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How to find a quality Financial Advisor to help manage your money & finances.

Where to look

·       Ask friends and family you trust for advisors to interview

·       Go on-line to NAPFA.org (National Association of Personal Financial Advisors) to search

·       Go to CFP.com for education and Certified Financial Planner background checks

Questions to ask

·       What is your experience?  Look for a minimum of 5 years as a practicing CFP.

·       Qualifications? What is your education & professional background?

·       What services do you offer?  Comprehensive financial planning or just investments?

·       What is your investment philosophy?  Can the advisor explain it in simple terms?

·       How are you compensated? Do you take commissions?  Fee-only or hourly planners are most preferable and transparent.  Pay for advice, not products.  Get proposals in writing.

·       Are you a fiduciary?  Will you sign a fiduciary agreement that states you will act in my best interests and without conflict?

·       Who will I deal with?  Do you have a team or will I deal exclusively with you?

·       Do a background check at the CFP Board and Finra.org.   Make sure there are no complaints or disciplinary actions in the advisor’s history.

 

Bottom Line - These are 3 traits to look for when interviewing financial advisors:

1.     Ethical – Can I trust this person to act in my best interests? To behave honestly and be transparent in my dealings?  Are they objective?

2.     Competence – Does this person have a quality educational and experience background?  Do they stay current with on-going education and have well rounded knowledge of comprehensive financial concerns?  Will the advisor educate me?

3.     Likeability – Will I enjoy dealing with this advisor? Is the advisor humble and a good listener?  Or do they prefer talking about themselves and brag about their accomplishments?