Choosing a financial advisor is an important decision. The advisor you select will control or influence the investment decisions you make and those decisions could affect your financial security for the rest of your life. While you can't control how much your investments make, you can choose who will manage your money. This means it's essential to carefully research all candidates carefully. Use these tips to find a quality financial advisor that fits your specific financial needs.
Look for Excellent Qualifications
It's important to choose a financial advisor who is well qualified. Reputable financial advisors should be Chartered Financial Analysts, Certified Public Accountants, or Certified Financial Planners. When interviewing candidates, ask what qualifications and/or licenses they have. Find out if advisor is a member of any professional associations, such as the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors. It's also wise to choose a financial advisor who is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, or a similar licensing body. It's also important to verify what the financial advisor tells you.
Ensure the Services Meet Your Need
Ask the financial advisor what services will be provided to you. Some individuals may only provide advice on investments. Others may offer comprehensive financial planning, which may include estate planning, insurance, tax planning, and retirement. Make sure that the advisor's services meet all of your needs for the best results.
Ask About a Specialty
Certain financial advisors have a specialty. If you have a special interest, such as socially responsible investments or giving to charities, you may want an advisor that specializes in that area. If you're dealing with specific financial issues, such as a divorce or a new marriage, it may be best to go with a financial advisor that concentrates on that area.
Check Out the Advisor
You'll also want to check to see what other clients have to say about the financial advisor. Ask for references and talk to current clients to find out if they are happy with the advisor's services. It's also a good idea to check out the advisor online, checking the individual's track record and reputation. Search for any evidence that the advisor has been involved in fraud in the past. Look for any formal complaints against the advisor and check to see if the financial advisor has ever been sued by a professional body or past clients.
Find Out How Many Clients the Advisor Has
When you're working with a financial advisor, you want to make sure that you are getting the attention you need. If your advisor has too many clients, you may not get much attention. Look for an advisor that has a reasonable number of clients so you receive the service and time you need. You may also want to ask how much contact the advisor has with clients. Does the advisor have yearly or quarterly meetings with clients? If you need more support, you may need to pay more, but more contact with your financial advisor may improve your overall satisfaction.
Of course, it's also important to look for a financial advisor who is interested in you. You don't want to work with an advisor that does all of the talking. Instead, you want an advisor that listens to you and helps you come up with a plan that fits your unique financial circumstances.