Tips for Finding a Financial Planner

Tips for Finding a Financial Planner

If you are working, whether you are close to retirement or just starting out, you may be considering working with a financial advisor. These individuals set up your short- and long-term financial plans. They prepare for any planned financial expenditures while helping you get the money you need during retirement. Consider these tips for finding a great financial planner.

Services

Your first step should be determining what type of services you need. Different financial planners offer different services. For example, one advisor may offer services to those approaching retirement, while another might offer financial planning for professional athletes. Some advisors also have account minimums, while others do not. You may also be interested in ethical investing. Choose a planner that has experience in the services you need.

Research

Your next step should be conducting in-depth research on the available financial planners in your area who offer the services you require. You may ask for referrals, but also look through online reviews. Contact the Better Business Bureau and local chamber of commerce for ratings and any outstanding complaints.

Make sure your prospects have proper credentials, including a Certified Financial Planner or Personal Financial Specialist designation, as well as a Chartered Financial Analyst certificate. In addition, find out whether your prospects have a fiduciary standard. Learn about any association memberships they hold. You should also discuss each advisor’s investment philosophy.

Communication

When you speak with your financial advisors, ask them about their communication practices. For example, when should you expect to hear from them? How often will they contact you? What are their preferred methods of contact? You should know if they will contact you when they make trades, and you should determine beforehand if you want to provide consent for larger transactions.

Cost

Most financial planners make 0.5-1% of your total investment per year. You should plan how much money you want to invest every year. You should also determine your risk level. Then, calculate the advisor’s annual fee. Be sure to ask your advisor about any additional fees they may charge, and compare their commission- versus fee-based services. Compare the fees of multiple advisors.

Fraud

Be observant as you speak with the advisors and review their credentials. Look for financial advisors who have third-party custodians who hold your assets, and avoid advisors who take custody of these assets. Look for other firms the advisor may own, especially if those firms are holding your assets. Avoid these planners.

Whether you are just starting your career or are preparing for retirement, consider working with a reputable financial planner.