How to Choose the Right Financial Advisor
Planning for your financial future can be a difficult task to do alone. Whether you are looking to invest in the stock market, planning for retirement or are simply looking to grow your wealth, seeking advice from a financial professional, often called a financial advisor or financial planner, is a great way to feel confident about your financial decisions.
Financial professionals have a wide range of services to offer. From estate planning to tax paying, they use their expertise to guide clients in making financial decisions. But with so many financial professionals and services available, it is essential to know you are choosing the right one for you and your needs.
Below are some key considerations for choosing a financial professional.
Decide if You Need One
Life is busy, from taking care of your family to balancing your work schedule. Often, handling your financial needs can fall by the wayside. If you are having difficulty finding the time to plan for your future, have challenges managing your money, or just want the peace of mind that your finances are taken care of, hiring a professional can help.
Understand the Importance of Fiduciary Responsibility
If a financial professional is a fiduciary, it means they are required to work in the best interest of their client by law. This means fiduciaries must be fully transparent with clients in all business matters and disclose all conflicts of interest and consultation fees. Some fiduciaries have proprietary investments and products creating potential conflicts of interest. Emerj360 does not have any proprietary investments or products, therefore, there is no conflicts of interest to disclose. It is important to remember that not all financial professionals are fiduciaries, and not all fiduciaries are the created equal. Make sure to look for a fiduciary that is free from conflicts to give you the security that you are receiving the best possible advice.
Determine the Cost
Understanding the way your financial professional is compensated is key. They are typically paid through three methods: by commission, by a flat fee, or through a combination of the two. To break it down, commission-based financial professionals make money through product sales and are typically paid through that product’s sponsor.
In contrast, fee-based or fee-only financial professionals have a set dollar amount or percentage that they are paid by clients. These set fees can be based on your net worth or by a flat charge. Most fiduciaries, like the financial professionals at Emerj360 — follow a fee-only or fee-based structure. Because these professionals do not charge commission, they are motivated to recommend services that are in their clients’ best interests. Learn more in our blog, “How Much Does a Financial Advisor Cost.”
Identify Your Financial Needs
When looking for a financial professional, it’s important to understand what services they specialize in. Establish your financial goals and what you want to accomplish. These objectives can help you find a professional who is the right fit for you. For example, if you are looking to seek specific financial advice, to diversify your assets through investing, or to inquire about life insurance, verify that the person you want to enlist has been successful in these areas and can help you reach your goals.
Ask the Right Questions
When you attend your initial consultation, you should go in with a list of questions for your potential financial advisor. Asking about the topics mentioned above — like inquiring about cost or types of services — establishes the expectations you have for your financial professional. Here are some other questions you can ask to help you decide if a financial professional is right for you:
- What are your credentials and certifications?
- What clients do you specialize in?
- Tell me about your approach to working with your clients.
- What is your investment style?
- How available are you to your clients?
Don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions. You should discount someone who is unclear or cannot answer your questions.
At Emerj360, we are fiduciaries. We use fiduciary principles, experience and expertise to guide everything we do. Our services are provided without bias and with your best interests in mind. Contact us today and schedule an appointment to learn more about how we can help you reach your financial goals.