Four Tips for Choosing a Financial Planner

How to ensure you and your financial adviser are on the same page

Whether a consumer is deep in credit card debt or simply wants to be set up for future success, hiring a financial adviser could be a good move. However, choosing the wrong one can be a catastrophic mistake, which is why people need to know what to look for when hiring one of these professionals.

Tip No. 1: Determine your financial needs

One of the biggest aspects of finding a financial adviser for anyone is figuring out what the consumer is trying to get out of the relationship.

While some professionals offer a wide range of expertise, there are others who have more specific concentrations. For example, people who are opting to hire an adviser to plan their estate should choose someone with experience in that area.

Tip No. 2: Verify the professional’s credentials

To ensure that the financial adviser has all the proper licensing and training, it is important that consumers verify their credentials. One place this can be investigated is the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority website, where qualifications and registrations can be checked as well as any previous disciplinary issues. Should one of these areas not check out, it would be best to move on and search for another adviser in the region.

Tip No. 3: Ask relevant questions before hiring an adviser

Before making the decision to go with a professional, it would be wise to sit down with them and ask certain questions. For instance, people might want to know how the adviser is compensated or any relevant experience they have as a financial professional. This type of interview enables people to get a full knowledge of who they are about to hire to handle their finances, which can be invaluable.

Tip No. 4: Always get references

Perhaps the best way to figure out if a financial adviser will be helpful is to get some references. During the process of choosing someone to hire, consumers should be sure to ask their prospective adviser to supply them with the contact information for at least two clients. These people are able to provide past experiences with the professional, which can play into the decision to hire them or not.

Additionally, it wouldn’t be bad idea to ask for a personal reference to further check out their credentials. For example, an accountant and estate attorney the person has worked with in the past could be a good person to turn to.