- Personal Finance
How to Get a Financial Advisor
Not everyone needs a financial advisor because not everyone has a lot of money to spare. But, if you are one of those who has too much money and clueless about what to do with it, finding a financial advisor can help. Like any professional, you shop around and most initial meetings are free. Just because you sign up with one does not mean you have to stay with them. Remember, you have the final say.
When shopping around, go to 2-3 advisors to see what they offer, costs and what their plan is. Before you meet, decide if you are seeking financial planning or investment management of your existing investment portfolio. Financial planning is just that - getting recommendations about investment strategies and service from the advisor. When you meet, ask about how they are paid- hourly fees, flat sum, or percentage of assets, or commissions, or a combo of these. If the advisor only gets paid by sale of products, there will be bias in what he they offer. Also, go to the meeting prepared because some advisors will want to see tax returns, pay stubs, investment records, pensions before they can make an intelligent assessment. It also will save both of you time. Just go prepared or don't go. Most advisors cannot provide a detailed plan from just a first meeting, if there is a second meeting, insist that it is at no cost. During the meeting, decide if you like the advisor and are comfortable providing them with personal information about your finances. If you do not understand something, ask them to dumb it down so you can. The advisor is also assessing you and if they can really help you with your finances and if you can work well together.
Usually low and low-middle income earners do not have a need to advisors. If you are earning six figures, an advisor could certainly help you.