Finding the right financial adviser for you: How to

Whether you’re a business or consumer, spending now to save later is the underlying logic of consulting a financial adviser. In fact, one recent Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards press release revealed that Americans who work with financial advisors are best prepared to weather economic decline.

If you’re thinking about making an investment, purchasing a financial product, or want to improve your long-term financial planning, it could be a good time to seek out expert help to make the most of your money.

Here’s how to find the right financial adviser with minimal fuss:

What does a financial adviser do?

A 2019 consumer survey revealed that over a third of Americans don’t understand what financial advisers do, a figure that rises more in the Millennial segment of the population. Let’s help to overcome that knowledge gap; financial advisers take a deep dive into your finances, auditing their every aspect from investments to income.

Whether they’re looking for help with pensions, investments, mortgages, or college funds, saving money and keeping on the right side of the law are the two main reasons individuals and companies seek out financial advice from trained professionals. After ascertaining your current circumstances and your long-term goals, they will recommend suitable financial products that will help you to maximize your money within current legal means.

Where can I find the best financial advisers?

The best financial adviser is the one that’s right for you. Generally speaking, advisers and planners will possess a specialism, whether this is demographic (e.g. retiree advisers), geographical (e.g. local advisers) or economic (e.g. insurance planning advisers). Your choice will depend on these factors.

A great starting place when looking for a financial adviser you can trust, is among your very own friends and family. As a business, it’s worth looking to similar-sized operations in your area and niche (especially any primary competitors). If it’s worked for them, it could work for you. Business owners may even consider an in-house candidate via financial adviser recruitment agencies to interface with their finance teams.

Questions to ask

Always ask would-be advisers the following questions to determine if they’re the right fit for you:

  • Are you an independent or restricted adviser?
  • What are your qualifications?
  • How will you offer the advice?
  • Are you authorized?

What other factors should I consider?

Often, financial advisers will offer an initial consultation at zero cost. But pricing thereafter will vary. They many charge you:

  • An hourly rate: bear in mind this is not just for time spent consulting as this will also cover their audit work and product research. Make sure you get a breakdown of the work they’ve done for you.
  • A percentage fee: you can pay anywhere from 0.1%-10% for each year your financial adviser manages your money, so make sure you ask.
  • Fixed rate: a flat fee may cover a specific project. If you’re looking for one-off advice, this could be the way to go.

Can I afford not to?

The best financial planners don’t only allow you to turn a profit on investment. They’ll also help you achieve your goals, avoid unnecessary risk and save money on major financial decisions throughout your lifetime.