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Florida Financial Advisors

Top five tips to help you identify the right financial advisor for you

Top five tips to help you identify the right financial advisor for you

A financial advisor can provide you with the necessary guidance to navigate what can sometimes be a daunting landscape. However, it’s important to pick one that’s right for you. A retiree, a small business owner, and a young professional all have very different needs and priorities. Thus, it’s important to know what to look for when you need a financial advisor

Find the right financial advisor

1. Check out the advisor’s education, experience, and credentials.

You’ll want to ask questions such as how long they’ve been in the industry, how many and what kind of clients do they serve, and what are their areas of expertise. Education and credentials are something to consider. There are a wide variety of certifications and licenses available, the most rigorous being a CFP for financial planning and a CFA for portfolio management. Financial advisors also have to take part in continuing education credits so you may also want to ask what recent topics they’ve studied so that you can get an idea of what they’re keeping up to date with.

2. Check out the advisor’s record.

You can check the SEC’s Investment Disclosure Public Disclosure website to confirm the advisor’s work history and registrations. More importantly, you can check to see if they have had any regulatory disciplinary actions against them.

3. Consider the advisor’s objectivity.

Sometimes it’s hard to tell if an advisor has your best interest at heart, especially if they’re associated with a specific organization. You’ll want to ask questions like whether the advisor is a fiduciary and “fee only,” which means that they’re not paid based on their investment recommendations. The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA)'s database is a good place to start. These advisors abide by a fiduciary oath and code of ethics which emphasizes independent advice. They are required to sign and renew this oath on an annual basis.

4. Find out what kind of online tools the advisor will provide

To ensure full transparency, your advisor should offer you some kind of online financial tools that let you see all of your assets in one place. These tools can do things such as helping you track spending and income, as well as do real-time financial planning scenarios. Don’t feel shy about asking for a demo account so that you can preview what the tools will look and feel like. The tools should be intuitive and easy to navigate.

5. Find an advisor that works well with you and for you.

You should consider the other professionals that you work with, such as your certified public accountant (CPA), estate attorney, or insurance broker. You may also wish to involve other important people in your life when making the decision, such as your spouse or age-appropriate children. Ask for references and ask specific questions about your individual situation to see how they respond. For example, if you’re a small business owner, ask them what your options would be if you were to sell your business.

Now, even though everyone should have a financial adviser, some people like the thrill of investing in the stock market on their own. Many times, it’s because a friend or a family member invested in a stock and made money in it and they wanted a taste for it. Here too, a good financial adviser is necessary and advisable to ensure that the investment is done in the right company and at the best time possible. What some people do is educate themselves in the stock market and then bring their ideas to their financial adviser to make sure that they can make the right decision. To learn about the stock market, follow the link to   it will teach you about the basics of the market and will help you get the best understanding of it.

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Check the background of this financial professional on FINRA's BrokerCheck
Check the background of this financial professional on FINRA's BrokerCheck