While numerous studies have shown that people who work with a financial advisor are less stressed and more relieved or optimistic about their financial future, most people have yet to seek out the advice of a professional. Money can be scary, and we all have our personal beliefs and complex relationships with money. Besides, can’t we just pick the best performing mutual fund and put our money in it? That could work, right?
As it turns out, there is a better way. Finding a financial advisor who will serve as a trusted partner with you and offer insight when tough decisions need to be made is of immeasurable value.
But how do you find that person who will co-create a plan with you that reflects your goals, be a trusted experienced and lifelong problem-solving partner that is there with you every step of the way?
We have outlined some questions you can use when interviewing different advisors. Use these as a starting point to guide you as you make one of the most important financial decisions.
- Are you a Fiduciary?
Advantage working with adviser that is a fiduciary. Why? Because a fiduciary is a person that is legally bound to put your interests ahead of their own. (At Glass Financial Advisors we are act in the capacity of fiduciaries!)
- What makes you qualified?
Most advisors have their Series 7 license which allows them to sell stocks and individual bonds. In addition, find a person who is licensed as an investment advisor representative. This license allows representatives to give investment advice and is a very important distinguishing factor. The advantage If the advisor has advanced training, like CFP or CRPC. A Certified Financial Planner or Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor both specialize in assessing a person’s long-term planning needs and making appropriate recommendations.
- How do you get paid?
Financial advisors can be compensated in a variety of ways. Some advisors get paid commissions based on transactions they make, and others may charge a fee based on the assets they manage for you. Charging a flat-fee or hourly fee for planning work is becoming more common and can be done on a per “project” basis or as a yearly retainer for financial advice. While there is no right or wrong, make sure that you find an advisor who can clearly articulate what you are paying and why.
- What is your investment or financial planning philosophy?
It is crucial to know why or how a financial planner plans for someone’s retirement. Does the advisor just pick a portfolio and hope for as much growth as possible? Or are they planning with a specific approach for your income, protection and retirement needs? There is a difference between just having an investment portfolio and having a reason behind that investment portfolio.
- What services do you provide?
There is a myriad of services that financial professionals can provide. These services can include working with your accountant and estate attorney or working with a Medicare specialist, for example. Look for a professional that will meet your needs both today and in the future. If you are about to retire in the near future, an adviser that focuses on college planning may not be the right fit for you. (Case in point, at Glass Financial Advisors, we teach people how to retire.)
- How often will you interact with your adviser?
It is important that you and any advisor with whom you work have the same expectations. Do you want to meet yearly but talk once each quarter? Choosing a level of contact that meets your needs is important to a successful advisor client relationship.
- Do you feel comfortable with her/ him?
Ideally, your relationship with a financial advisor will be a lifelong partnership. And money can be both complex and private. For this reason, you want to make sure you feel comfortable sharing both your dreams and your fears with this person. The more open and honest you are the better off you will be.
If you are looking for trusted financial advisor, we would love to hear from you. At Glass Financial Advisors, we believe in honesty and transparency and want to help you in any way we can. Connect with us today at glassfinancialadvisors.com.