A financial advisor can provide you with the necessary guidance to navigate what can sometimes be a daunting landscape. However, it’s important to pick one that’s right for you. A retiree, a small business owner, and a young professional have very different needs and priorities. Thus, it’s important to know what to look for when you need a financial advisor.
Find The Right Financial Advisor
1. Check Out the Advisor Team’s Education, Experience, And Credentials.
You’ll want to ask questions such as how long they’ve been in the industry, how many and what kind of clients they serve, and what are their areas of expertise. Education and credentials are something to consider. Financial advisors also have to take part in continuing education credits, so you may also want to ask what recent topics they’ve studied to get an idea of what they’re keeping up to date with.
2. Consider the Advisor’s Objectivity.
Sometimes it’s hard to tell if an advisor has your best interest at heart, especially if they’re associated with a specific organization. You’ll want to ask questions like whether the advisor is a fiduciary and “fee-only,” which means they’re not paid based on their investment recommendations. These advisors abide by a fiduciary oath and code of ethics, emphasizing independent advice. They are required to sign and renew this oath on an annual basis.
3. Find Out What Kind of Online Tools The Advisor Will Provide
To ensure full transparency, your advisor should offer you online financial tools that let you see all your assets in one place. Don’t hesitate to ask for a preview of what the tools will look and feel like. The tools should be intuitive and easy to navigate.
4. Find an Advisor That Works Well With You And For You.
You should consider the other professionals you work with, such as your certified public accountant (CPA), estate attorney, etc. You may also wish to involve other important people in your life when making the decision, such as your spouse or age-appropriate children. Ask for references and ask specific questions about your individual situation to see how they respond. For example, if you’re a small business owner, ask them what your options would be if you were to sell your business.
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