Things to Consider when Choosing a Financial Advisor
Choosing a financial advisor can feel like an overwhelming task. Who do you trust? What questions should you be asking? So many factors to consider that might affect your decision.
The first aspect to consider is the environment. Did the environment that was created feel genuine and safe? Did you feel like the advisor was listening to your concerns? Did you feel safe asking questions, regardless of their complexity? If the environment felt warm and appealing, you may be on the right track!
Advisors from different firms may have different approaches to solving your financial goals. But what happens if you bring an idea to the table? How would this advisor respond if you want to implement something that wasn’t his or her idea? If this person is not open to conversation regarding strategies, might not be a good fit.
Another good question to ask would be around account minimums. If you feel you don’t have enough money to invest to be taken seriously, bring it up! No matter the size of the investment, it’s always important to the investor! The real question is how important is it to the advisor?
Although you may not be the advisor’s biggest client, it’s fair to expect a reasonable client service experience. How accessible are they and do they welcome your calls? How often will you meet to review your progress toward your goals?
It's also fair to ask about experience in the industry. While time does not always equal greatness, you might consider what type of development they have received? Degrees and certifications are certainly important but how many down markets have they worked through? How much ongoing continuing education do they receive?
Lastly, it’s important to know that the advisor has flexibility around the strategies and products they recommend. Can they consider the universe of investment products, or do they have limitations placed on them by their firm? Although relatively rare, some advisors may have incentives to sell only their own firms (proprietary) products.
While all these considerations are important, always go with your gut. Did you connect with this person? Were there common interests and discussions you enjoyed? Did you feel heard? If so, you may have found your new financial advisor.