7 Tips to Find your Financial Advisor

Finding the right advisor can be tricky. There are many difference styles of advisors as well as business models, so it makes sense to be informed on the differences. For this article, I'll merely share a few tips that are somewhat less common. In a coming article, I'll reveal the nuances of the difference models: Sales, Advice, and Discernment.

  1. Be clear on your purpose for hiring an advisor in the first place. What are you really looking for? What’s missing in your life that you need fulfilled? Do you simply have a rock in your shoe that needs to be removed, or are you looking for someone to assess how the rock got in there in the first place?

  2. Find someone that is intently curious about you, you family, your dreams, your fears, and understands how your financial resources play into this.

  3. Look for someone that asks the right questions. Coming up with intelligent sounding answers is easy. Coming up with the right answers is a direct result of asking the right questions. Most of the time, the right question is “why?”

  4. Look for someone that can and has effectively partnered with other advisors in their own and other industries. Comprehensive solutions rarely come entirely from a single discipline. Your real estate solution will affect your tax and legal strategies. Your investments may need to be positioned to off-set the risk of your closely-held business with exposure to a specific sector.

  5. Seek a leading advisor that has a broad knowledge and mastery of multiple disciplines so they can identify the overall risks and opportunities. Supplement them with technicians and experts in individual fields. You shouldn’t be on your own to determine how it all fits together.

  6. Have absolute clarity on how everyone gets compensated. To the extent you can, ensure that solutions are completely objective and not influenced by the need to sell a product.

  7. If family is important to you, look for an advisor or team that asks about and understands the implications of your wealth on your kids and other family members. The natural outcome of wealth in families is conflict and destruction, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

There are, of course, plenty of other things to look for, but these seem to be ones that are less often discussed. The world of financial, estate, tax, real estate, investment, and insurance planning is not a simple one. We’re never really taught these things in school, and even if we were, most would rather have a root canal than sit in a class on the US tax code, calculating bond yields, or transferring risk through insurance. So in all fairness, it’s a tough world to navigate, and has massive implications. Making intelligent financial decisions can have a significant impact on life, relationships, and overall well-being. Don’t take it too lightly, surround yourself with the right people with the right perspective. In doing so, you’ll find your way to financial confidence and overall peace of mind. The good news is that there are nerds like us that cherish relationships and love this stuff!


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