Tips for Choosing a Financial Advisor

Have you been thinking about your financial future? Most people only have their employer-sponsored 401(k) and Social Security to provide for their futures, but what if this isn’t enough or you have large expenses before retirement that need to be addressed? To get a comprehensive review of your current and future financial health, you may be thinking about contacting a financial advisor. You just need to choose the advisor that is right for you.

Financial Goals

If you have not set financial goals, including your desired retirement lifestyle, when you want to retire and when you will pay off your major liabilities, you should start with this step. Setting concrete goals is the first step to creating a financial plan.

If you have already set financial goals, consider reviewing them. Are there changes you need to make? For example, will you be paying for college tuition or purchasing a new vehicle? Also, check to ensure that your monthly budget and bill payoff plans don’t need to be adjusted.

Advisor Search

If you have worked with an advisor previously and you had a positive experience and have seen your desired growth in your investments, you may choose to go back. However, it doesn’t hurt to get a second opinion, and most reputable advisors will offer a free initial meeting.

If you haven’t worked with a financial professional consider getting referrals from your friends and family members. You may also speak with your peers at work. Don’t skip doing some research, even if the advisor is highly recommended. Check for online reviews, including Better Business Bureau ratings.

Carefully review the prospective advisors’ websites to ensure they offer the services you need.

First Contact

Initially, you may have to leave messages for your prospective advisors. Pay close attention to who gets back to you quickly, and schedule appointments with any advisor that gets back to you within one business day. You want an advisor who has the time and resources necessary to set up your financial future.

The right advisor will have time to spend with you on the phone and will treat you with respect. A great professional will listen to your goals and guide you on how to prepare for your initial meeting. You may also discuss the advisors’ fee schedule and get additional details about the services and products they offer.

First Meeting

It is important to meet with your prospective advisors. You should feel comfortable with the person handling your financial future because you need to be honest and share details you may not share with most people. In addition, you should check out their offices to ensure they are established. During the meeting, verify the advisors’ licenses, insurance and association memberships.

Don’t wait to secure your financial future. Consider working with a financial professional to help you plan and prepare for your dream retirement and future.