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How to Approach Your Search For a Financial Advisor…And Decide Whether It’s The Right Time To Do So!

Right now, maybe you’re thinking…

“I’ve already got a decent grip on my finances, budgeting, debt, investment and retirement planning…

Do I really need extra help? Is now the right time?”

Maybe you’ve done it yourself for quite a while, but you really haven’t had time lately, or have even made some costly mistakes in the past.

‘You might be feeling that this has all been too stressful, or just too much to handle on your own.

And now, you’re convinced you’d like to work with somebody…

But Where Should You Start? How Do You Find This Type of Person?

In today’s article, I’m going to be breaking down some of the most impactful tips you can use right now, in order to find the right financial advisor, who can help you shoulder the load.

In my experience, there are really just two questions you need to answer:

1) How do you go about finding this type of person…

AND

2) How do you show up, once you’ve found them?

As a solid starting point, oftentimes you can ask around, similar to finding a good doctor or dentist, to find out who your friends and coworkers use.

That can work well. But the criteria you should be equipped with are:

  • First and foremost, experience – they’ve been at it for a long time,
  • Ideally, they’re a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERâ„¢ professional,
  • This requires them to act with honesty, integrity, competence and diligence. It also requires them to adhere to a strict fiduciary responsibility, to put your interests first, over theirs. They must avoid or disclose and manage conflicts of interest (and not receive hidden fees off the back of your investment decisions!)
  • This fiduciary responsibility and relationship supersede one of just “suitability”. The latter gets them off the hook as long as their recommendations are suitable at the time they were made (obviously, a much lower standard)

… and of course, it’s important that you and this advisor actually resonate, and feel comfortable with each other on a personal level.

Setting Expectations Prior To Working Together Is Paramount

One of my most important pieces of advice here is making sure you know what you’re getting.

For instance, knowing how often this professional will be in touch, how they’re compensated, and what type of relationship it will be.

This really comes down to that initial meeting, and how prepared you are when you show up.

Think of this as a trial session for working further with this advisor. You should be comfortable asking them:

  • how they’re compensated,
  • what their client due diligence process is, and
  • how they onboard new clients

Will they use an integrated approach to assess your financial position, from a lens of what I like to call financial wellness? Is it a holistic plan that takes your specific needs into account?

You know, the most wealthy among us have entire teams of financial advisors, lawyers, accountants, and more… typically called a “family office”.

Therefore, I advise you to look for great financial advisors, and while on your search, keep in mind that when these advisors have whole teams around them…

You’re in much safer hands!

All the while, during your initial meeting, great financial advisors will also be screening you, ensuring they’ve got the capability and capacity to help you. Keep these tips in the forefront of your mind and you’ll be in great shape.

Assessing Our “Money Stories” & Relationship With Money

Finding a good, “judgment-free” advisor is important to your financial wellness, and it’s something that’s deeply personal.

Most of what we learned about money came to us very early on in the home. We heard our parents, teachers, and friends talk about money.

It even goes back to our single-digit ages and beliefs!

This impacts us long-term, to either have a healthy or difficult relationship with money.

Some of people absolutely hate looking at the nitty-gritty numbers.

Others love looking at everything, projecting returns, calculating their net worth and assets, etc.

We’re all different, and that’s totally okay. Finding an advisor that truly understands this is just as important to your success as anything technical is.

When Should You Start Looking For a Financial Advisor?

While I think it’s important for you to be asking yourself this question, there’s usually no “magic moment” giving you a “financial epiphany” that you need an advisor.

Sometimes it can be a transition that you’ve gone through or are ready to go through. It could be an event like a divorce, or if you’re finally ready to sell the business you’ve had for years…

But typically, you’re going to either want to proactively search for outside assistance, or a certain trigger point will come up and make it crystal clear to you.

Other trigger points can include:

  • a financial windfall or inheritance,
  • a spouse passes away or has a medical condition,
  • maybe they were the one handling the financial resources, or
  • you have a baby, or
  • another important addition to your family, like a parent, that you’re responsible for

Unfortunately (if they have anyone at all) most people try to cobble together different services, where each professional plays a game of badminton with the client…

Bouncing them back and forth, to the CPA, from the attorney, to the insurance agent, and over to the financial advisor.

It can be a nightmare. There are better ways to do it, and I’d love to help.

Conclusion to Finding a Financial Advisor: How to Get The Most Out of Your Search

The last important key to finding the right financial advisor for your situation is making sure you’re committed.

Showing up as a ready client (with as much in order as you know how to do) will help you really get the most out of your search.

You’ve got to identify what your financial and lifestyle goals are, up front.

Come prepared with where you want to go, financially speaking.

Collect the necessary topics and documents you’d like to cover and improve upon. Be proactive in your approach!

Be willing and open to sort through discussing “the nitty-gritty”.

If you’re willing, open, and able to get the highest value in this process (which is clarity and peace of mind), then your only regret will be that you didn’t do it sooner!

I’d like to invite you to visit this page to leave some of your basic information, questions, and concerns to get in touch with me about your search for a financial advisor.

Even if we end up not being a perfect fit to eventually work together, I’m more than happy to steer you in the right direction using my extensive resource base and network.

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