What Should People and Businesses Look for in a Financial Advisor?
Finding a qualified financial planner or advisor can be challenging, for certain titles used in the industry aren’t highly regulated (or regulated at all). When looking for a knowledgeable professional to assist with and provide guidance on financial matters, people should seek out someone who is:
- A certified financial planner, for certification acts as a guarantee of competence
- A fiduciary, which means they’re required to act in their client’s best interests
- Able to demonstrate expertise in the area of help needed (e.g. through referrals of current or former clients)
Additionally, it’s a good idea to look for a person or firm who will provide individualized attention, clearly explains different options, and expertly answers questions. The best advisors don’t just understand financial matters themselves, but they help their clients understand relevant details so that their clients can make informed choices.
Do Firms Offering These Services Have Their Own Products?
Some large companies both have financial products they provide to clients and offer advice to clients. This arrangement, however, obviously presents a couple of issues. Such companies’ advisors may promote the company’s products over those offered by other companies. In some cases, advisors may not be allowed to offer another company’s products at all.
Smaller independent firms usually don’t have their own investment or insurance products. Instead, they offer clients the products created by large companies. Because independent firms aren’t beholden to any one company, though, they’re free to offer the best products available regardless of what company is offering them. This lets smaller, independent firms provide a more personalized level of service and better serve their clients.
How Can People and Businesses Learn More About Financial Services?
People and businesses can find out more about the financial services that are available and how services might help them by contacting an independent firm that provides these services. Setting up a meeting with an advisor who works with such a firm gives people an opportunity to discuss in-person the services that might benefit them.