July 23, 2008, 6:00 am

How to Find a Good Financial Advisor Part 4

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Financial Planning,Personal Finance
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Managing your money can be very time consuming and you might make mistakes or you may miss opportunities (and not only on the investment side) due to your lack of knowledge in specific fields. I started this series talking about honesty and integrity, then I suggested your advisor should be proactive. Then I got more specific in the type of questions you could ask your financial advisor. This post is about knowing what you are looking for and asking for it.


The financial services industry is no different than any other service; both parties must be clear as for what is their expectation. If it’s not the case, the clients or the service provider will be frustrated. Providing a service (especially in regards to finance) should represent a win-win situation.

What are you looking for?

It is important to think about which kind of relationship you are looking for. In fact, having a financial advisor is like having another person in your life. Sometimes, clients are disclosing secret to their financial consultant that even their spouse ignore! However, you don’t have to get there to find a good advisor 😉

Do you expect him to call you every trimester, once you receive your investment statement?

Do you expect him to send you information letter or news letter via email?

Do you expect a written plan with investment project?

Are you looking for tax advice?

Do you want to work with a team or a single individual?

Do you want a financial consultant that will give you hint on stocks? Or will manage your entire portfolio for you?

Do you want to meet with your financial agent only once a year to make sure you are on track? Or do you want to hear from him months from months?

Do you expect a call when markets go down or up significantly?

Are you looking for a personal finance expert? Investment broker? Life insurance agent? (note that it’s almost impossible to have the 3 within one person, you would have to refer as a team to get this type of expertise).

These are only a small list of questions you need to answer before meeting with a financial advisor. Once you know what you are looking for, communicate this information during the first meeting. This will establish a clear and straight forward relationship. Then, it will be up to the advisor to meet your requirements or simply tell you that he/she cannot work this way.

Basically, I wanted you to understand that a good financial advisor will not be perfect, but he/she will answer your specific needs. You might not get along with all the good financial advisor, you need to find yours.

 

Other post on this series:

How to find a good financial advisor part 1

How to find a good financial advisor part 2

How to find a good financial advisor part 3

How to find a good financial advisor part 4

 

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Comments

To me, having a similar philosophy as your advisor is the foundation for success. If a client and his/her advisor share the same beliefs about how markets create wealth, then answers to the questions you raise above should follow naturally.

You can asses an advisor’s philosophy by spending time on their website. Their views, personality, and style should come through. I think it’s relatively easy for a potential client to look over my site, do a bit of reading on index investing, and get a pretty accurate feel for whether or not they’d like to work with me.

As someone who specializes in index investing, I can’t be everything to everyone. My content helps readers figure out if they agree with me about core principles.

Brendan