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The experts say that most of us need an independent financial advisor to help us plan for our futures. But which one? This message gives you some helpful guidelines.
The experts say that most of us need an independent financial advisor to help us plan for our futures. But which one? What should you look for when selecting an advisor? There are three key questions:
Do they know what they are doing? Are they recognized by outsiders as being expert? This can include expert certifications as well as being honored by trade groups. Who are their client references? All reputable advisors will give you references that they believe will say good things about them. But are the references the type of people who can recognize true expertise?
Second, can you trust them to keep their promises? There two ways to gauge trustworthiness: first: how do they treat you during the selection process: do they they follow through? Keep their appointments? Are they patient? Do they tell you the whole truth or just what you want to hear? If they can't do this now when you have their full attention, that's a bad sign. Second, what do their references say? How did the advisor behave when things didn't go right. It's easy to keep commitments in good times, keeping them when things are falling apart is takes courage and integrity.
Finally, will you enjoy working with them? This is more important than it sounds. If you don't like someone you will share with them less than you should. Having someone that is approachable and that you are comfortable sharing intimate family details with makes for a much better relationship. Unfortunately, there is no real way to assess this other than spending time with the person.
Selecting a financial advisor is both a professional and personal choice: you're seeking a talented professional to help you make critical decisions but you also need someone that you like and trust. Take your time and do your homework.