Managing finances is often the most underlooked aspect of our life that is important to take care of. It is because not only do we need to maintain our regular expenses and plan our financial needs regularly, but also plan our retirement and take care of financial aspects of our life. This is where a financial advisor helps you to take any financial decision and consider every aspect related to it that can influence the consequences that follow.
However, the road to choosing the right financial advisor is not often that straight as it seems. There are a lot of factors that you need to consider and questions to ask you and the prospective financial advisor that can give you more clarity on your decision.
Hence, in case you are looking forward to considering a few profiles of financial advisors for your financial planning, here are a few things to consider before you move ahead with any choice.
Checking for the credentials
Needless to say, licensing and credentials are the very first thing you should check whether they have the required criteria and qualifications or not. A financial advisor should have sufficient knowledge on the subject they are dealing with. They must have the required degree and specialization in the area they will be helping you with so that you are assured that you are being advised by a professional.
The minimum education required to be a financial advisor in a bachelor’s degree. However, someone with a specialization in accounting and financial management can also practice as a financial advisor. Moreover, any financial advisor specializing in investment consultation can also practice as a financial advisor and manager.
Checking the fees structure
It is essential to understand that a good financial advisor will always use a specific fee structure for their services. If you come across a valuation advisor who is not charging a fee or would be depending on commissions or behave biased in their suggestions, it is most probably a red flag that you should not go ahead with their services. Some financial advisors mainly charge a flat fee while the others main charge based on a certain percentage of the aspects they are helping you with. So before you move ahead with your discussion, always have a proper consultation with your prospective financial advisor and discuss their fee structure along with the specific details.
Research on experience
It is imperative to mention that the financial advisor you will be dealing with should have reasonable experience even if you are seeking advice for the very first time. Choosing the right financial advisor can be a tricky experience, especially if you do not know what questions you should ask for things you must consider before moving forward with your decision. However, experience is one factor that you should keep as a priority.
Always look for a financial advisor who has seen through a few market cycles and has a good idea about different risk classes or trends that have behaved well during those specific periods. The advisor must have extensive experience in financial advising and planning with at least five or more years in advising clients. The role of a financial advisor is to look at the management of money by evaluating the risk and understanding macroeconomics by paying attention to the prospects of growth. Hence, it can be said that the role of a financial advisor is multifaceted and experience counts more than any other factor that you can consider while choosing the best financial advisor for your purpose.
Fix a meeting
Before you finalize your financial advisor, make sure you meet them in person or through a virtual meeting. Try to understand how comfortable you are talking to them as your relationship with your financial advisor will decide your satisfaction as a client. Hence, building a good bond with your financial advisor is crucial to understand. Try to reflect on how often your financial plan will be reviewed by them and how often you can get in touch with them in case of any query or question.
It is necessary to decide on a mutual timing that is comfortable for you and your commercial advisor since your meeting with them will depend on whether it will happen virtually or will be a personal meeting. Once you get clarity on this, it will be easier for you to agree on whether it would be a convenient option to go with them or not. Hence, always try to have a preliminary meeting with your respective financial advisor so that you can know the possible prospects.
Ensure a reference check
No matter which professional you are about to choose for your purpose, it is always important to do a preliminary reference check before you go forward with your choice. Try to get contacts of existing clients of the financial advisor you have been considering and ask them about the experience they have with the advice they were provided. Try to get more details on whether the financial advisor spends enough time in understanding the client’s problem and it can initiate meaningful conversations. Try to ask them if after engaging with their financial advisors, we have seen an improvement in their financial life or not. Also, remember to see their public profile along with the reviews and ratings before moving forward with your decision.
Remember, just the way you make decisions can change the related aspect of your life, it can have any impact. So before you finalize your ideal financial advisor, sure that you have done enough research about them and have clarity on any query or questions in your mind. In case you are looking for a reliable financial advisor, you can reach out to our team at Christian Financial Advisors for consultation services including, but not limited to investment management and gift and estate design. Special emphasis is laid on investment management followed by a process that involves proper diagnosis, identification of goals and constraints, and development of investment policy specific to your specific case.