Broker Check

Are You Working with a Salesperson or an Advisor?

September 03, 2019

Lately I’ve been introduced to clients with wildly unsuitable products and recommendations that have been implemented. It’s as if financial advice is solely intended to sell products, even if there is no need for products.


Products, investments, etc. are an important part of financial planning and advising, but have you ever wondered if your advisor is actually advising you? Or is he/she just selling things to you? Here are some differences between the two to help you size up the recommendations placed in front of you.


Are the recommendations and action steps only products and services your advisor sells or renders?

If so, you might have a salesperson.

Being an advisor oftentimes has such a collaborative role. Has your financial advisor recommended you get an umbrella policy from your car insurance agent or a will from your attorney? Has your attorney recommended you get an insurance policy from your insurance agent? Has your advisor sent you to – or suggested – other advisors? If not, you might have a salesperson.


Are the only products and services you have all from the same proprietary company?

If so, you might have a salesperson.

Do you have only one company for all your insurances, investments, and retirement services? Is it possible for one company to be all things? If your advisor is a captive advisor, meaning they either can’t offer any products and services other than one company’s or there is richer compensation for offering a particular company’s products and services, you might have a salesperson. As an advisor, this likely a conflict of interest.


Was the initial meeting with your advisor all discussing how great a particular company is?Or is one company “the best"?

If so, you might have a salesperson.

You may have heard a regurgitated, well-rehearsed sales pitch that’s been repeated over and over. Instead of a listening advisor, you may have had a salesperson just waiting for his or her turn to speak.


If you answered yes to any of these 3 questions, you might want to get a second opinion on your finances.