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Finding a financial advisor is a stressful experience. This is somebody who, for better or worse, will have a say in your monetary and financial value for years to come. Nearly anyone can call themselves a financial advisor, planner, or coach, and very few qualifications are needed today. It’s critical to your financial success that you take the time to thoughtfully consider the financial professional you do business with. So here are the top 5 signs of a good financial advisor.

Comradery

Perhaps one of the most important signs of a good financial advisor is the working relationship you develop with them. Some advisors are fairly hands-off with their clients, interacting with them just once a year or so. But others are much more involved and invite their clients to also have a hand in the work they do. This is largely a personal preference, but it’s significant to consider as it will also decide other aspects of what you’ll want from an advisor. If you want a hands-off advisor, you might be inclined to look for more experience and consistency. If you want to be more involved in your management, then having a more educated advisor could be a way of having more options laid out for you.

Education and Experience

A well educated financial advisor will likely be in a better position to guide you than a less educated one. It’s fair to say that education isn’t everything – it’s worth noting that many very wealthy individuals have made it to their positions with just a high-school diploma. So when looking between two advisors, do your research not only into their education but also into how many years they have been practicing. A 25-year career will likely be a better choice than a fresh-out-of-university master’s degree holder. Look at all facets of their backgrounds to make an informed decision.

Compensation

How an advisor is compensated can show you a clear picture of their incentives and interests. Usually, an advisor will receive compensation through some combination of client fees and commissions – or occasionally solely through one or the other. How they are compensated will determine what they themselves are looking for. Commissions are largely being phased out in favor of flat-rate fees – commissions often varied depending on portfolio size, but the workload rarely varies.

Having your finances in someone else’s hands is a terrifying thought. But to make a better financial future for yourself, you’ll want to have someone in charge who is better able to guide you through the issues you’ll face. Make sure you know to recognize a wise and keen-eyed advisor.