I recently met with a young man for coffee. He has a successful business and in need of
financial direction however, he had spoken to so many financial professional that he was left confused. I really felt for this young man. Unfortunately, too many people have the same experience and end up doing nothing. Not having a financial plan is never a good options.
Here are 5 ways to help you choose the the right adviser or financial team to work for you:
1. Start with a goal in mind. When meeting with a financial adviser, the first thing that should be addressed is what are your goals, both short-term and long-term. How do you expect anyone to help get you anywhere if you don’t know where you’re going?
2. Determine your current/future needs. Financial decisions must address current financial needs. Are you going through a transition and in need of liquidity? Are you in need of keeping your money safe from loss? Are you looking for tax advantages or a higher rate of return? The right adviser will be more concerned with your needs than making a sale.
3. Know your risk tolerance. How much can I afford to lose? This is a question that both you and your adviser should take into careful consideration. If the adviser is putting more at risk than you can afford to lose, then you know you are in the wrong place – and that includes your employer qualified plan.
4. Like the one you’re with. I often tell my clients that they’re stuck with me for the long haul. That’s because I view my relationship with my clients as just that – a relationship. When choosing to work with an advisor or financial team, think long-term relationship. Make sure some key factors are in place – trust, comfort, communication and teamwork.
5. Do your homework. I often notice when an adviser tells you that a particular product is ” no good”, that often means that they are not familiar with how it works or they don’t offer it. Either way, that doesn’t help you especially, if that product may be a good option for you. Don’t expect your adviser to know everything. You have to do your homework.
Remember, one sure-fire cure for frustration is understanding. The more we are certain of, the better we navigate the challenges we face. The last thing any of us wants to see is the work that we put into this life, evaporate for lack of proper planning.