste company, Toronto

My advisor’s pretty good. There was a time when he was skiing in the Laurentians and I had an issue about a change to my portfolio, and he got back to me on a Sunday on his holiday. So I definitely felt heard. I’ve been working with him for a good 15 years. I’d say I’m heard more often than not. He certainly has gone over and above to make sure any concerns are addressed.

Sharon Ho