June 26, 2008, 6:00 am

How to Find a Good Financial Advisor Part1

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Financial Planning,Personal Finance
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I realized that there are more and more people trying to manager their finance by themselves. They think that they can do better than their bank, that they have been managing money since high school and that they already have a good pension plan anyway. While some people become really good at doing it (for some reasons, there are a lot of engineers doing it!), the majority of the population is driving blindly their portfolio thinking they roll on Wall Street where they are just about to hit a brick wall!

 

Financial Advisor

From time to time, I receive emails from readers asking me questions about their financial situation or about some wicked investment strategy designed by a financial consultant. I noticed one common thing; they have no clue if they can trust their financial advisor or not. I guess this is probably why several people are trying to manage their money on their own since we are surrounded by a bunch of financial clowns!

Being a financial planner myself, I tried to identify what makes a good financial consultant compared to the usual banker or the car salesman.

Honesty and integrity

This is probably one of the most important characteristics of anybody who has to manage your money. The problem is not that I don’t believe that most of them are not honest but too often they run into conflicts of interest.

One day, I was asked a very smart question: “How much do you get paid with this transaction?”. I think this question should be asked every time that you are about to do a financial transaction (especially when it is regarding the stock market and your investment portfolio).

We often think that honesty is coming from the trust we have into a person. This is completely wrong! Honesty is coming from the answers to your questions. The more questions you ask your financial consultant, the better idea of his level of integrity you will have. The world is full of bullshiter and the only way to discover them is to ask so many questions that they can’t lie anymore.

If your financial advisor smiles back at one of your questions and change subject, this is your clue that is not being honest and that you need to come back with more precise question in order to corner him.

This is obviously the first part of a long series of post about financial consultant. I will try from time to time to give you more information about how to find the right financial planner for your needs. Stay tuned!

 

 

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

 

image source: Ambergris

 

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Comments

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by: Howard Fitzwater | January 18th, 2011 (5:55 pm)

Finding a financial advisor should be a conscious effort and not one taken lightly. I salute your discussion here on this topic. Once someone decides that they need a financial advisor – it’s a complex, but very worthwhile, long-term decision.

I handled my own portfolio until about four years ago. It became a full time job trying to research good investments, stay up to date with financial news and the beginning of an unstable market. I had to find an advisor that I knew I could trust for the long term. I read that I should meet with a few before deciding on who to go with, I got some suggestions from friends and met with advisors to see who I could work with. After meeting with a few that made me feel like I was wasting their time, my current advisor Keith Steidle was so different. We clicked immediately and I have been very happy with all of the work that he does for me. I highly suggest meeting with different advisors to know who you can work with and who you feel safe with.