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How to Find the Right Financial Advisor For You

 
What Service You NeedLearn your OptionsEnsure Fiduciary StatusCheck Qualifications

To the untrained eye, financial planning can seem incredibly daunting. What do I invest in? How can I maximize my return on investment (ROI)? How can I ensure I am set up for long-term financial success?

This is where it can become beneficial to seek the expertise of a Financial Advisor. Finding the right Financial Advisor is important; not all are created equal. It is important to find someone who is the right fit for you based on where you are in your financial journey and who will keep your best interest at heart when guiding you through financial decisions. The tips below provide a good starting point for finding the best Financial Advisor for you!

Know What Services You Need

Many advisors specialize in certain services. You wouldn’t want to hire someone who has extensive knowledge in budgeting if you’re most interested in investing, nor would you benefit from speaking to someone who works mainly in taxes if you’re looking to plan your estate.

It is not that these advisors cannot help with more than one service, but finding one who works most closely with the services you’re interested in will maximize your ability to reach your goals!

Learn your Options

There are a number of options to choose from in selecting a Financial Advisor. A traditional Financial Advisor is what most think of; they will meet with you in person, can be highly specialized, and work to develop long-term relationships with their clients. Specialized services can include estate planning, retirement planning, or help with company stock options. FSB's Wealth Management offers a wide variety of services that fall in this category.

Online Financial Advisors are available as an additional option. This is for someone who would prefer to work with an advisor online and is a cheaper option, but you won't get the same experience as you would with meeting in person.

Ensure Fiduciary Status

While most Financial Advisors, especially traditional ones, are required to act as fiduciaries, some types are not. This is important; fiduciaries act in the best interest of their clients. They will work to find the best products for you based on your goals and cost, working to maximize your dollar. Non-fiduciaries will recommend products based on suitability, despite steep costs.

Check Qualifications

  • It is important to know what credentials your potential Financial Advisor holds. Some common credentials are:
    • CFP (Certified Financial Planner)
      • Requires 18-24 months of study; 3+ years of work as financial planner
    • CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst)
      • Requires 3 exams of 6 hours; 4+ years of work experience
    • CPA (Certified Public Accountant)
      • Requires in-depth tax knowledge; exam required

Checking the Financial Advisor’s background is also crucial- this can identify any potential disciplinary action that has been taken for fraud or any other violation. You should also ask about their stance on investing ethically to ensure it aligns with your beliefs.

Though choosing the right Financial Advisor can take some time, finding the perfect fit will allow you to reach your financial goals and set you up for long-term financial success. With so many options available, you are certain to find one that suits your needs and gets you on the path to a secure and comfortable future!

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