How to Pick Out the Right Financial Advisor for You

June 26, 2019

You may know that you need some help with your finances, whether that be investing, saving, financial planning, or debt consolidation, but how do you pick an advisor to manage them? Most people go to an advisor that was recommended to them or one of the first searches on Google but are they a good match for you?

Licensing

First off, it is suggested that the advisor be a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ or a CFP. The proper licensing is necessary because of course you want someone who is handling your money to be an expert in that field. In order to be a CFP, individuals must undergo classes to teach financial skills and they must go through testing which is regulated. The extensive training CFPs go through allows them to develop the expertise they need to grow your money.

Fee structure

Different financial planners structure their fees differently and choosing a payment type that works for you. Let’s go over the payment methods:

Percentages: Some financial planners take 1% or 2%, as an example, of client’s yearly assets. This is a fee for managing your assets.

Commission based: This pay structure is when a CFP gets commission based off of the investment or insurance products they purchase.

Combinations: This is a combination of percentage fees and commission.

Hourly rates: Any phone calls, meetings, and time spent managing your accounts is charged hourly.

Flat fees: No matter what your investments are and what your earnings are, there is a flat fee.

Quarterly/annual fee: a fee paid annually or quarterly and the fee may vary.

Now that we have gone through all the ways CFP’s can bill clients, you have to decide how you want your fee structure to be set up. Depending on how much money you want to invest and what type of accounts you want will determine how you want your fee structure established. Deciding the fee base you prefer will help you find the right CFP for you!

Experience

The amount of years a CFP has under their belt can possibly determine credibility and expertise. Think about it, would you want someone who is just out of school managing your finances? Find a CFP who has had years of experience like Adam Hogue, a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ who holds his FINRA Series 6, 7, 24, 63, & 65 registrations held with LPL Financial.  Adam is also licensed in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine for Life, Health, Property & Causality Insurance.

Looking for someone who is knowledgeable and has the proper credentials needed in order to advise you and manage your money in the best way possible.

Morals

Lastly, read reviews and recommendations on each advisor you are considering. Looking into the experiences of other clients with each advisor is super important because you want to ensure the one you choose has good morals and ethics. You want to pick a CFP that puts your interests first and does what is best for you not what will make them the most profit. If an advisor is known for coercing clients into opening up random account that they do not need just so they can get more profit.

Lastly, make sure the advisor you go with establishes a set of goals so you can track your progress and have some direction for your investments. These goals should be updated as circumstances change, and goals are met but the advisor's focus should be on your goals.

Picking the right CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ can be a tedious task but it is worth the research because when you find the right advisor for you, you will feel as ease with your money.