You don’t have to be wealthy to be able to benefit from good financial advice. A good adviser can help with everything from choosing the right life insurance, to minimizing tax consequences, to estate planning. The idea of a financial advisor is to help you grow and protect your assets so you don’t need to think of them as only someone who helps the rich, they can help you too. But remember, not all financial advisors are created the same, some are better than others. To find the best independent financial advice follow a few simple guidelines.
1. What type of credentials does the adviser have? How long have they been doing this line of work and do they work alone or as part of a bigger company. Each will have it’s good and bad. An individual might be able to offer you much more personal attention but they may not have the resources to offer as many services.
2. Do they listen? Hey, look, it’s your money. If the advisor seems like they’re just ‘squeezing you in’ it may not be a good fit. You will need to meet with your financial counselor fairly often and you will need to feel confidant that when you do you are their only priority. You don’t want to feel like you are being rushed out of their office because they have another appointment. Along these lines you also need to pay attention to how clearly they explain things. The best advisor in the world won’t do you any good if you don’t understand half of what they tell you.
3. Will they meet with you as often as you want? Although you can’t abuse this either. They will be working with many people and you really don’t need to meet with them more often than once every few months generally. Depending on your circumstances meeting quarterly is probably often enough. If something comes up in your life, say the birth of a child, or the death of a spouse, you will likely meet with them to make the necessary changes, but usually every few months should be enough.
4. Do you like the adviser? I know that may seem like a dumb question, but it’s not. This is someone who will be handling your money. You not only need to make sure they are qualified, and that you can trust them, you also need to be able to be comfortable working closely with them. If you feel like they are condescending or rude, you won’t want to hire them because you won’t enjoy working with them.
It’s all about you and a good financial mentor will never forget that. It’s your money, your future, and your dreams. If the advisor does more talking than listening you may want to run away. It’s not about them just selling you all the time, it’s about them getting to know your unique needs and helping you find the best way to fulfill those needs.
To make sure your money works as hard for you as you work for it, get the best independent financial advice you can. Use the guidelines above to help you locate someone who can help you accomplish all the goals you’ve set for yourself.