Is your financial advisor also your college buddy, relative, or similar close connection? My next two posts are for you – although you may not love what I have to say.

In past posts like this one, my PWL colleagues and I have talked about advisors who come to the table with conflicts of interest that can taint their advice. Today, let’s talk about your own conflicts of interest. That’s right. You’ve got them too, and if you let them run your financial plans, they can place a drag on your returns, and delay or diminish your retirement goals.

Among the biggest such conflicts hiring an advisor to whom you also owe a “friend or family debt.” When everything is going well, it can be fun to take care of your finances while also chewing the fat about Aunt Mary or last week’s ball game. But what if you’ve got an issue your advisor should know about, but might compromise a personal relationship with that same individual?

Ugh, talking about a conflict. One way or another, you’re going to lose out. This is why I refer my own family members to other colleagues. It’s in both of our best interests!

In short, it’s good to be close to your advisor … but maybe not too close if you want your best shot at a comfortable retirement. Where should you draw that line? In my next post, I’ll offer some ideas for that.