In my experience as a financial advisor, I have found that many people view the world of finance and investment as a foreign language – they need a translator. In a way, that's the role that financial professionals play. Financial advisors help their clients understand the basics of investment so they can make decisions on how best to save, invest, and grow their money. When you need advice on wealth building, you want to find the right financial professional.
When you have the right financial advisor you will get the help you need to achieve your personal financial planning goals. Your advisor should be able to help you understand the world of investing so that you feel confident in the decisions you make. I recommend that you interview a few before you make a decision.
Here are five questions that will help you find the advisor that is the best fit 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 I fit into your average client profile?
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 with modest income and assets. 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.