Your Guide to Finding a Financial Advisor

Your Guide to Finding a Financial Advisor

The end goal for any individual and family is to be financially sound, but does it require additional help from a financial advisor?

Whether you make a six-figure salary with few debts or  live on less with a higher level of debt, hiring a professional to keep you financially stable and make sound budgetary choices may be the best decision. The next question, however, would be how to find the right financial advisor.

We have the key points that will help you find the best advisor to fit within your budget and meet your needs.

First...how are they paid?

There are three main ways your financial advisor will request to be paid: by fee, by commissions, or a combination of both. When a financial advisor gets paid by only fees, that means they either have an hourly rate or charge per service requested of them. If your advisor gets paid off commissions, that means they get a commissions for each service they sell you, such as insurance or different investments. 

How do you find the perfect advisor for your needs?

Putting your finances in someone else’s hands is a huge leap...that’s your hard earned money the advisors are tampering with, after all. Therefore finding the right advisor is essential. One of the best ways to find - at the very least - someone you can trust is by word of mouth. As your friends, family, and coworkers if they have ever worked with a financial advisor, who they were, and what their experience was.

Another option to keep in mind is whether or not you want to work with an individual wealth manager or with an advisor group. Obviously there are benefits and drawbacks to big and small financial advisors - such as having a personal touch with an individual advisor or having a number of resources from a larger group - so determine what your needs are and go after the best route for you.

Do you have everything you need for your first visit?

Once you have determined who you want your potential financial advisor to be, you need to make sure you are prepared for your first visit with them. What do you need to bring? What do you need to request from them?

The first question is a tricky one...this is your first visit with your financial advisor, after all. So what would they necessarily need from you versus what would you need from them. The answer is this - they should be providing a lot more information and documentation to you for legitimacy as opposed to you giving them any type of personal information. No matter how much your reference raved about this financial advisor, always perform a background check. You can do this by requesting a Form ADV. Along with checking out their background, ask them how often they plan on performing portfolio, along with what services they provide for both saving and investment. Those are the two essential services they should offer, but if you are looking for additional services, be sure to ask them about that as well. 

If you financial advisor passes all these steps, then you have a great catch and are well on your way to being even more fiscally sound.