Changing your financial advisor: a step-by-step guide to making the switch

1 min read by Unbiased team Last updated June 14, 2024

Explore how and when to change financial advisors to align better with your financial aspirations and enhance your financial planning and strategy.


  • Understanding the terms and obligations in your current contract is crucial before changing financial advisors. 

  • Look for designations such as CFP or CFA when choosing a new financial advisor. 

  • Unbiased will connect you with an expert fiduciary advisor for financial advice tailored to your specific needs and circumstances. 

Why might you consider changing financial advisors? 

Your financial advisor plays a crucial role in helping you achieve your financial goals. However, not all advisors are created equal.  

Understanding how and when you can change financial advisors empowers you to take control of your financial future.  

Here are some common reasons why it might be time to change financial advisors: 

  • Mismatched investment philosophies: If your advisor’s approach to investing doesn’t align with your risk tolerance or financial goals, it’s a sign that you may need to look for someone whose strategies resonate more with your preferences.  

  • Poor communication: Effective communication is vital in any advisory relationship. If your advisor is difficult to reach, fails to explain strategies clearly, or doesn’t keep you informed about your portfolio, it might be time to find someone more responsive.  

  • Lack of personalized service: Your financial advisor should tailor their advice to your unique situation. If you feel like you’re receiving generic advice that doesn’t consider your personal financial situation, goals, and values, it's a red flag. 

Having the right financial advisor is essential for financial success. They should be knowledgeable, aligned with your financial goals and needs, and provide personalized and effective guidance.  

How do you change your financial advisor? 

Knowing how to change financial advisors involves several steps, each of which is crucial to ensuring a smooth transition. 

  • Review your existing contract 

Before making any decisions about changing financial advisors, carefully review your current contract. Understand the terms, particularly any clauses related to terminating the relationship. Look out for any obligations you might have, such as notice periods or penalties for early termination. 

  • Consider potential fees 

Knowing what is the cost of changing financial advisors means being aware of any fees associated with ending your current advisor relationship. These might include termination fees or costs related to transferring assets. Understanding these costs upfront can help you avoid unexpected financial hits and allow you to plan accordingly.

  • Determine your next steps 

Once you've reviewed your contract and considered potential fees, it’s time to plan your next steps. Start by identifying what you need in a new advisor. Are you looking for someone with specific expertise, such as retirement planning or tax advice? Create a list of criteria that your new advisor should meet. 

  • Ensure a smooth transition 

When changing financial advisors, organize your financial documents and gather all relevant records. This will not only help your new advisor get up to speed quickly but also ensure that there are no gaps in your financial management during the transition.  

How do you formally end your relationship with your current advisor? 

If it’s time to change financial advisors, ending the relationship should be done professionally and courteously. 

Draft a formal letter or email to your current advisor that clearly states your intention to terminate the relationship. Include an unambiguous statement of termination, the effective date, and any necessary details regarding the transfer of your accounts. 

It’s important to remain professional and courteous throughout this process, so express appreciation for their past services, regardless of your reasons for leaving.  

How do you research and choose a new financial advisor? 

When researching and choosing a new financial advisor, it's essential to consider various factors, including their expertise, qualifications, and how much financial advisors cost. 

Here are some tips on how to find a suitable new financial advisor: 

  • Look for advisors with the right qualifications and credentials. Designations such as Certified Financial Planner (CFP) or Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) indicate a high level of expertise and ethical standards. 

  • Consider their experience and any specializations that align with your financial needs. If retirement planning is your primary focus, an advisor who specializes in retirement planning may be more suitable. 

When changing financial advisors, don’t hesitate to interview new potential options.  

Ask about their approach to financial planning, how they stay current with market trends, and how they communicate with clients. Request references and follow up with them to get a sense of the advisor’s track record and client satisfaction. 

How do you set up with your new financial advisor? 

Establishing a relationship with your new financial advisor involves several key steps. 

Schedule an initial meeting to discuss your financial goals and current situation. This is your opportunity to ensure that your new advisor understands your objectives and is prepared to create a personalized plan. 

Provide your new advisor with all necessary information, including previous financial plans, investment statements, and any other relevant documents. The more they know about your financial history and goals, the better they can serve you. 

Work with your new advisor to develop a comprehensive financial plan tailored to your needs. This plan should address your short-term and long-term goals, risk tolerance, and any specific strategies you want to pursue. 

Looking to change your financial advisor? 

Understanding how to switch financial advisors can rejuvenate your financial strategy and provide renewed confidence in achieving your goals. By carefully evaluating your needs, conducting thorough research, and ensuring a smooth transition, you can establish a productive and beneficial relationship with a new advisor who truly understands and supports your financial aspirations. 

Let Unbiased connect you with a financial advisor for expert financial advice. This will ensure that you have the right partner by your side to navigate your financial journey with confidence and clarity. 


Unbiased team

Our team of writers, who have decades of experience writing about personal finance, including investing and retirement, are here to help you find out what you must know about life’s biggest financial decisions.