If you are getting serious about investing or managing your personal finances, it may be time to think about hiring a financial advisor. Before you take that step, however, there are a few things to think about. It is vital to make sure that you are working with someone that is qualified to handle your money. By taking the steps to verify their abilities now, before you become a client, you can save yourself a lot of trouble in the future. Here are just a few questions that you can ask before you pick a financial advisor.
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- Do they work for a respected company?
While there is nothing wrong with going with a financial advisor that is self-employed, there is more safety in working with one that is employed by a larger company. You’ll have more recourse if something does go wrong, and these employees will normally have to adhere to a specific code of ethics in order to remain employed by that company. For those that are just starting out, this is probably the best financial advisor to have, since there is more security.
- What kind of education do they have?
It’s one thing to call yourself a financial advisor, and it’s quite another to have the benefit of a solid education to back that up. Ask prospective advisors where they went to school and learn more about their alma mater before jumping in. Just remember, there is merit in small schools as well as larger well-known schools.
- Will they provide you with references?
While financial advice is very personal, most financial advisors will be more than willing to provide you with testimonials or references. Follow up with these references and do your homework to make sure that their past clients are indeed pleased with their services. You can learn a lot about financial advisors by the way that they treat their clients.
- What is their financial outlook?
If you are interested in small investments and are cautious, a bull-like financial advisor may not be the best fit for you. It is best to find one that has the same financial outlook that you do to avoid confrontation and potential mismanagement in the future. This carries the same importance as their personality and can have a dramatic effect on your future business relationship.
- Do they have a good track record?
Always run the name and phone number of a financial advisor through the Better Business Bureau to make sure that they have a good track record. While scam artists commonly change their name, it is still important to go through this step and do your own due diligence before you entrust someone with your hard-earned money. Chances are, if they have burned someone in the past, there will be a record somewhere of their exploits. Check through local papers and online to see if you can find anything before you hire your new financial advisor.