Everyone can use some sound financial advice. But who can you trust? And what advisors match your needs? Learn how to choose a financial advisor now.
Do you have the luxury of having lots of savings? Does your income regularly outweigh your outgoings? Or perhaps you have recently inherited a lot of money from a deceased relative?
It can seem like a great position to be in but it can also be quite frightening. You are naturally anxious that you will lose your money or that if you simply leave it in savings it will deplete in value because interest rates are not high enough.
The evidence shows that even young people who love technology are happy to employ a financial advisor who is a real person to help them with this. However, they just don’t know what to look for.
Here is how to choose a financial advisor and what to expect from financial planning services.
1. Trust Their Judgment
The most important aspect of hiring a financial advisor is learning to trust them. When considering what to look for in a financial advisor the most important question is do you feel that they will have the best interests at heart?
This comes down to personal judgment and basic instincts. Do you trust their character? And do they put you at ease when you speak to them?
It is worth speaking to other people who have hired them as a financial advisor to see what their experiences are of them. Some red flags are if they seem incompetent or do not return your calls or emails insufficient time.
Empathy is another important quality. Do they understand your concerns and listen to your needs? Or are they dismissive of what you actually want?
Be sure to do some checks on the internet about them as well. See if they are listed on any forums and try typing their name into Facebook and Twitter as a search to see if other people have commented on their services.
And are they sufficiently qualified? Be sure to check out their qualifications and do some investigation into these. For instance, find out if are they a charted accountant.
If you feel really unsure you can always make some calls with various professional bodies to ensure they have the qualifications they say they have.
2. Work Out What Your Goals Are
You need to establish what you hope to achieve before you sit down and hire a financial advisor. Are you looking to double your money within a certain time period and can you afford to lose it?
Or are you looking for safer investments that will ensure your money makes a modest return every year that would be greater than leaving it in a savings account? Would the money eventually be a retirement fund in decades time or would you hope to be able to access it in a shorter period?
A financial advisor or a financial planning service cannot answer these questions for you. Only you can know the answers to these questions and deciding what you want to do with your money will determine what type of financial advisor you should hire.
3. Cost Vs Return
Some financial advisors are very good at their jobs but it can cost a lot to retain their services. If you only have a relatively small amount of money to invest – perhaps a modest $10,000 then your expected return might outweigh the cost of hiring an expert.
You might be better off, in this case, hiring a local financial expert or a cheaper financial planning service.
But if you have tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars lying around then the cost of hiring someone who charges a premium might be invaluable.
You have to ask yourself are they worth the money and will they get you the results you want?
Great results are one of the many financial advisor benefits.
4. A Mentor Or A Silent Partner?
One of your goals in hiring a financial expert might be to get better at managing your money yourself and to try and work through your goals. You might be better off hiring an expert who is more of a mentor and who can guide you through different investment opportunities.
In this case, you’d want to meet them more regularly over coffee and be in a constant dialogue with them.
But if you have a very clear idea of the type of investments you want to pursue – which stocks in what companies – and a clear idea of the revenue you’d like to see then perhaps you’d need a mentor who is not as hands on.
This would be someone who keeps an eye on your money, your stocks and shares and who can take your money out when appropriate.
Even though it is easier than ever to trade stocks through banking apps like Revolut if you live a busy life then even this can be hard to keep up with. It can be handy to have someone who is employed to keep an eye on the markets and move your money around at a moment’s notice. But you would only be in touch with them when you need them.
How To Choose a Financial Advisor? Find the Right Fit For You
Deciding how to choose a financial advisor can feel overwhelming. There are lots of decisions to be made and there are lots of options – many of them will claim to have the best qualifications and a high level of success.
But it is important to remember that like anyone you hire whether it is a fitness coach or a private tutor, you have to have a clear idea of what your goals are and then find a financial advisor who can help you achieve them.
It is also important that you trust them and gel with them. Without this trust, you could end up feeling that your interests are not being served and this can lead to miscommunication errors.
If you’re interested in reading more about financial planning services then be sure to check out our investment section on our website.