Navigating the world of personal finance can often be tricky and confusing for a lot of people. Is it possible to learn the nuts and bolts of the different facets of personal finance, including savings and investments, on your own? You certainly can. But reputable financial advisers bring one crucial thing to the table: objectivity. This, along with their wealth of knowledge and experience, can help you overcome obstacles and avoid mistakes that can undermine your financial goals.
But how do you find a reliable professional you can turn to for financial advice?
Ask for recommendations
Use your own personal and professional networks to help you in your search for financial professionals. Ask your friends, relatives and co-workers for their recommendations. The other professionals you trust (your lawyer, accountant, or banker) can also help point you toward the right direction. Alternatively, you can begin your search online.
Interview each candidate on your shortlist
Finding a financial adviser who can help you meet your goals is by no means an easy process. You will have to put in time and effort to find the right one for you. One of the steps that you need to do is to interview each candidate on your shortlist, allowing you to have a firsthand glimpse of each adviser’s unique approach and philosophies and whether these match yours.
What exactly should you look and watch out for during these interviews? Certainly, you would need to get information about the financial adviser’s professional history and education. But beyond that, there are a few critical things that you should see.
Your chosen candidate should be able to explain complex concepts to you in a manner that is easy for you to understand. Your conversations with your adviser should inspire confidence, not confusion.
Your financial adviser should also be able to communicate with you through a platform you are totally comfortable with. You may, for instance, be more at ease with face-to-face conversations, online, over the phone, or a combination of all of these.
And if you are hard-pressed to select one adviser out of your shortlist, follow your gut. Remember, you are going to work with your adviser for a significant amount of time and if you are not comfortable with your choice, you can’t get the most out of the services provided by your adviser.
Ask for references
Before you hire a financial adviser, you should ask for references, including new and long-term clients. New clients can provide great insight into the work of the adviser while older clients have more than enough time to evaluate the performance of the adviser.