How to Find the Right Financial Advisor
If you’re ready to start saving towards your financial goals, you may want to consider hiring a financial advisor to guide you through the maze. While robo-advisors are also available to help you with your savings goals, they are best suited for those just starting out or for those with limited funds to invest. Robo-advisors do not work with you in developing a financial plan to meet your short and long term goals.
But if you want solid, professional advice on where you should put your money, a financial advisor can be the answer. Part counselor, part financial professional, and part advisor, a financial advisor can help you realize your financial goals by explaining the different investment options available, advising you on how much money you should be investing yearly, and how to handle things such as insurance and tax implications.
The term financial advisor or financial planner encompasses a variety of financial specialists including certified financial planners, investment advisors, stockbrokers, and wealth managers. Determining your goals can help you choose the financial professional that’s right for you.
Which leads to the bigger question: How will you know which financial advisor is right for you? You can start by getting recommendations from family, friends, and colleagues. But your work isn’t done by getting a recommendation. You’ll want to set up an initial meeting that functions much like an interview, so you can determine if the fit is right for you. During this process, you’ll want to ask questions. If you’re not sure what to ask, here are a few suggestions:
- How much will I be paying you? There is not one set payment structure for financial advisors, so you’ll want to be sure and discuss this when meeting. While most firms typically charge a 1%-2% fee based on the assets they are managing, others charge a fixed fee, while others charge an hourly rate. You should also be aware that other fees may be involved, depending on the type of investments purchased.
- Do you follow a fiduciary standard? This simply means that the financial advisor acts in their client’s best interests. You may think this is fairly standard, but financial investors are not required to act in your best interest, but instead are legally able to recommend investments that may be wrong for you but right for them. It’s always best to shop around until you find an investor that acts solely in your best interest.
- Do you use a custodian? A custodian is a financial institution that holds securities for clients, rather than keeping those securities in-house. Many people are more comfortable knowing that their investments are being held in a safe location.
- How will my portfolio be managed? Diversification is important, so you’ll want to ensure that the financial advisor you choose will invest in a variety of stocks, both domestic and international.
- What do those initials behind your name mean? Of course you can ask, but for a better explanation, check out the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, which provides you with the details behind all of those initials.
However, one of the most important things to look for is an advisor you feel comfortable with; someone whose investment philosophy is a lot like yours; someone you can contact with questions or concerns. While it might take a while to find your financial advisor match, you can be certain that they’re out there. You just have to find them.
*This content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information provided is not written or intended as tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for purposes of avoiding any Federal tax penalties. Individuals are encouraged to seek advice from their own tax or legal counsel. Individuals involved in the estate planning process should work with an estate planning team, including their own personal legal or tax counsel. Neither the information presented nor any opinion expressed constitutes a representation by us of a specific investment or the purchase or sale of any securities. Asset allocation and diversification do not ensure a profit or protect against loss in declining markets.