Learning how to budget your money, grow your investments, and make difficult financial decisions isn’t easy to do on your own. That’s what financial planners and advisors are there for. If you’ve struggled to manage money and assets in the past, or are awaiting a major life change that may impact your finances, you might consider enlisting the help of a financial professional.

But before you do, be sure to consider: the kind of services they offer, their qualifications, history of success, and the cost of their services. If you’re looking to hire a financial advisor in the near future, keep reading to learn about the four things you should look for when choosing the best person for the job.

1) Specialized or general services

There are many different kinds of financial advisors, and while they might have a better understanding of the financial sphere than your average Joe, they’re not all trained in the same fields. For example, if you’re looking for help with tax debt, you’ll want to contact a tax professional because they’ll likely have a deeper knowledge of tax code than a financial planner would. If you need assistance with investing, on the other hand, an investment advisor would probably be the best choice for your needs.

In addition to the different types of financial advising available, there are also many different ways advisors can provide their services. Depending on how much assistance you need and whether you prefer face-to-face interaction or online support from your advisor, you can choose a solution that makes the most sense for you.

When evaluating which financial advisor to hire, start by considering what type of services you need and whether you’d prefer to meet with an advisor in person or use an application or online platform to access financial services.

2) Education and professional certifications

One of the most important things to consider when hiring a financial advisor is whether or not they have the education and professional certifications needed to do the job.

Some of the most common certificates for financial planners and advisers include:

  • CPA: Certified Public Accountant
  • CFP: Certified Financial Planner
  • ChFC: Chartered Financial Consultant
  • CFA: Chartered Financial Analyst
  • CIC: Chartered Investment Counselor
  • FRM: Financial Risk Manager

3) Positive reviews

If you’re hiring someone to manage your money and assets, you’ll certainly want to find the most responsible and trustworthy person possible. Thanks to the internet, there are more ways than ever for you to conduct research on your potential advisor to ensure they’re the right person for the job.

One of the easiest ways you can find a trusted financial advisor is by asking your family and friends for their recommendations. By doing so, you can ask more personal questions and get quantitative feedback that will help guide your search.

If you can’t find anyone to recommend an advisor, online reviews are a great place to look, too.

4) Cost of service

For some, hiring a financial advisor can seem like a counterintuitive approach if you’re hoping to save money or learn better money management practices. That’s why it’s important to review the costs of hiring a financial advisor before you seek services. Ask what the services cost upfront and also inquire about any additional fees that may be associated with extra items such as tax preparation or budget planning.