Most of us save our money for many years so that we can live life to the fullest later on in life, and investing it properly can make all the difference; however, this involves some very important decisions that can affect your future lifestyle, so you want to seek the advice of an experienced and knowledgeable financial planner who you can trust with a significant percentage of your funds and investments. You can either go for paid consultant or learn the financial planning basics
on your own. Not an easy job I would say !
Hiring a Financial Planner:
Not all financial planners are equal, and you want to hire the best you can find, so following are some things to look for before hiring a financial planner:
What Services they Provide:
When seeking an advisor, you want to be sure to choose one who can address you specific financial situation, plans, and goals. There are several areas of specialty for advisors that include but are not limited to the following:
- Investment strategies to prepare for retirement
- Stock portfolio management
- Tax advice and preparation
- Financial analysis
- Estate planning
Education Certifications and Licensing:
There are several different licenses that a financial advisor can earn and hold, the most common of which is the Chartered Financial Advisor or CFA license. A Chartered Financial Advisor is one step above a certified financial planner, or CFP. There are several others that each have their specialty, but before you hire any one of them; you want to see a copy of their current license and certifications for proof.
When it comes to trusting an advisor with your investments
, you want to be sure they are credible and highly effective, and one of the best ways to go about this is by contacting some of their previous clients. Word of mouth is one of the best forms of advertising, and you should check with your friends and relatives before spending time searching for one who’s qualified to handle your particular situation.
Ask the previous or current client of the advisor you’re considering questions that can includes how often they communicate, is the advisor ethical, how many assets they mange, their performance, and anything else that seems relevant.
Previous Performance Record:
When hiring a financial advisor, their previous record is significant, and they ought to be able to provide you with proof of their previous performance with previous clients in both up and down markets. They should also be able to verify that their by are audited regularly and who performs the auditing.
If the financial advisor you’re considering is professional and legitimate, then they should have a strong online presence. Perform a simple Google search and see what you come up with. This is also a great way to detect if the individual has been involved in any ethics violations such as fraud or misrepresentation.
Prior to hiring a financial advisor of any type, be sure to compare their rates and fee structure with others so you know they are competitive. Their commission schedule should be clear and concise and contain no future surprises.