Financial Advisor

5 Key Items to Check Out Before Hiring a Financial Advisor

mountain, why you need to visit a financial advisorIf you are ready to start planning your financial future, then you should seriously consider looking for a great financial advisor.  Sometimes we need to seek help from the experts to get us on the right track.  Here are 5 Key items to check out before hiring  a financial advisor and along with 4 ways they are beneficial to you.

Check Out These 5 Things Before Hiring and Advisor

Licensure:  There are many types of licenses, but there are three main ones to look for in your advisor, the CFP (Certified Financial Planner), CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) or CPA (Certified Public Accountant). 

Fiduciary Duty:  Make sure that in that your advisor has a fiduciary duty to you written in their code of ethics.  This requires that they always have their client’s best interest in their activities.

Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (finra.org):  You can review on this website to see if there have been any disciplinary actions against your advisory.  You definitely want to check this out, and if you find something, make sure to ask your advisor to explain the circumstances.

References:  You can always ask your advisor for references.  The best reference will be from others who have a similar status as you financially. 

Time Spent with You:  Some advisors will only meet with you for the initial consult and then a yearly check in, or others provide ongoing support throughout the year.  Others will provide support with other service providers, in your financial journey such as tax accountants, insurance agents, etc.

How is a Financial Advisor Paid?

It is important to know how your advisor is getting paid.  There are four main ways that they get paid.

  1. Hourly – Based on time spent with you.
  2. Fixed Fee or Flat Fee – An agreed upon amount to work with you with a set number of hours or tasks to be completed.
  3. Sales Charge/Sales Load – They are paid a percentage of your initial investment off the top.
  4. Trail – Percentage of the operating expenses of the fund every year.

If they are paid based on a commission, you will want to make sure that they have a fiduciary duty towards you or they may steer you to certain investments that may produce a bigger commission for themselves. 

Benefits of Hiring a Financial Advisor

  1. Can save you time
  2. Broader, Deeper Knowledge of Finances
  3. Rebalance Your Accounts  – Should be done frequently to help achieve your overall goal.
  4. Can help with an overall financial plan

You need to have a plan for the future.  Make sure that you are creating this plan together with your advisor and that they are making it easier for you to understand everything about your portfolio.

If you need help setting goals for your financial future, sign up for my free 7 day course on setting goals.

Make sure you find one that will match what your needs are.  They should always be a teacher and take the time to help you understand all of your options and the plan should be one that you create together.

Remember that you can always change your advisor.  Don’t be afraid if you aren’t seeing the results you want or you are dissatisfied in any other way.  It may feel like a break up, but after it is done, you will be glad you did it.

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