How to Choose an Advisor
It is always beneficial to seek the advice of an advisor to guide you in reaching your investment goals. Below are several tips to help you choose an advisor:
- Know what you want – Determine your general financial goals and specific needs (insurance policy, estate planning, investments, education, etc.).
- Be prepared – Read the newspapers and finance publications to maximize your familiarity with financial planning strategies and terminology.
- Talk to others – Get referrals from colleagues and friends you trust.
- Look for competence – Individuals working in the financial services field hold many degrees and designations.
- Interview more than one advisor – Ask them to outline their education, experience and specialties, the size and duration of their practices, how often they communicate with clients, and whether assistants handle client matters. Make sure you feel comfortable discussing your finances with the individual you select.
- Ask about referral networks – Find out if the advisor works with any other professionals such as accountants, insurance agents or legal advisors.
- Get it in writing – Request a written advisory contract or engagement letter to document the nature and scope of services the planner will provide. You should also understand how the planner will be compensated.
- Re–assess the relationship regularly – Financial planning relationships are quite often long term. Review your relationship on a regular basis, making sure your advisor understands your needs as they change and develop over time.