You want to grow your wealth and the easiest way to do that is by working with a financial advisor. And there are plenty to choose from.
Believe it or not, there are more than 200,000 financial advisors in the United States. And with so many, finding the perfect financial advisor can feel like a challenge.
It doesn’t have to be. Read on for a few simple tips to help you find the best advisor for your financial goals.
1. Think About Your Goals
Financial advisors help you build wealth over a long period of time. But they’re better able to do this if they understand your goals.
Think about what you want to accomplish with your investments.
Are you looking to increase your monthly income? Do you want to aggressively save for retirement? Or are you planning for your future to give your family the life you’ve always imagined?
Once you know what your goals are, write them down. It’s okay if they change over time, but this will give your advisor a starting point. And with that starting point, they’ll be able to create a strategy to help you meet those goals.
2. Know How Much You Can Invest
Unfortunately, some financial advisors require that their clients have a minimum amount of investable assets. If you don’t have enough, you won’t be able to work with them.
Think about how much you have on-hand to invest. If it’s just a few hundred dollars, you’re probably better off waiting or finding an alternative. But if you’ve saved up and are ready to get serious about your future, a financial adviser is the smart choice.
That said, it’s okay to start out on your own, especially if you don’t have much to invest. Robo-advisors offer a low-cost alternative to traditional financial advisors. And many investment platforms allow you to directly make trades on your own.
Keep in mind that if you go this route, you’ll want to be careful. Remember, investing on your own means you’re relying on your own experience and knowledge of the industry.
For most people, this means slower growth and less return on investments. And sometimes, it can mean catastrophic losses.
The last thing you want to do is lose all of your hard-earned money on investments that weren’t the right choice for your needs.
3. Get Referrals from People You Know
The best place to start looking for the perfect financial advisor is by talking to your friends, family, and coworkers. Online reviews and internet searches can only tell you so much.
But the people you know are likely the people you trust to recommend products and services anyway. Ask if they have any financial advisors they’ve worked with in the past. And don’t be afraid to ask what they thought about their services.
If they’re comfortable working with them and had positive experiences in the past, you’ll likely receive the same quality service.
And don’t be afraid to ask the people you know if they have any advisors they didn’t like. This will help you narrow down your choices.
4. Look at Their Credentials
Experience does matter when it comes to managing your investments and growing your wealth.
When researching advisors in the area, pay close attention to their credentials. Look for distinguishing certifications like the Certified Financial Planner distinction or fiduciary status.
These help ensure that you’re able to work with an advisor that’s out to help you, not just make a fast buck. You’ll also want to pay attention to their educational background. Remember, you’re paying them to help you make sound financial decisions.
5. Schedule Several Consultations
Remember, you’re looking for an advisor that you can work with for many years to come. And that means you’ll need to interview several advisors before you can find the one that fits your needs best.
Schedule consultations with at least three advisors and see which one you feel most comfortable with.
They should be willing to listen to your concerns and able to answer your questions in a way that you understand.
If at any point you feel uncomfortable, don’t agree to work with them. It’s okay to leave the office feeling like you need to keep looking. Don’t give up. You’ll find the perfect financial advisor eventually.
6. Make Sure Your Comfortable with Their Fees
Financial advisors charge for their services in different ways. Some expect a flat fee each quarter while others charge commission on each trade or investment.
There’s no right or wrong method, but you need to make sure you’re comfortable with how they charge for their services. And you need to be able to afford what they charge for their services.
Before leaving the consultation, make sure they explain their fee structure in detail. If you have any questions or concerns, ask them during the appointment. And if the advisor can’t explain things in a way that makes sense to you, keep searching.
7. Check Online for Complaints
Online reviews are not the best way to judge a financial advisor’s skills or reputation. In fact, most are anonymous and those complaints may not even be real.
Instead of relying on sites like Yelp and Google, dig a little deeper. Sites like FINRA’s BrokerCheck allow you to research individual financial advisors and firms to assess their reputations.
If anyone filed complaints against the broker, you’ll know what they were and what, if anything, happened to resolve the issue.
And if there are no problems, their record will be clean.
Final Thoughts on Finding the Perfect Financial Advisor
Finding the perfect financial advisor takes time and effort. You need to meet with advisors in order to know if they’re the right choice for your needs.
Be patient, do your research, and choose an advisor that you’re comfortable with. This way, you’ll have someone in your corner for the long-run.
Looking for more helpful tips and advice to grow your wealth? Check out our latest posts.