Financial advisors help clients make decisions on how best to save, invest, and grow their money. Some may specialize in retirement or estate planning, while some others consult on a range of financial matters.
I’ve talked with some people who think it’s crazy to pay someone else to manage their assets and investments. They prefer to go it alone. But, for most people, mastering personal finance is not easy. Financial professionals can save you time and help you maintain the discipline required for long-term security and wealth building.
Financial advisors aren’t the same as stockbrokers or accountants or insurance agents. You want to find an advisor who’ll make the time to focus on your concerns and is committed to helping you achieve your personal financial planning goals. I recommend that you speak to a few before you make a decision.
Here are some questions that will help you find the advisor that is right for you:
1. Are you an independent financial advisor?
An independent financial advisor is not an employee of an investment or financial services firm – they are an independent business owner. To be called independent, a financial advisor must follow a particular set of rules. They have to:
- Offer a broad range of retail investment products, and
- Give clients unbiased and unrestricted advice
2. Are you a fiduciary?
Fiduciaries must put your best interests first when making investment recommendations. They cannot be influenced by the amount or type of compensation they get paid.
3. What certifications or qualifications do you have?
All financial advisors are required by law to meet some specific requirements. Quite a few advisors have taken additional exams, so it is worth asking what certifications the advisor has and what these demonstrate.
4. Do you work with clients in my demographic group?
Some financial advisors limit their work to people who have a pension pot of a certain size, or a certain amount of money to invest. Others are happy to advise customers no matter what the size of their investments.
It may help you feel more confident if the advisor has a track record with clients who share your age, family status or personal goals.
5. What do you charge and how much am I likely to pay?
Financial advisors are required by rule to tell you how much their services will cost before you're taken on as a client. They can charge an hourly rate or a fixed fee or a percentage of the value of your pension pot. But that information might not help you work out how much you could end up paying. If the advisor can’t give you a firm price, ask for an estimate or an upper limit. Find out if that includes ongoing services.
The best financial advisors are trusted allies who are committed to helping you make wise and informed decisions about your financial future. Have questions? Are you looking for an independent financial advisor in DC? Contact me today!
Material discussed is meant for general illustration and/or informational purposes only, and it is not to be construed as investment, tax, or legal advice. Although the information has been gathered from sources believed to be reliable, please note that individual situations can vary. Therefore, the information should be relied upon when coordinated with individual professional advice.