Making financial decisions is not easy. Most of the time you will find yourself with more questions than answers.
There are questions that can best be answered by professionals. For instance, how much should I save or invest? What is my current net worth? Have I saved enough for my retirement? Am I living within my means?
Financial planning is not as easy as some people try to portray. It can be a complex process – that requires the input of an expert for it to be successful.
The internet is awash with all manner of information about how to plan your finances. Before you take any of the advice, it is important to know where it is coming from. Ensure that the information is coming from someone who qualifies to be a financial advisor.
Who is a financial advisor?
There are many people who are trained to handle different aspects of finance. However, there are those who claim to be financial planners yet their objective is to swindle unsuspecting customers.
That’s why it is important to consider a number of factors before hiring a financial advisor.
Below are 5 tips on how to hire the best financial advisor:
If you have decided to hire a financial advisor, the first thing you should consider is qualification. For instance, find out his or her level of education. You should also ask which professional bodies they are registered with and whether they have a license to operate or not.
This is because financial planning is wide, not everyone who has studied financial planning can understand your situation and advise accordingly.
Some of the popular certifications for financial planners include Chartered Financial Consultants (ChFC), Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU), and Certified Financial Planner (CFP).
Another thing you should consider when looking for a financial advisor Brighton VIC is experience. It doesn’t matter how qualified a person is, experienced in the field is always key.
Try to check for the portfolio of your prospective financial advisor to determine their expertise.
The following are some of the questions you should ask them:
• For how long has he or she been a financial advisor?
• What are clients saying about his services?
• Does he or he have experience in dealing with the specific financial issue you have?
By answering such questions, you will be able to narrow down to an individual who can best understand your financial situation – and offer appropriate advice.
3. Standard of care
There are two different “standards of care” that all financial advisors are supposed to adhere to. The first one is known as the sustainability standard. This is where financial advisors are permitted to sell financial products to customers according to their needs.
The second one is known as fiduciary standards. This is specifically for a financial advisor who is registered with the (Registered Investment Advisory) professional body. In this case, financial advisors are supposed to act in the best interest of their clients.
Cost is another important factor to consider when looking for a financial advisor. Do not be deceived that all experienced and good advisors charge highly. The best thing to do is to get a list of financial advisors in your area and try to compare their rates.
Nonetheless, do not put much emphasis on the cost of service. You might focus on individuals charging less and end up with poor services. Try to balance all aspects to get the best financial advisor.
5. Ask for referrals
Referrals are another great way to find a good financial advisor. Ask your friends or family members if they know of any good financial advisors. However, you should be specific with the type of financial advisors you are looking for.
As mentioned earlier, financial planning comprises a lot of things. For instance, if you are looking for someone to advise you on how to invest, then specify it when asking for a referral. Besides, you can also search on the internet for financial advisors.
In a nutshell, making financial decisions can be a tricky affair – particularly if you aren’t knowledgeable on the subject. That’s why it is important to seek the services of a financial advisor.
You should consider several tips such as qualifications, experience, and credibility while hiring a financial advisor.
About the Author:
Ray is a sought after thought leader and an expert in financial and money management. He has been published and featured in over 50 leading sites and aims to contribute articles to help novice financial planners. One of his goals is to impart his knowledge in finance to educate and help ordinary people create and achieve their financial goals.