1. I didn't do a background check.
Find out both the qualifications and disclosures (complaints) about your advisor at http://brokercheck.finra.org/
2. I let him talk down to me, get angry with me and be impatient.
You're paying them to work on your behalf. Would you let any other employee - or anyone - speak to you so disrespectfully? Just because they have more experience than you doesn't give them permission to be a jerk.
3. I didn't fully understand the investment I was in.
If you don't understand where your money is going, and why, then don't invest until you do.
4. I didn't understand the best way to invest for my age.
You can take more financial risks if you're younger. If you're advanced in age you probably don't want a high risk investment that can wipe out 50% or more of your nest egg if things go bad.
What is your goal and how does each investment category meet that goal?
5. We didn't talk.
Even though there was a formal annual review I needed someone to carefully explain what was going on. You may not need such detail but I did and didn't get it.
6. We didn't always have the same world view.
In the beginning he confirmed the Dinar was a valid investment (but not offered by his firm).
We discussed it and its impact on the markets when it would revalue. Today he claims foreign currency is the best way to lose all your money and he apologized if he ever led me to believe otherwise.
Finally I "woke up" to the fact I was working with the wrong guy and asked to be switched to a different financial advisor. He graciously said that would be fine and there were no hurt feelings. I am to expect a call in the next few days. Thankful for the pre-RV lesson, all my future advisors will be more closely vetted.
This is my personal experience in the real world. I hope others find it helpful.
Please no bashing. I acknowledge I did a lot wrong and am still sensitive. Maybe in a week or two ... ;)