When you find yourself needing a financial advisor, it might be overwhelming to wade through the many companies and individuals advertising their services. There are multiple things to consider when choosing someone to help you manage your investments and plan for retirement. Your financial situation, your philosophy of investment, your personality, and your professional standing are just a few of the elements you should contemplate before making a choice. It is important to pick a financial advisor who does what you need and provides you a service you can trust. No matter where you are in your search, this article will help you move forward with confidence.
Determine What You Need
The first step in choosing a financial advisor is deciding exactly what it is you want to achieve. Everyone wants to be successful in their financial planning, but a good financial advisor will want to know what success means to you and what you are willing to do in order to achieve your goals. Whether it is retirement, debt repayment, making a significant change to your lifestyle, or planning for a future large expense, your financial advisor will want to tailor a plan that can give you precisely what you envision. Moving forward in your search with a general plan in mind about how you want your money managed will help you narrow your choices to the individuals who can serve you best and provide you with the type of service you require.
Will You Take a Risk?
As in any profession, there are some financial advisors who are risky, some who are conservative, and some who fall squarely in the middle, adjusting their philosophy depending on the situation. Decide where you stand regarding the amount of risk you are willing to take with your investments. If you are open to losing money at times in order to potentially gain a greater payout, look for a financial advisor who can identify the more aggressive investment opportunities and go after them in order to get you the payday you’re looking for. If you would prefer to be more passive and conservative in your investing, find an advisor who shares your philosophy and won’t play fast and loose with your funds. Your financial advisor will be working closely with you in order to maintain your money in a way that benefits you best, so you want to make sure the decisions made will reflect your own personal philosophy of investing.
Find Out What They Have to Offer
There are many websites that allow you to solicit multiple proposals from financial advisors who are eager for your business. Websites like www.wealthminder.com allow multiple requests for free so you can compare and choose the advisor who is right for you. Once you receive the proposals, take the time to study them in depth and identify what makes each candidate qualified to handle your money, and how their experience can fit with what you need. Look for keywords like CFP, CFA, or ChFC, all designations that can give you confidence the person you’re considering has taken the extra steps needed to do the job well. Be wary of financial advisors who offer unqualified advice outside their realm of expertise. For example, tax advice and information should come from a CPA, or someone who is well-versed in the nuances of the tax code.
Narrow the Field
Once you have successfully narrowed the field to a small handful of potential candidates, set up interviews and give them the chance to look over your financial information beforehand so they can understand what type of investing you are interested in pursuing. Once they have reviewed your documents and are prepared to offer advice on your future investment planning, take the time to ask questions that will help you understand them and their work preferences more clearly.
- Are they willing to communicate with you in the manner and with the frequency you desire?
- What questions do they have for you regarding your current goals and expectations for future investments?
- What potential red flags do they see in your current investment strategy and how would they address them?
Financial advisors do their best work when they know exactly what to expect and how they can meet your needs. You don’t want to waste any time moving your finances in the wrong direction because your instructions weren’t clear at the beginning.
Trust Your Instincts
You want a financial advisor who listens, advises you correctly, and keeps you on the path you chose, guiding you around potential pitfalls when they arise and helping to manage anxiety around financial planning. At the end of the day, you can pick a financial advisor with confidence, knowing that you have done everything in your power to make the right choice.