Things to consider when looking for a Financial Professional or Advisor
A financial professional or advisor can help you overcome obstacles and achieve your dreams. If you aren't currently working with one, these tips may help you find one that's right for you.
First, ask for recommendations from people you know and trust. Collect the names of several, then select those you want to interview.
Here are some questions you may want to ask prospective financial professionals:
- How long have you been working as a financial professional? In general, the longer someone has been in the business, the more insights they may have on what works and what doesn't. On the other hand, someone with less experience, but more recent education and training may be more open to new products and strategies. Experience alone won't dictate who'd be the best match for you — otherwise, the decision would be easy. For newer financial professionals who may not have as much firsthand experience, you want to make sure they have expert resources behind them.
- What are your credentials? A financial professional should have the appropriate insurance licenses and securities registrations. Beyond that, there are several professional designations they could have. Examples include Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU®), Certified Financial PlannerTM (CFP®) or Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC®).
- What kinds of financial solutions do you have access to? It's important to have access to a broad range of solutions, because you'll likely have different financial needs during your life — saving for retirement, saving for college, life and disability insurance, and so on.
- What's your process? Financial professionals who have a very brief, narrow process for creating a financial strategy may just be trying to sell you a product. You need someone who will take the time to look at your whole financial picture and create a comprehensive strategy for the future.
- What are your fees? As your financial professional works with you to help meet your financial goals, be sure to understand how he or she is compensated for the value brought to the process.
Trust your instincts
After you've interviewed each financial professional, eliminate any who don't meet your minimum requirements. Then just trust your feelings — go with the one with whom you feel most comfortable and who you think will best help you reach your goals.
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