Need a hand with setting financial goals? If so, if you’re really not alone, especially since there are almost $90 trillion of international assets under management right now. Not sure how to find an expert with financial advising experience? To tell you the truth, finding the right professional to help you handle your finances requires knowing your options. Take a look at a few factors to consider when selecting financial advisors below!
1. The Suitability Standard
If you’re looking for a financial advisor who will put your needs first, consider this. Financial advisory firms that meet the suitability standard address and disclose any “conflict of interest” they may have when representing you. On the bright side, most financial advisory firms will put this down in writing for future reference.
Besides this, it’s also essential to think about whether or not your firm is an RIA, or Registered Investment Advisor. That’s because they are held to a higher standard as well!
2. Upfront and Clear Fees
Let’s be honest. No one wants to work with a financial advisor who isn’t clear about their fees. That being said, figuring out the total cost of getting your portfolio together can be a difficult and confusing task.
On the other hand, finding a financial advisor you can trust means that they will be more than happy to break down all of their fees for you.
This can include everything from:
- Hourly financial planning fees
- Fees for managing your portfolio
- Other hidden fees
Once you’ve made sure that all of your financial fees are as transparent as possible, you should be good to go.
3. Accurate Performance Reports
Now that we’ve got that covered, it’s also essential that your financial advisor of choice provides accurate performance reports. That’s because user-friendly transaction and holdings reports are the keys to managing your portfolio successfully.
To get started, you must decide whether you like to receive your reports on a:
- Monthly basis
- Quarterly basis
- Semi-annual basis
We highly recommend that the more you review your financial portfolio, the better!
4. A Simple Investment Process
When you’ve found the right financial advisor for you, the next step is to ask them what their process for investments is. For instance, they may let you know which investment vehicles are products that will work in your favour.
In addition to this, your financial advisor should also let you know whether not you need to make any changes to your existing investment portfolio. Besides this, they may also ask you about your primary contact information.
In exchange, we encourage you to ask your financial advisor about their professional credentials and experience as well.
5. An Independent Custodian
Additionally, you should ask your financial advisor if they use independent custodians like:
- Charles Schwab
- TD Ameritrade
In case you didn’t know, independent custodians are great for providing additional asset reviews and records aside from your financial advisor. They’re also helpful in protecting your account from any fraudulent activity!
6. Honest Offerings and Services
You should also clearly understand the level of service that your financial advisor will offer. For instance, email and ask them if financial planning is included in their initial package. Also, find out what kind of financial planning software they use and whether or not you will have access to it. Believe it or not, this can potentially make or break your deal as well.
To get the ball rolling, here are a few more questions that you should ask your financial advisor:
- Do they schedule weekly, monthly, quarterly meetings?
- How long will it take to hear back from them?
- Do they provide investment offerings for beginners?
Once you learn more about the financial services that you are looking for, picking the best financial advisor for you should be a piece of cake.
7. Events and Education
Another important thing to consider is whether your financial advisor provides any educational events. This is particularly helpful if you’re interested in learning and understanding your overall financial portfolio.
To get started, be sure to ask your financial advisory firm if they will take the time to answer any questions you may have during your regularly scheduled meetings. Also, you can ask them if they will continue to educate you on your financial portfolio as time goes on. Finally, covering complex topics such as asset management is vital to your success as well.
8. Life Transitions
Last but not least, do your best to choose a financial advisor who puts your life transitions as their top priority. This can include common event such as:
- Getting married
- Having children
- Getting divorced
- Losing loved ones
Ask your financial advisor if they have any experience dealing with customers who are going through difficult life changes.
If so, what did they do to help them? As long as you feel comfortable opening up to your advisor, you should be in a good position to put your finances in their hands!
Why Hire a Financial Advisor?
Sometimes, going through a major life event is enough to make you want to rethink your personal finances. Typically, this type of event will include some sort of major gain or loss of money.
So that’s why it’s important to seek a financial advisor if you are:
- Close to retirement age
- Receiving an inheritance
- Getting married soon
- Going through a divorce
- Lost a partner
- Helping your parents with their finances
- Unsure of how investing works
- Looking for a “second opinion”
Now that we’ve got that covered, choose your advisor wisely!
Selecting Financial Advisors Is Simple
Having a hard time finding the perfect financial advisor for you?
Here’s the thing: When it comes to selecting financial advisors, the process shouldn’t be complicated. Fortunately for you, we are here to help.
From comparing advisor fees to reading references and reviews, we’ve got everything you need to succeed. If you’re finally ready to talk to your advisor, don’t forget to read our handy guide first!
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