A Guide to Find the Right Financial Advisor

Do you have a misconception that financial advisors are only meant for wealthy and high-net-worth families? An average person doesn’t usually think about hiring a financial expert to manage their finances. However, people with all sorts of financial situations can benefit from the services of these experts. From creating a saving plan for retirement to diversifying your portfolio, a financial advisor can provide you with valuable guidance to ensure sound financial planning. The goal of working with a financial advisor is to set clear financial goals and achieve them while adhering to regulations.

Whether you have a job or business, you already have a lot on your plate and possibly don’t have time for financial planning. Whether you’re planning to invest overseas, settle abroad, or undergo a major life change, it becomes crucial to seek professional assistance.

Finding a Financial Advisor

Financial advisors provide multiple services and hold different degrees and certifications. It is easy to get confused about how to narrow down options when comparing different professionals because everyone seems qualified. So, to ease the hiring process, we’ve listed a few factors to consider for finding a financial advisor you can trust.

1.      Evaluate Your Financial Needs

The process of hiring a financial advisor should begin with thinking about your financial goals. You need to figure out what financial services you need. Doing this involves taking a look at where you are on your financial journey. Are you planning to move abroad, nearing retirement, or need an emergency fund? Whether you want to have an estate plan, get help with cross-border taxation, or need to rebalance your investments, make sure to look for a professional specializing in those services.

2.      Type & Certification of Financial Advisors

Once you figure out what services you need, it’s important to learn about different types of advisors. When looking for a professional, you will find traditional advisors, online advisors, as well as Robo advisors. Choosing the right type of financial advisor depends on the complexity of your financial situation. A Robo advisor may work for those with basic needs and simple financial situations. In many countries, financial advisors are not regulated by law. It means that even if a professional claims to offer financial services, he/she may not have the required qualification for the job. So, make sure to evaluate potential financial advisors by checking their credentials. Ideally, you should hire a registered advisor with additional credentials such as a certified financial planner (CFP). Besides designation, you should also find out how they earn money. There are fee-only advisors, commission-based advisors, and registered investment advisors bound by fiduciary duty. Commission advisors provide free or low-cost services because they earn sales commissions for recommending certain products.

3.      Service Charge

Once you’ve performed a background check and verified credentials, the next factor is cost. It’s important to how financial advisors get paid and how much their services will cost you. There is no fixed cost because financial planners charge a fee depending on the services you want and the complexity of your situation. The fee-only advisors charge a set hourly rate while fee-based advisors ask for a percentage of the assets in management.

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