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If you aren’t a seasoned expert in the world of finance, but you still want to invest your money in the best way possible, hiring a financial planner is one of the smartest moves you can make. That way, you know someone is monitoring and managing your accounts to help you achieve your goals, all while hedging risk and factoring in your personal circumstances.

With that said, not all financial advisors and financial planners are cut from the same cloth, and you’ve probably heard more than one horror story about interactions between clients and account managers/financial planners. This is why trust is probably the most vital factor when choosing a person who’s responsible for helping you manage and grow your wealth. 

If you’re constantly worried about what your financial planner is doing with your accounts, your collaboration will only increase stress in your life, which is the opposite of the goal. Finding a financial advisor who’s not only a professional but also a person you can trust is essential.

This article will give an overview of how to find a financial planner you trust, what your relationship should look like, and how much information you should be receiving from them regarding potential investments and account details.

What You Should Know About Financial Advisors

Nowadays, we love talking about what to do with our money. What are the best ways to invest? Should you hire someone to do it, or is it better to start on your own? What’s the best way to balance your portfolio? This is where the topic of how to find a trustworthy financial advisor comes in. Unfortunately, with so many people presenting themselves as “experts,” it can be confusing to figure out which ones are the real deal. 

One of the first things you should do is check the advisor’s background on sites like or the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s BrokerCheck search. There, you can see credentials and other important background details.

Additionally, there are certain things you should know about a financial advisor or planner before working with them:

Their Values 

Someone who works in a field like finance should be able to tell you what their values are. They’re working with other people’s money, and thus they’ll likely have a direct effect on their clients’ lives.

If you want to have a long-term relationship with an advisor, you should seek someone who truly wants to help you and not just receive a commission each month without putting effort into getting you the kind of results you hope for. For example, if an advisor keeps trying to sell you their service or promote their company’s proprietary investment to generate a commission for themselves, their values may not be aligned with your needs.

The Payment Plan 

Make sure you have a rock-solid understanding of how you will be paying for the service. Will you sign a long-term contract, or can you leave at any time? Is the payment adjusted according to the results you’re seeing? 

You need to make sure you know how your advisor is being compensated for their work; otherwise, you might be giving money away to someone who doesn’t have your best interests at heart. Request to receive records of exactly how much you pay to your advisor, as this information is also important for tax purposes.

Professional Licenses 

The importance of training, knowledge, education level and experience should not be underestimated. As a customer, you want to take a good look at the certifications available in the industry and do some research into the planner/advisor of your choice. Consider things like whether or not they have Financial Securities Licenses and insurance licenses, which allow them to sell and market investments and sell lines of insurance, respectively.

It’s also vital that your prospective advisor has not had any issues with regulations, negative references in the media, or experienced repeated investigations for some kind of misconduct. Because there are so many things you need to be on the lookout for, many people decide to hire a financial advisor based on the recommendation of their friend, relative, or someone else they trust. 

One of the most important things, in this case, is transparency—you should work with a person who will not hesitate to answer your questions about their expertise. It’s expected that you will want to have a partnership with someone who has proven themselves over time and has all the needed certifications. 

Some of the essential certifications you should look for are Certified Financial Fiduciary (CFF), Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), Certified Fund Specialist (CFS), Chartered Investment Counselor (CIC), and the highest certification—Certified Financial Planner (CFP).

The Kind of Service They Provide 

Getting good service is vital when you pay for a financial advisor. Goods service means they update you frequently regarding your investments, adjust the strategy according to your goals, and pay attention to your needs and desires instead of how they can benefit from you.

It’s incredibly frustrating not to hear from your advisor when there are new developments that can affect your portfolio. If something major happens and you’re the one making the first contact, that’s probably a bad sign. Along with that, your financial advisor should take your own goals, aspirations, and needs into consideration when crafting the investment strategy you will follow. For example, if you’re younger, you will likely be willing to take more risks compared to when you get to a certain age. 

Additionally, a good financial advisor will be sure you understand your investments. They will explain what’s happening and ensure that you’re taking part in the decision-making process. Suppose they’re unable to explain why they’re building your portfolio in a particular way. In that case, it’s likely because they don’t have a good grasp on it themselves, which is definitely a sign that they’re not the kind of professional you want to have a long-term partnership with.

Are They Patient? 

The fact that you’re hiring a financial advisor means that you know you could benefit from the advice and guidance of a true expert in the field. A real professional will take the time to listen to your goals, such as buying a house, funding college for your kids, growing your wealth, etc., and will work to explain how you can reach them with an investment strategy. 

A good financial advisor will have the patience to explain the way they want to build your portfolio and will enable you to make choices as well. One of the biggest red flags that you need to pay attention to is not understanding your investments. For example, if you’re unable to sit your loved ones down and give them an overview of each investment in your portfolio, then you likely aren’t fully informed about your accounts or your portfolio.

In Conclusion 

When people are looking to hire a financial advisor, they should check multiple things—their history with industry authorities, their professional credentials, their education level, previous feedback from clients, etc. However, once you’ve gotten through this initial process, remember that you deserve to experience a certain kind of service level that enables you to understand where your money is going and feel secure in your advisor.

Your financial advisor should be someone you can get in touch with and who’s willing to prove to you (with data) year after year that you’re making the right choice by being their client. Much like a good colleague, your advisor should be someone you trust and with whom you can collaborate.

After reading this article, if you have any doubts about your financial advisor and the way they’re handling your investments, then you can contact us at Alpha Wealth Funds for a free review.  We will evaluate your current situation and set the correct expectations for what kind of assistance you should look for in your financial advisor. 

Please feel free to reach out to me on this or any of your investment needs or questions. I may not always have the answers at my fingertips, but I promise I will get them for you. Chase Thomas

Founded in 2010, our services include boutique hedge funds, separately managed accounts, financial planning, estate & trust services, private placements, and in-house concierge services for high net worth individuals, families, and businesses.

PAST PERFORMANCE IS NOT NECESSARILY INDICATIVE OF FUTURE RESULTS. All investments involve risk including the loss of principal.

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