How to Find a Financial Advisor That Knows You or A Fiduciary That Understands You
“Any fool can know. The point is to understand.” ― Albert Einstein
Over the years, I’ve put in a tremendous amount of time and energy, more than any of the advisors I’ve ever worked with, in order to understand what investors like you want and expect from an Investment Advisor. After asking my clients and talking with people that have advisors other than myself, I’ve identified with the mandatory requirements for the relationship:
- Trust – This one more than any other should be your primary focus. You need to feel like you can trust the person you hire.
- Feeling understood and appreciated – You want to know that your advisor understands your goals and concerns. Additionally, you don’t want to be just a number. You want a personal connection with your advisor, so you know you and your account matter.
- Frequent and personalized communication – You want to know what is happening with your assets and the progress that’s been made towards your goal. Not having to wonder if your advisor even knows your name.
- Belief in Ability and Strategy – You need to feel confident the advisor you choose is capable of meeting your goals, and not just saying they can, so they can make money off you.
- Performance – You should know ahead of time what the investment performance will look like. Not an exact number, but an indication if it will be smooth or rough, so you’re not surprised later. If the advisor over promises, your future could be put in jeopardy. Make sure you understand BEFORE you invest, what the fluctuations typically are and how the advisor plans to deal with it.
As stated earlier, the purpose of this website is to accomplish one mission: make YOUR LIFE easier by addressing the important concerns YOU might have and how YOUR LIFE can be meaningfully better or far worse, depending on your choice of Investment Advisor. Throughout the site, anytime that “I” or “my company or service” is used, the purpose is for your benefit. Used in an attempt to show you that there are alternatives, and you do have a choice that will benefit you.
The positive effects of having that one trusted advisor in your life, that you know will give you the right advice and tell you the right thing to do, even outside the areas of investing and finance, is irreplaceable. You will feel the security and comfort in knowing you have someone outside your immediate family that really cares and is eager to help you with any obstacle life brings you.
On the following pages, we dig into the qualities you might consider that are anchors in great client/advisor relationships. If you find the information helpful, or if you have a suggestion for improvement, I would love the opportunity to communicate with you. We can discuss your interests, your goals and your aspirations. Similarly, you can find out about me and my values. I look forward to speaking with you.
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Your Go-To Source For Information and Advice
The commitment I make to you is to be the most accessible and comprehensive source of information regarding investment advisors. Of particular importance is identifying the very best ways you can keep yourself out of trouble by hiring the wrong kind.
The right financial advisor will greatly improve your life and help you achieve your life and investment goals. A mistake in this endeavor can not only jeopardize your future financial success, but also add unnecessary stress and pressure to your life that is totally avoidable.
Whether you are looking to switch Investment Advisors, or this is your first time hiring one, I’ve tried my best to make sure you’ll benefit from what I’m sharing on this website. When the distinction between a solid financial advisor model and the other models becomes evident, and the importance they will have on your future is clear, my hope is that you conclude I am an obvious choice to help you with your wealth management needs. I look forward to speaking with you.
If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me via Chat, Text, Phone, Email, Facebook or LinkedIn.
5 Steps in Choosing an Investment Advisor
There are 5 steps I’ve identified in the process of selecting a Financial Advisor. I discuss them below and throughout the site. Once you possess this information, the selection process becomes a lot easier, and you’ll be confident in your choice.
Ask the following questions before you waste any time on their services.
A) Are you a fiduciary? Don’t do business with a financial advisor unless they are.
B) How are you compensated? Only work with advisors that are compensated on a fee-only basis
C) Do you sell annuities? If they do, say thank you for your time and leave.
The strength of the relationship relies on you trusting the other person. Be honest with yourself and your feelings.
Ask yourself … how do you feel?
Do you feel comfortable?
Do you like this person?
Do you think you would have a pleasant time or a bad time with them at a business dinner?
Assuming you get past the prior concerns, you need to make sure they have no custody whatsoever of the investments.
Ask them what firm acts as custodian for your assets.
(Don’t be worried if you haven’t heard of the firm they say. Many of the largest ones in the country, have obscure names you may not have heard of. Visit our resources page for a list of custodians.)
Find out how they invest.
Who makes the actual investment decisions on a day-to-day basis. Is it in house or do they outsource it?
A large percent of advisors outsource the investment decisions. See my thoughts on Outsourcing Investments Here Hint: it’s not good for clients
Ask: What is your fee for whatever amount your portfolio is.
Then ask: What and how do you invest?
Lastly, you need to believe that they can get the job done of meeting your goals.
Ask them about their experience and how they would manage your account.
How many years have you been an advisor?
What’s the worst experience you have had as an advisor?
What’s the best experience?