Your Investments: Part 8 of Financial Considerations When You Lose Your Spouse

Updated: Feb 3, 2020

Together – no one minds when “together” means eating ice cream, watching a great movie, opening presents. Together falls by the wayside when the activity isn’t fun, like when it comes to taking out the garbage or managing family finances. If it was your spouse who managed the money, the pain of loss can be magnified by money worries and the unease that comes with knowing there is a looming job to be done that you just haven’t gotten around to yet. Is investment management on that list? In our series on how to manage finances after the death of a spouse, we’re exploring tips from FINRA, a reliable financial source. Today, Tip 8: Your Investments.

Hire a Professional – Human or Robot

If you already have a financial professional and you are comfortable with him or her, there is no need to change. That person or firm can be a great source of help and comfort during this difficult and confusing time.

However, if your spouse did everything on his or her own, and now you want help, you’ll want to do your homework in finding an investment professional. How can you find a financial advisor or planner who you can trust? Unfortunately, there are no fool-proof ways to guarantee honesty…or compatibility. Even so, you can do your homework to make sure you avoid advisors who have already behaved in unethical or criminal ways, and you can get references to see what current clients – and prior clients – think about that financial professional. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’ investor site explains the value of BrokerCheck where you can look up the record of a broker or advisor at the BrokerCheck website. Although this site is extremely helpful, it won’t tell you if a financial professional is shady or too risky for you. That is a decision you have to make for yourself.

What about a “Roboadvisor”? – those are financial entities that you access online and, in the words of the SEC, “allow individual investors to create and manage their investment accounts through a web portal or mobile application, sometimes with little or no interaction with a human being with the potential benefit of low