5 Tips for Finding a Trustworthy and Reputable Financial Advisor
In these troubled economic times, even those who never gave their finances a second thought have found themselves worrying about the prospects of a financially stable future. With stock market plunges whittling away at 401Ks and the tanked mortgage market leaving people wondering about the ultimate value of their property, it’s more important than ever to create a solid financial plan that will ensure solvency now and in the future. But if you’re like most people, you have only limited knowledge about how to accomplish your monetary goals. For this reason you might want to consider hiring a financial advisor. This professional has the knowledge and skills needed to help you find the best means of making your money work for you. But you need to find someone reputable and trustworthy when it comes to managing your money. Here are a few ways to handle the task.
- Trusted referrals. Your financial situation and your monetary goals may be very different from those of your family, friends, and colleagues, but that doesn’t mean a savvy financial advisor can’t handle your particular needs, as well. So before you opt to peruse the yellow pages, ask the people you trust to provide you with referrals to professionals that they trust and admire. Word of mouth is often the best way to find the reputable service providers you seek. At the very least it’s a place to start.
- Consultations. Once you’ve got a few names on your list it’s time to start setting up consultations so that you can get a sense of who you like. Expertise is a big part of what you’re looking for, so you’ll certainly want to check credentials and ask for references. But the more important part of meeting with a prospective advisor face to face is figuring out whether or not you feel like you can trust this person with your hard-earned cash.
- Certifications. When you choose an accountant you probably know that you want a CPA (a Certified Public Accountant). But you may not have the first clue what to look for in terms of credentials when it comes to a financial advisor. A Certified Financial Planner should be able to offer you the services you need, but during your initial interview, don’t hesitate to ask for credentials, including certifications, schooling, and so forth.
- Proven track record. You obviously don’t want to select a professional financial planner that has failed with scads of clients already, which is where the references come into play. Of course, you’re bound to receive only positive references from the advisor, which is why you also need to do your homework on the side to see what others are saying online.
- Reviews. If worse comes to worst and you’re having a hard time finding an advisor that appeals to you, it might be time to cast a wider net. But rather than wandering around blind, you can use customer reviews to help you along. Of course, an advisor’s online reputation isn’t everything; you still need to go through the meet and greet process to make sure that you find someone you trust that makes you feel comfortable and secure. But this is a good option to consider if nothing else pans out.