How to Find the Right Financial Advisor
Financial Advisors are everywhere! They are on television, advertise on the radio and in magazines. They even knock on your door with pamphlets about how great they are while trying to get an appointment with you. They will hand you a business card with enough acronyms after their name to make a military acronym generator jealous. Financial Advisors are even in the bank branch of your local supermarket between the latest and greatest display of chips and the dollar discount aisle. The point is you don’t have to go very far to find people who would like to manage your money. But the real question is how to find one that is right for you? Do you ask the richest person you know for the number of his broker? Do you ask your brother-in-law, the lawyer? Do you ask your CPA, your insurance agent, or your banker? The short answer is, yes to all!
Finding the right financial advisor is more like putting together a 5,000 piece puzzle than fitting a glass slipper.
Take the time to roll up your sleeves and get on paper a realistic view of where you are now and a list of milestones you would like to achieve over your lifetime. The purpose of this exercise is to develop the framework of needs and wants. It helps narrow what type of financial advisor you need as well as shape the interview questions. The important thing to remember is it is not what they are called but what they do with your money. Interview a minimum of three potential advisors and always ask for a referral. Any advisor who is not willing to provide a referral isn’t worth your time. If you have worked with a financial advisor in the past, take some time to reflect and determine the strengths and weaknesses of the former advisor. What did they do well? What would you have liked to have seen more of? And what didn’t they do well? This type of preparation will help you quickly gauge advisors that may be difficult to work with or do not meet your needs. It is also a signal to the potential investment advisor that you are serious about your financial future.
Just as you have your requirements, a financial advisor has theirs too. Some advisors have minimum account requirements and provide different levels of service based on the size of the account. Some work on a fee basis and others work on a commission basis. It is important to know how the relationship is going to work up front.
As mentioned in the beginning of this article, financial advisors are everywhere and they will often find you before you find them. Being prepared and ready to weed out the facts from the sales pitch makes you a more informed investor, a better client and the CEO of your money.
Good luck and happy hunting!
By InvestorGuide Staff