Notchick says a couple in their mid-60s met with him recently and said they weren't getting the returns they expected from their current financial planner, who had invested $1 million of their retirement cash in variable annuities.
"Variable annuities can be very expensive," Notchick says. "The fees can be as high as 4% per year. So I pointed out to the couple that they were being charged exorbitant fees and could reduce $30,000 or more in costs."
"The husband was on board and ready to make a change, but the wife was hesitant," he adds. "She didn't want to jeopardize that friendly relationship they had with their broker. They decided to stay where they were, paying over $30,000 in fees each year, just because they want to keep that friendship."
There are definite risks involved in getting too friendly with a financial advisor, or hiring a friend who is a financial advisor.
"It's a good idea for everyone to take a more proactive approach with their own investments," says Vic Patel, a professional trader and founder of Forex Training Group. "But short of that, I would hire a well-qualified independent financial advisor that is not your friend or related to you in any way."
Patel says the dangers involve not always getting the most qualified advice, and not being able to easily hold your friend or financial advisor accountable if the results are less than expected. "It could put a strain on your personal relationship if the time comes to part ways in your professional relationship," he says.