1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Resources:  5 Tips To Consider Before Choosing and Advisor, “Help Finding an Advisor