It’s a great thing to educate yourself about your finances, but sometimes you need a little outside opinion. After all, the intricacies of the stockmarket is not something you probably have time to delve into deeply.
So you’re thinking about meeting a personal finance advisor.
How do you choose Mr. or Mrs. Right? Here are some tips inspired by writings all over the internet.
What You’re Looking For
You’re probably looking for a financial advisor, because you know that it takes a reasonably in-depth level of expertise to deal with some of the trickier aspects of personal finance. Post-recession, people are concerned about their savings, their retirement and their debt. Structuring their finances to deal with the every day, the emergency and the long-term is not an easy task, so talking to an advisor could be a great move for your financial interests.
A Matter Of Trust
Like all relationships, your financial advisor needs to be someone you really trust. You want them to be trained, competent, ethical and willing to work with your for your financial goals and well-being. That might make them sound like a saint, or the Holy Grail of Personal Finance, but with a bit of research and patience, you’ll find someone who you can invest some trust in.
Check Their Credentials
A degree from an Online University of The Great Sandy Desert does not count as a degree. Neither does a Degree from the School of Life. If you’re going to be giving them some responsibility in looking after your money, you want to make sure that they are legit. Don’t fall for impressive, impossibly long titles. CPA (Certified Public Account) is a pretty good one.
Call around, call the regulatory body, and make sure that they are qualified. You wouldn’t visit a doctor without being sure they were qualified, and it’s no different when it comes to your finance advisor.
Doing your research will go a long way in avoiding financial fraudsters. Know what questions to ask, and what good answers look like. It’s a good idea to meet with several finance advisors before settling on one. Ask how long they’ve been working in the area, whether they usually work with people in your income bracket, and what services they provide.
You should also know what you want – do you want someone to take a look at your finances and give you a check-up, or someone to build a long-lasting relationship with, where they will handle a lot of the aspects of your finances?
What It Costs
Importantly, you need to know how the advisor is going to be compensated for their work. It’s recommended to go with people who are fee-only, meaning that they are paid directly for their services- either by the hour, or a set amount for consulatations. Fee-based means they will charge commission, in which case you need to look super carefully at what exactly they will be charging commission on. Don’t rush- it’s not a decision that needs to be taken quickly.
Think about your financial goals and choose the advisor that seems like they understand and want to work towards them with you. With a bit of homework and consideration, you’ll find someone who will help you in achieveing your financial goals.