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It may take you some time to find a suitable person or firm, but the time you invest will all be worth it when you are at peace with your choice.
Here is a guide to help you find the best financial advisor.
Not everyone is at the point where they are ready to hire a financial advisor. It is ideal to know the time when you should consider hiring a financial advisor. Usually, the thumb rule is that if you are earning a stable and steady income and can put a minimum of 20% of your annual income into savings, you should consider hiring a financial advisor.
If you are not there yet, you can make use of the online services that are available to equip you with assistance. Many platforms provide help with any sort of financial advice one may require.
There are two sets of compliances that the financial advisors are required to follow – the fiduciary standard and the suitability standard. It is important to understand both types of advisors in the market before making your final choice.
As per the fiduciary standard, your advisor is legally bound to act in your best interest. They are required to put your interests before their interests. They are also called fee-based advisors as they do not accept commission on their investment recommendations.
As per the suitability standard, advisors are legally required to be sure that the investments suit you. They are not bound to choose the best option for you. They work on commission bases, and there is a risk that they may expose you to products that help them earn and not you.
Another thing to know is, some financial advisors offer investment management services but not financial planning services. Similarly, some may have expertise in retirement planning. To find the advisor that is best for you it is good to know the type of financial advice you need.
Here is a brief summary of the main types of services offered:
Before locking in on any advisor, it is important to ask around family and friends or even make use of the search engines. Ask people with similar financial standings and the financial advisors they work with. Once you come up with a list of options, it is important to check the financial advisor reviews in order to ensure that you are working with a trustworthy source.
There are multiple ways by which the financial advisors charge their customers for the service they provide. However, the most unbiased and objective advisors are often the ones that are fee-only. In order to hire the advisor that is best for your needs, it is important to know the potential ways a financial advisor may be compensated. They could be charging an hourly fee, asset-based fee, commissions or an hourly rate.
You should also know the difference between a fee-only and a non-fee-only advisor. However, there are no wrong or right ways as to how a financial advisor should be compensated.
It is important to verify the credentials of the financial advisor you choose. This can easily be done online also. Credentials are obtained by passing an exam that validates the proficiency of the individual in the subject matter. The advisor is required to adhere to the specific ethics policy and meeting the education requirements continuously in order to hold the designation.
The right questions can help you exclude the financial advisors you do not want to work with. Using some specific questions can help you conclude how the advisor communicates, as well as their expertise and client base. You should also ask about the resources that will be offered to you as a client.
You need to be able to wrap your head around the answers you are getting. If not, you should ask some follow-up questions to clear the base.
Online platforms for searching are a great resource when it comes to narrowing down on advisors. You can look for an advisor in your locality as per your preferences of budget and even with the right credentials.
There are many advisors these days who like to work remotely with their clients. However, it is possible that you are more comfortable in meeting your advisor physically. Therefore, making use of search engines helps in finding a list suitable for your requirements.
Fraud is easily committed when someone has easy access to your assets. One must be completely cautious when it comes to the advisors or firms that may have custody of the money or assets.
It is essential to narrow down on the advisor that makes you feel at peace and ease. Therefore, it is good to take the above-mentioned steps and do thorough research.