First of all, if you don’t already have one, it’s time to find a financial advisor. All too often, people make financial errors that could be easily avoided if they work with a financial advisor. Lots of people do not start thinking seriously about topics like retirement, sending their children to school, or making large purchases and investments until the time comes to face that specific task. It’s time to find yourself a financial advisor!
Once you’ve decided to speak with an advisor, it’s important to do the correct amount of research and work to find the one who’s the best for you. The last thing you want to do (next to not getting a financial advisor at all) is simply picking the first person you come across and trusting that they’re the best fit for you. Here are some questions to ask when you’re looking for a financial advisor.
Are they a fiduciary?
This question is one of the first you’ll want to ask because it’s an important one. A fiduciary is someone who works as an advisor and has a duty to genuinely work toward their clients’ best interests. Unfortunately, many advisors are not fiduciaries, which means they do not have to disclose certain information to clients. Oftentimes, advisors make commission off certain stocks. A fiduciary is upfront with you, letting you know if they make a profit and if the investment is actually best for you. Find someone who has your best interests in mind.
What kind of experience do they have?
There are various licenses and certifications a financial advisor can receive. Learn which of these your potential advisor has and then do research to determine if they’re the best fit for your specific needs. It’s also helpful to know how long your advisor has been working in the industry and what type of clients they’ve worked with previously.
How do they profit?
This question is also very important because it helps you understand where your money will be going. The two most common ways financial advisors profit is through upfront fees or billed fees and receiving a percentage of the investments you make through them. It’s important to understand how you’ll pay for their services and then keep track of how much it’s costing you. If an advisor is automatically taking a percentage of your investments, make sure you’re aware of how much it’ll be and keep track of it to make sure you’re comfortable with the amount that’s being paid.
How involved are they with your financial portfolio?
Some advisors help you set up initial investments and then are relatively hands-off while others constantly re-evaluate your portfolio and see where improvements could be made. Decide what kind of financial advisor you want and then begin asking questions to find someone who uses the method that you prefer.
After you’ve asked a financial advisor these questions, take a few days to think over which advisor would be the best fit for you. No matter how great their answers to your questions were, it’s up to you to decide if you’d be comfortable working with them. Find the financial advisor who gives you the best answers and also seems like someone you’d be happy communicating with and then begin working with them.