Important Tips For Hiring a Financial Advisor
If you are trying to plan for your retirement, want to try your hand at the stock market, or plan to do other important financial planning, having a financial advisor would be in your best interest. A financial advisor will ensure you put your money to the best use. If you have never had a financial advisor and aren’t sure what you should be looking for, know these important tips for hiring a financial advisor.
Consider Pay Structure
Different financial planners work on a different pay structure and you want to make sure you understand what it is and consider it before you hire anyone. Some advisors are commission-based, and that’s something that you want to avoid. When a financial advisor works on commission, that means they’ll make more money if you purchase certain insurance packages or invest in some mutual funds. You don’t want a financial advisor that is constantly pushing certain types of investments and insurance on you just so they can make some more money. You want a financial advisor that will work in only your best interest. Of course, fee-based financial advisors still have their drawbacks. Typically, this type of advisor earns about 1% of your annual assets. This means the advisor might encourage you to buy an expensive home or property that you don’t particularly need. However, it might be easier for you to pass on a house that you know you don’t need than pass on an insurance package that you don’t quite understand. If you can find an affordable financial planner that charges by the hour, that would probably be in your best interest. They make the same amount of money, even if you opt out of insurance packages or a private island. These planners have the purest motives, and you don’t have to worry about anyone pushing you to buy things you don’t need.
Check Their Background
When you hire a financial planner, don’t forget that they’re working for you, not the other way around. Many people hire services like this and feel like they need to be submissive. You should be interviewing the advisor. Ask to see the license and ask the advisor to write down references that you can call. The person you are hiring is going to have some control over your money, and you need to make sure that it’s someone you can trust. You wouldn’t put your hard-earned money in the hands of a stranger on the street, so you shouldn’t put it in the hands of a stranger behind a desk.
Ask for Recommendations
The most simple thing you can do is ask around for recommendations. Asking friends and work colleagues if they recommend anyone is your best bet. If there are people you trust who have been seeing the same financial advisor for years with success, it’s a good indication that it’s an advisor you would want to work with. It’s best to avoid a financial advisor no one knows. It doesn’t mean they won’t be good at the job; but when it comes to your money, it’s better not to take any chances. Check if a company has won any awards for being the best in their field. You can find top-ranked financial advisors by searching on the internet. For example, Fisher Investments is ranked a Top 10 RIA on InvestmentNews.
Just looking at credentials doesn’t prove anything, you need to verify them. The financial advisor should be a certified financial planner (CFP) or publicly registered. If certified financial planners get into any trouble, their disciplines become public knowledge. These disciplines can include a suspension, letters of admonition, or even a license revocation. The good thing about this public knowledge is that it’s very easy to find. You can simply go to the website, click on the state, and there are lists of names under each type of discipline. Make sure you look through the list and ensure the financial planner you are looking into isn’t on it. If they are, move on to the next person. You can also verify the certification on the same page. All you have to do is fill out the person’s information and you will know for sure.
You might find a financial advisor that continues to brag about performance and guarantees you certain returns in investments. There are rarely guarantees in the financial world, so this is a huge red flag. When you interview your financial advisor, pay attention to everything the person is saying. Make sure he or she isn’t promising a market-beating performance a certain return after a certain amount of time. If the person seems overly confident, it would be in your best interest to thank them for their time and walk away.
Hiring a financial advisor is a great way to manage your money. Just make sure you find someone you can trust so your money is in good hands. Follow these tips so you can be confident in your decision.