Things to keep in mind while looking for a credible financial advisor

Julian Fadini | December 12, 2018

The fundamentals of financial planning aren’t difficult and with a little bit of research, you may be able to successfully master your personal financial goals. There are some instances, however, for which hiring a financial advisor works out for the best. Financial advisors are known to advise clients on how best to save, invest and grow their money. They can help you streamline your finances, enabling you to work towards life goals like buying a house, starting a family, or even early retirement. As you grow, so do your financial goals and options, increasingly requiring you to spend more time on it. With the help of a financial advisor, you can save time and remain disciplined about your financial strategies. They also make sure to prompt you to stay on track with personal financial decisions and tap into unrealised potentials.

When it comes to your money, however, how do you trust someone to effectively manage it, especially since past performances aren’t indicative of future results? It is best to take time with vetting several candidates before zoning in on an advisor that checks all the boxes for your investments.

A good place to start would be to ask for recommendations from family and friends, preferably those whose financial needs match yours.  Once you narrow down a suitable list of financial advisors, here are a few things that you should keep in mind to help you decide -

  1. Consider the planner’s credentials 
    It is important to check out the advisor online and verify their current credentials. An advisor needs to be qualified in their sector of expertise and must come with a certain amount of training and experience. Be sure to ask for a list of references from clients with similar financial strategies as yours.

  2. Run a background check on your planner
    It is imperative to ask if your potential financial advisor has ever been convicted of a crime or if they have been under investigation by a regulatory body.

  3. Study the services that the firm provides
    Check if the firm is equipped to provide advice about financial products that you currently have. It might be worthwhile to list down your goals to help you decide between a specialised advisor that sells one investment solution versus one that has a variety of products that handle your entire financial portfolio.

  4. Check the planner’s fee structure
    Beware of financial advisors that are not upfront with their fee structure and ongoing charges. Before deciding upon a planner, make sure you completely understand the potential charges and the services you are promised in return. Lastly, you will also need to consider going with a commission-based model versus a fee-based one, depending upon the complexity of your investments.

  5. Consider their area of expertise
    Some financial advisors have a niche like retirement, real estate or socially responsible investments. It is best to select an advisor based on their experience in an area that suits your specific needs.

Finally, it is your investment and should, therefore, completely be your decision. If you aren’t sure why a recommended plan or its subsequent consequences is the right decision for you, don’t hesitate to ask your advisor till all your doubts are cleared.

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