How I Found the Perfect Financial Advisor

So you have finally decided that your financial situation requires some professional help. You are going to hire a financial advisor.

But you have no idea where to begin the search for such a person. This is one of those occasions where a simple search bar phrase like “find a financial advisor” is not likely to prompt meaningful results. 

Hiring an advisor is not a decision to be made lightly. A financial advisor works for you, and you are in control of who you work with, but once certain decisions are made about how your money is going to be invested or budgeted, the advisor can move in a variety of directions.

You need to know he or she is going to do so with your best interests in mind. So how do you find the perfect financial advisor?

According to Spectrem Group, 44 percent of all investors find their financial advisor by receiving a referral from a friend or family member. You probably know someone who you believe handles his or her financial affairs in a wise manner. Ask them who they work with, and they are likely to tell you their advisor’s name — or tell you that their advisor might not be a good fit for you.

Here is a fun fact: There are investors who are wealthy and who do not want to refer their advisor to others. Either they don’t want to share, or they don’t want to feel responsible if the relationship does not succeed. So don’t be surprised if you ask a friend or family member for a name and you are stonewalled.

You may already have a financial advisor and not know it. If you have an employer-sponsored defined contribution plan like a 401(k), your funds are being handled by the financial provider in charge of the accounts.

That financial provider already knows something about you. Working with an advisor who is employed by that firm allows you to skip the first introduction and allows you to keep all of your investable assets in one place.

Sometimes advisors find you

Financial advisors advertise like crazy, and if there is an advertisement that strikes you as worthy, there is no reason not to make contact.

There are wealthy investors who work with a financial advisor who made first contact. Occasionally, phone calls or unsolicited emails can come from a reputable advisor.

It is so much easier today to research an advisor than it was 25 years ago. The Internet prevents anyone from hiding unpleasant information, but it also allows reputable firms to sell themselves to people who are on the lookout for financial advice.

There is one more way to find an advisor you like, and this search step can actually be beneficial to you. Many advisors hold introductory seminars, inviting folks like yourself to a dinner at a local restaurant where they can tell you how they can provide financial assistance.

This is not like attending a timeshare event; the advisor is not going to pressure you into signing your bank balance away.

Advisors who host seminars of this type are hoping for a 10 percent return on their own investment, and know that they may not appeal to every potential client. But they are also putting themselves out there in a very public manner, which typically erases the shady aspect of the business of attracting clients. 

It is probably wise to investigate more than one advisor before signing on. Every advisor offers a different appeal. Casting a wide net allows you to consider more possibilities in terms of age, gender, approachability, communication habits and knowledge.

Investing 101: Do Bonds Belong in Your Portfolio?

Portfolio diversification is a strategy that helps investors manage risk. Investors often choose to diversify among industries for stocks, for instance. But they also consider diversification within different assets types.

Should You Use Extra Cash to Invest or Pay Off Debt?

Deciding between repaying debt repaying versus investing may seem impossible. Everyone’s financial situation is different and only you know from an emotional standpoint what might work best. Start with your

6 Healthy Morning Rituals That Make the Most of Your Day

Whether you are a “morning person” or not, how much thought do you give to the start of your day? Do you realize that by adopting a few simple morning

How to Read and Understand an Options Quote

When you begin trading options you'll spend part of your research scanning for the right options to buy. When you find a list of options, then you'll need to learn

Test Your Financial Advisor’s Loyalty with These Simple Questions

You have a financial advisor in order to make certain you have budgeted your money correctly, have planned for future financial needs, and, in some cases, to turn some of

Sell Puts the Smart Way: Get Out Before Expiration Nears

Selling put options can be a great way to help increase the value of your portfolio without taking on too much risk. At its core, a put sale allows investors

refinancing

4 Pros and 1 Con of Refinancing Your Home

Two years ago the 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 4.6%. Today it is 2.9%. If your mortgage is in the high threes, you should consider refinancing. Refinancing would lower your

Easy Finance Tip: How to Calculate Your Net Worth

To calculate your net worth, just subtract your liabilities (what you owe) from your assets (what you own). While the equation is simple, it's important to get a snapshot of

Just a Few Bad Market Years Can Slam Your Retirement: How to Cut Your Risk

I believe one very underappreciated risk for investors preparing for retirement is the concept of “sequence of returns.” Sequence of return risk is the danger that the timing of withdrawals

Tai Chi Can Benefits for Those with Chronic Diseases

The Chinese martial art of tai chi can be beneficial to people suffering with chronic illnesses, according to research in the British Journal of Sports Medicine (2015), conducted by Dr.

Two Measures of Options Volatility That Matter

Most people often have a notion of what volatility means. They understand, at least conceptually, that it has to do with data of situations that vary over time. Weather is

3 Financial Habits to Adopt Before You Retire

Nobody wants to work until the day they die. We all want to get to a point where we can simply sit down, relax, and enjoy life.  Consider adopting these