CHAPTER 8Courtship Is Usually More Fun Than Marriage

Overheard: A newly engaged couple exclaiming their good fortune to one another: “How do you read my mind?”

“How do you know exactly what I’m thinking—and exactly what I want—even before I do?”

“It’s incredible how you and I like the same people, doing the same things, and just seem so compatible. Wow! Other couples should be so lucky.”

Ah, the joys of infatuation—when everything is so easy, so effortless. Or so it seems. Like a dewy‐eyed couple helplessly in love, investors often forget that a new relationship with an advisor requires some critical thinking before saying “I do.” The last thing this couple wants to do is explore answers to uncomfortable questions. Who will do the dishes? Whose job is it to get the clothes from the dry cleaners? How will we handle money? What if we get a divorce? What happens to my personal assets?

Thank goodness the investor‐advisor relationship does not require you to do anything as painful as negotiate a prenuptial agreement. Some negotiation, however, must take place. You need to schedule an hour or so with your future advisor and nail down a few critical expectations.

Good news: Your advisor really is here ...

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