Find an advisor that keeps your financial well-being in mind.
Choosing a financial advisor is one of the most important decisions you’ll make when planning your future. Such an important task can be a daunting experience. Where do you start and what questions do you ask? In addition to reviewing an advisor’s credentials, background and community reputation, here are 5 tips on how to make the best decision…
Look for a fiduciary.
A financial advisor holding themselves to a fiduciary standard can, with your permission, have the power and responsibility to act for you in situations requiring total trust, good faith and integrity, putting your interest ahead of their own. “Not all financial advisors are bound by fiduciary duty, meaning that they are legally required to work in your financial best interest. There’s no federal law that regulates who can call themselves a financial advisor or provide financial advice.”
Understand their fee structure.
“Advisors can use a variety of fee structures. To keep it simple and seeking to avoid conflicts of interest, focus on fee-only advisors. They don’t get commissions for selling products.”
Confirm their comprehensive knowledge.
There are many facets to retirement and financial planning. You’ll want to find an advisor who is not only well versed in making investments, but can provide guidance with income taxes, Social Security, Medicare, estate planning, insurance and long-term care. “The right financial advisor dwells not on their investment process alone but the client’s total financial well-being.”
Identify their level of tax expertise.
Long term tax planning is a key to pursuing your financial goals into retirement, especially during the distribution phase. Find an advisor who understands tax implications, thinks strategically and is knowledgeable about the tools and programs available to reduce your future tax liability. Ultimately, your advisor should also be your tax accountant. “If a financial planner is telling you, ‘talk to your CPA about taxes,’ that should raise a red flag.”
Ensure your investment strategies align.
Your financial advisor needs to understand your position on investing and how much risk you are willing to take. Sharing this information will help to create a portfolio that supports your values. Your financial advisor should also be able to easily explain how they are handling your investments, its impact on you and the changes taking place in your portfolio. Understanding the performance of your investments is an important part of staying on the same page with your advisor.
Finding the right financial advisor is a crucial decision, but these tips should help you discover an arrangement that works best for you. Take the time to do your research, thoroughly investigate your options and make sure to find an advisor that keeps your financial well-being in mind—now and into the future.
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Want to learn more?
Here are a few more resources to help answer your questions…
How To Choose A Financial Advisor – Forbes.com
What You Should Expect From a Financial Adviser – The Wall Street Journal
The Five Key Expectations Of Your Financial Advisor – Forbes.com
10 Questions to Ask a Financial Advisor – www.nerdwallet.com
What To Look For In A Financial Advisor – www.retirementliving.com