Choosing a financial advisor is a big decision. In doing so you are giving someone access to a very sensitive part of your life. Remember you are hiring an expert to work with you. Your advisor should provide value to you and your financial decisions. Here are some things to consider when hiring a financial advisor.
It is important to find an advisor who communicates clearly and timely and that you understand and are comfortable with what is going on with your money. In addition, your advisor should be reaching out to you regularly to go over your portfolio and discuss how current economic and geopolitical conditions can impact your portfolio. Lastly, you want to be sure your advisor or their team is accessible to you so that if you have questions or need something done it can be handled in a reasonable amount of time.
Find a fiduciary
A fiduciary is legally required to work in your best interest. Today many financial professionals are registered as fiduciaries, however it is possible for an advisor to be dually registered. This means they are registered as a fiduciary and as a broker dealer, which can present a conflict of interest. Broker dealers are held to the suitability standard, meaning that they can recommend investments that are suitable for you, but not necessarily the best for you. Advisors who only work under a fiduciary standard are held to stricter rules and are required to act only in the best interest of the investor.
Understand how the advisor gets paid. Brokers can receive commissions on the investment products they sell. A conflict of interest can arise when one investment product pays a higher commission than another product. Fiduciaries are paid through a fee from their client. This eliminates conflicts of interest on investment recommendations.
Find someone who will take a holistic view of your finances. Creating a portfolio is an important piece of your financial strategy, however this is only one part of your personal finances. Find an advisor who can add value to you in other ways. They should have a knowledge of tax laws as costly mistakes have been made by being unaware of these consequences. Do you have enough in your emergency fund? Are you on track for retirement? What will happen to your assets when you pass away? This broad view will help to make sure all the pieces are working together to help you achieve your financial goals.
Get a Referral
Speak with family and friends. See who they recommend and why. Knowing that someone you trust is working with and presumably is happy with the service the advisor provides can help make you more comfortable in moving forward.
Not all financial advisors are the same. It is important to find someone who communicates well with you and will work with you on achieving your goals. Taking the time to find the right advisor can yield big benefits as you build a relationship that can last for decades.
Investment Advisor Representative & Tax Preparer
Kate joined Advisors Management Group in December 2017. Prior to joining the firm, she worked in manufacturing and healthcare during her career as a financial analyst.
Advisors Management Group, Inc. is a registered investment adviser whose principal office is located in Wisconsin. Opinions expressed are those of AMG and are subject to change, not guaranteed, and should not be considered recommendations to buy or sell any security. Past performance is no guarantee of future returns, and investing involves multiple risks, including, but not limited to, the risk of permanent losses. Please do not send orders via e-mail as they are not binding and cannot be acted upon. Please be advised it remains the responsibility of our clients to inform AMG of any changes in their investment objectives and/or financial situation. This commentary is limited to the dissemination of general information pertaining to AMG’s investment advisory/management services. Any subsequent, direct communication by AMG with a prospective client shall be conducted by a representative that is either registered or qualifies for an exemption or exclusion from registration in the state where the prospective client resides. A copy of our current written disclosure statement discussing our advisory services and fees continues to remain available for your review upon request.