Do I still need to pay financial advisor fees on my retirement annuity (RA), as the [person I was dealing with] is no longer my advisor? The company emailed me, stating that he is no longer a practising financial advisor with a financial institution. Can I now ask for that fee to be removed or reduced? What is the protocol in the industry? From my point of view I shouldn’t still pay fees if I’m not getting advice on that RA.
Sonia du Plessis - Brenthurst Wealth
Fees are always a sensitive subject. If you feel you are not receiving advice or guidance at all on your investment from the advisory practice, then it is unnecessary to keep on paying a financial advisor fee.
Firstly, the investment platform that is housing your investment is paying the advisory practice the fee. This fee was agreed upon at the inception stage of the investment. It can however be changed or cancelled at any stage. The instruction to cancel the fee should be taken up with the investment platform and must come from the client or the advisory practice.
If you have an advisory practice, with a specific advisor linked to your investment, you are correct – you would expect a certain amount of advice or feedback for the fee that you are paying them to look after your investment. The fact that the advisor resigned, and this was communicated to you by the advisory practice, doesn’t however mean that the practice would automatically stop their fee. It might be the case that the management of your investment has been handed over to someone else.
If you feel that the management of your investment was not handed over to another advisor, then you should take it up directly with the advisory practice.
If you would like the fees that you paid to be reimbursed to you, the advisory practice would have to pay them back to the investment platform, and then the investment platform in turn can allocate it back to your investment. If you go directly to the investment platform, you can instruct them to remove the advisory practice as your appointed financial advisor and the fee, going forward, would automatically be cancelled.
Best of luck! I hope you and the advisory practice reach an agreement that you both feel comfortable with.