Having well-organized finances make your life way easier, comfortable and peaceful. Of course, managing finances is easier said than done. It is quite challenging to be on track of your financial goals unless you are knowledgeable about financial planning and current market status. In such a case, getting help from an expert makes a huge difference. It is absolutely wise to have someone to assist you with your financial decisions.
But how can you find the best financial adviser to work with? Especially when you have so many experts and options out there.
You will Google it. Or You will seek recommendations from your colleagues, friends and family members.
Yes, this is the right approach to follow. But, beyond recommendations and Google search, there is more other work you need to consider. We have described this work in a few simple yet essential steps to help you choose the most suitable adviser for your financial management needs.
Understand Your Requirements
The choice of a financial advisor mainly depends on your requirements. First, you need to recognize your specific needs and accordingly search for a suitable adviser who can meet all those needs.
For instance, suppose you are struggling with decisions regarding buying a house or selling your business. In such a case, an adviser providing hourly consultation would be best for you who will provide you the right solution within one or two consultation rounds.
Another way, if you want comprehensive financial planning, ensure to find a professional that will help you design a one-time roadmap to attain your financial goals. The financial adviser must look at every aspect of your finance, including insurance, investments, education, retirement, etc.
Moreover, for asset management, you may need a long term financial planner or asset manager who will manage and invest your money in an intelligent and organized way. They will also provide you with continuous, inclusive financial planning throughout your life.
Having a clear understanding of your requirements can simplify your search to a great extent and let you find the best adviser.
Compare the Costs
Once you know your needs, start your search. Find out as many names as you can through Google, recommendations, or other means. And your next step will be to compare charges of all those advisers. Cost is the most crucial factor when working with a financial adviser. You want the best adviser but not at the cost of fortune.
Different firms or advisers charge in different ways, and it is essential to have an idea of this upfront. For example, many advisers may charge a fixed fee for the consultation while others charge an hourly rate. And many firms or advisers charge an initial amount and continuing percentage of the invested amount.
It is wise to understand the charges of different advisers and compare them to find out an affordable yet best option. Every financial adviser is required to disclose the costs clearly, at the first meeting. You should not choose an adviser who doesn’t inform all charges in advance or who hides additional fees at the first meeting.
Once understanding the costs of different advisers, your next move should be to interview them personally or over the phone call. A financial adviser is a professional who will be providing advice on your finance and working with you for years. Therefore, it is essential to get to know them personally and have your doubts cleared.
You need to interview the adviser properly by asking a few important questions regarding their services, way of working, experience, clients, and other aspects. Here is a quick list of questions you can ask the financial adviser during the interview and assess their suitability for your needs.
● Are you a fiduciary?
Fiduciary advisors are those who, by law, required to work in their client’s best interest. If the advisor is not fiduciary, you may not receive advice that best aligns with your particular goals. The advice provided by non-fiduciary advisers can be influenced by commissions or incentives.
● How many clients do you have?
Ask if the adviser has worked with enough number of clients and projects having similar requirements to yours. Ask how they helped the clients and what outcomes they received.
● What services will be included in your fees?
Some advisers solely focus on money management and investments. Thus, it is important to confirm if the adviser can offer other services in the same fee structure.
● What is your qualification and experience?
The adviser must be qualified and experienced enough to guide you through different financial decisions and fluctuating market conditions.
● How will you communicate?
Ask how frequently the adviser will communicate with you. Ensure that the adviser is flexible and proactive in contacting you and welcome your doubts.
● Will you work on a long-term basis?
If you are into a business and require proper finance management at every stage, it is better to confirm if the adviser can work with you for long-term.
● What credentials do you have?
You should only trust a certified and licensed adviser. There are several certifications and licenses an advisor can have, such as CFP, CPA, CFA, and ChFC. Ask if the adviser has any of these credentials.
Listen to Your Instincts
Your instincts try to save you from wrong decisions and help you choose what’s actually best for you. But, you are mostly overlooking them. When it comes to hiring financial advisors, listening to your instincts will be of great help.
Your financial advisor should be interested in your needs and goals. Thus, you should not choose the one who does not seem to be. Likewise, there are many other things your instincts can help you with when choosing the right adviser. For instance, think about how you feel in the company of an adviser. If you don’t feel valued or comfortable, this is not a perfect one to work with. You should not hire an adviser unless you feel positive about them or can trust them completely
Perform a Thorough Background Check
You should perform a complete background check before hiring anyone to seek advice and manage your money. There are many sites where financial advisers register themselves. You can check these sites to know their experience, credentials, firms they’ve worked for, their consumer complaints, regulatory issues, and many other crucial aspects. You should also assess the SEC records of investment advisors through the SEC’s investor information site.
Your wealth is what you have worked hard for your entire life. Thus, you should be careful when choosing anyone to manage it or have advice from. It is worth it to invest some extra time and money to get the best and reliable financial advisor.