How to Choose a Good Financial Advisor
Finding a Financial Advisor that’s the Perfect Fit
Written by Mike Rogers, Founder and President at 360 Financial
Inflation is increasing, costs are rising, and financial insecurity is a huge concern for many people across the globe. Now is the perfect time to get serious about managing your finances and reaching your financial goals—and a financial advisor can help you along the way. Today, we’ll be explaining how to choose a good financial advisor.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Financial Advisor Services
- What does a financial planner do to help their clients?
- Wealth management vs. financial planning
- Costs of working with a financial advisor
- Benefits of a Good Financial Advisor
- Looking at a financial advisor’s credentials
- What should I look for when interviewing a financial advisor?
- What is most important about choosing a financial advisor?
- How do you know if a financial advisor is trustworthy?
- Important Questions to Ask Every Financial Advisor You Meet
- Working with a Major Bank or Wealth Management Firm vs. a Smaller Independent Firm
- Why You No Longer Need to Find Your Advisor Locally
- Work with Your Financial Advisor Online
Financial Advisor Services
If you have a financial goal but are unsure what steps to take, a financial advisor can help you create an actionable, achievable plan. When you follow their plan, you can meet your major financial goals, such as:
- Buying a house
- Retirement planning
- Saving for your child’s college education
Whatever financial goals you have, your financial advisor will help you create a plan to reach those goals—but they will also assist you along the way.
What does a financial planner do to help their clients?
When you work with a financial advisor, you won’t be following their financial plan on your own. Your financial advisor will provide more hands-on services to help you execute your plan.
These services include:
- Managing your investments
- Acting as your stock broker
- Advising and arranging insurance coverage
- Strategizing estate planning
- Making financial decisions
A financial advisor is perfect for you if you want help implementing your financial plan.
Wealth Management vs. Financial Planning
It’s common to wonder if financial planning overlaps with wealth management. Here’s how to differentiate the two services: While financial planners consider every aspect of your finances—from insurance to everyday expenses—wealth managers typically only focus on assets, investments, will and trust services, and estate planning.
Costs of Working with a Financial Advisor
Every financial advisor is different—and so is how they charge for their services.
Financial advisors charge for their services in a few ways:
- Flat hourly rate (typically between $100 and $400 per hour)
- Flat annual fee (ranging between $2,000 and $7,500 per year)
- Commission on investments or products, which will be a certain percentage
- A certain percentage of your portfolio (often 0.25% to 1% per year)
It all depends on the financial advisor you choose, so be sure to ask this question while you are vetting your options.
Benefits of a Good Financial Advisor
A good financial advisor helps you build wealth by:
- Keeping you on track and reminding you of your financial goals
- Creating a financial plan and helping you follow it
- Making financial decisions that are in your best interest (so you don’t have to)
- Providing guidance and assistance along your financial journey
And most importantly, a good financial advisor is trustworthy, giving you peace of mind on a daily basis. You’ll no longer be working towards a prosperous future on your own but with the help of an expert.
Looking at a Financial Advisor’s Credentials
If you’re looking for a financial advisor, make sure they hold a FINRA Series 65 license. This license is the most important credential that distinguishes a financial advisor from a financial planner.
They may also hold other credentials, including:
- Certified Financial Planner (CFP)
- Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)
- Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC)
- Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA)
All of these extra credentials give financial providers more expertise and knowledge to help you create and execute your financial goals.
Common Questions About Working with a Financial Advisor
What should I look for when interviewing a financial advisor?
When you’re interviewing financial advisors, look for an advisor that is a fiduciary. Legally, fiduciaries are required to put the financial interests of their clients above their own—but not all financial advisors are fiduciaries. Nonfiduciaries are not required to give you the same level of financial loyalty that fiduciaries are.
Always choose a fiduciary over a nonfiduciary.
What is most important about choosing a financial advisor?
Aside from looking at credentials and choosing a fiduciary, specialties are another important aspect of financial advisors. When you know your financial goals, you can pick a financial advisor who specializes in your financial realm. For example, if your main goal is to improve your investments, you can find a financial advisor who has focused on investments throughout their career.
Look for financial advisors who have specialties that align with your goals.
How do you know if a financial advisor is trustworthy?
Here are some signs that help you know if a financial advisor is trustworthy:
- The financial advisor knows your goals, remembers them, and prioritizes them
- The advisor speaks openly about financial risk, and educates you about it
- You clearly understand the fees that you would pay if you choose this financial advisor
- Your advisor wants to meet regularly to discuss your portfolio
Important Questions to Ask Every Financial Advisor You Meet
To help you find the right financial advisor for you, here are some questions to ask:
- Are you a fiduciary?
- What are your certifications and qualifications?
- Do you have any specialties?
- What is your investment philosophy?
- What are the fees and costs of working with you?
- How regularly do you meet with your clients?
- What makes your client experience unique?
On top of these questions, don’t hesitate to ask personal questions that will help you get to know the personality of your advisor. A personality alignment is just as important as a professional alignment, so you can ask about their values and their hobbies.
Working with a Major Bank or Wealth Management Firm vs. a Smaller Independent Firm
You can have luck working with a major bank or wealth management firm, but we recommend working with a smaller independent firm. At a smaller firm, you won’t be just another number, but a priority, and your advisor will take more time to get to know you, your goals, and your dreams.
At 360 Financial, part of our philosophy is to treat our clients like family. Your financial advisor will take the extra time to get to know you on a deeper level so that your financial plan meets your needs.
Why You No Longer Need to Find Your Advisor Locally
In the past, your only option was to find an advisor locally. Now, thanks to advancements in technology, you can work with any advisor across the country remotely. Sticking to local advisors can be very limiting, so we recommend considering remote options.
Work with Your Financial Advisor Online
The best fit for you may be just a Zoom call away at 360 Financial. We’re more than happy to work with you remotely. We connect with families all across the United States, and we’d be happy to add you to our financial family.
- A financial advisor creates your plan and implements it, advising you along the way.
- Look for a financial advisor that has a FINRA Series 65 license.
- Look for a financial advisor that is a fiduciary.
- Ask the right questions to find a financial advisor you trust.
Financial Planning and Wealth Management Services 360 Financial Offers All Clients
We’re here to help you with your big picture planning. Financial planning is not one-size-fits-all, and you need an advisor that is in tune with your goals and needs—which is what we specialize in at 360 Financial.
We focus on tax strategies, income planning, legacy planning, risk management, investment planning, and estate planning. 360’s financial advisors consider your entire financial picture when creating a plan for you.
Schedule a Call
At 360 Financial, we believe that every client deserves personalized attention from our team of experts. You can be confident in knowing that your financial needs are our first priority.
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The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.