Professional financial advice can be a valuable asset for people focused on their futures. Effective financial advisors help their clients navigate the sometimes confusing waters of personal finance, helping them achieve both short- and long-term goals. Advisors can also help people protect their savings, make smart investments and grow their wealth.
What defines the right financial advisor depends on the client. Some financial advisors’ strategies may not appeal to all prospective clients, so it’s important to vet financial professionals before trusting them with hard-earned money. The following are a few things to look for when searching for the right professional.
Credentials. Consumers may benefit by selecting a person who is just a financial planner, not an accountant or insurance advisor. A financial advisor who is a certified financial planner (CFP) is licensed and regulated and has taken mandatory classes on the various aspects of financial planning.
Humility and an ability to listen. Financial advisors need to be in tune with their clients’ needs, rather than putting their own best interests first.
“Investing goes beyond funds,” said Renee Parrett, senior vice president at Wells Fargo Bank. “At the end of the day, it’s all about the relationship you have with your advisor. If a financial advisor hasn’t taken the time to learn about your personal information and immediately begins to recommend a product, that’s a red flag.”
Recommendations. Advisors who have a reliable track record likely have clients willing to vouch for them. Ask friends, family or coworkers for recommendations regarding financial advisors.
Wealth of experience. An advisor who has many years of experience under their belt has likely worked with clients from all walks of life and clients whose comfort levels regarding risk have run the gamut. That wealth of experience can prove invaluable to clients.
“My business partner Treva Black and I feel that an advisor’s longevity in the community is also important,” said David Roche, principal at Apex Securities in Brentwood. “It shows you’re committed and in it for the long haul. We’ve been in the community for almost 30 years, and when you have served the community for that long, you earn and build trust.”
Continued learning. Advisors who have memberships in financial associations and continue their education are committed to honing their craft and staying on top of changes in their field.
Financial advisors can be assets to people looking to protect their finances. Finding the right one is paramount.
“Beware of companies that come in from out of town, take you to dinner and present you with ideas that are too good to be true,” said Roche. “Also watch for bait-and-switch setups.”
– Courtesy Metro Creative
– Amy Schrader contributed to this story