People of all incomes and stages of life can benefit from the advice of a financial advisor. Once you’ve decided you need one, it’s essential to choose the right one. This is because there are a lot of different financial services available from professionals who are all called financial advisors. Different financial advisors may offer different services and have different fee structures, so you should shop around before deciding on a financial advisor.
Follow these steps to find the right financial advisor for you.
Step 1: Determine Your Financial Needs
The first step in finding the right financial advisor is to determine exactly what your financial needs are. Some financial advisors specialize in managing investments. Others are better at helping you create a financial plan or help you get out of debt. Different financial advisors will offer different services, so it’s best to decide what you’re in need of before you start your search. If you’re planning your retirement, your financial needs may be different from someone who needs wealth managed or someone who is creating a financial plan to save up for a house.
Step 2: Decide on Your Budget
Financial advisors don’t operate for free. However, different advisors may have different fee structures and it’s important to find one that can work with your budget. Some financial advisors may charge a set fee while others will charge a fee based on a percentage of any money that they’re managing on your behalf. Plus, fees may differ depending on the services that you’re using. Regardless, it’s important to know how much you can afford to spend on a financial advisor’s services before you really start your search.
Step 3: Check for Financial Advisor Credentials
When you’re looking for a financial advisor, it’s important to check for a financial advisor’s credentials before considering them. There are tools available online for free, including BrokerCheck.finra.org or AdviserInfo.sec.gov, that you can use to check what experience and credentials your prospective financial advisors have.
Step 4: Ask for Recommendations
You can ask your friends and family for recommendations. If they already have a financial advisor that they know and trust, then that can help you to get started on your search. Just because a friend’s financial advisor works for them doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re a good fit for you, too, so it’s important to do your due diligence and research before making a final decision.
Step 5: Interview More Than One Financial Advisor
It’s important to shop around and make sure that the financial advisor you choose is truly the right one for you. Don’t be afraid to interview multiple financial advisors until you are confident that you’ve met the right one. Be sure to ask each financial advisor about their experience serving clients. For example, you can ask if they customize their approach for each client, how they would communicate with you, how often they would communicate with you, and how they would define a successful client relationship. Then, compare the answers from all of the financial advisors that you interviewed.