- Look for a fiduciary. A fiduciary is held to the higher standard of client’s “best interest” as opposed to the “suitability” standard used by broker-dealers. The suitability standard has been used for years, but the industry is changing to something much more strict.
- Look for someone with the heart of a teacher. Your advisor’s main job is to serve your financial needs. This has to be carried out with patience and understanding. If you feel an air of condescension or impatience, I would consider those red flags.
- No violations or fines. Do some homework and check them out. Look for someone without client complaints and a history of misuse of client funds. Both FINRA and the SEC have websites for background checks on your advisor. LinkedIn provides a decent resume of professional history, and by all means….Google them for any other relevant content.
- Expertise. Look for someone that specializes in what you need. Our training is often specialized, so it is best to decide what you want to accomplish from a planning and investing perspective, and then ask the advisor to be transparent about what he or she does well. Often, this is the best strategy for success.
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