Managing your own finances is no simple task—especially when you have investment assets, a mortgage, and of course, complicated taxes to consider. And when it comes to money, mistakes made end up translating to money lost more often than not.
If this situation sounds familiar and you’ve decided to hire a financial advisor, you might be wondering how you can find trustworthy candidates to get the job done. Use these four tips to guide your search and you’ll be steps closer to better money management in no time.
1. Ask Around
Your first step in searching for a trustworthy and effective financial advisor should begin with the people you already trust: your family, your friends, and your peers. If you’ve ever consulted online reviews before visiting a restaurant, it’s the same idea. Except these are your finances we’re talking about here, so the situation is naturally more serious than finding the best deep dish in Chicago.
Before you reach out to any potential advisors or head to any online review sites, take a moment to ask your family and friends if they have anyone they’d recommend. Heck, ask your Facebook network if they’ve had any positive (or negative) experiences with local financial advisors—this information will help you weed out the seedy ones and narrow your pool down to high caliber candidates only.
2. Verify Credentials
Once you have a few options to consider, you’ll need to do a little more research to find the right individual for the job. Thankfully, financial planners and advisors’ educational and licensing information is available to the public. As you conduct your search, confirm their financial advising certificates using either the FINRA or SEC website to ensure that their credentials are current and up to date.
If you’re able to meet with each of your candidates in person, you can skip the online research and just ask them in person. Of course, it wouldn’t hurt to do some double-checking.
3. Weigh Your Options
In addition to getting positive feedback and confirming their credentials, there are a few other things you should consider when hiring a financial advisor you can trust to handle your finances.
- Ask what their area of expertise is in, and decide if that aligns with your financial needs.
- Confirm pricing modules and evaluate how they fit into your current budget.
- Inquire about how extra services are priced on an as-needed basis.
- Ask how long they’ve been in business and whether they have returning customers.
If you can, try to meet with a few different candidates to help you determine which one is best suited for the job.
4. Be Wary of Too-Good-To-Be-True Scenarios
When you’re searching for a financial advisor, probably the most crucial thing for you to consider is your intuition. If an advisor is promising unrealistic asset growth or presenting their success rates in a way that seems out of the ordinary, you might see this as a red flag. Additionally, if an advisor is pressuring you into signing onto a contract that you’re not comfortable with, it’s best not to risk it.