What should I look for in a Financial Advisor?

The financial industry is constantly changing.

While Robo-advisors are on the rise, many families still seek a real and personal relationship. If that’s the case, robots won’t make the cut.

Before you begin your search for a Financial Advisor, think about your own expectations and what you’re hoping this professional can do for you. Your money and future should never be taken lightly.

After you’ve done some soul-searching, ask your friends and family for recommendations. You can even reach out to your professional contacts and ask for a few names. Make a list, do some research, and narrow down your candidates.

When it’s time to meet, here are a few things you should know about the advisor before you hire them:


The Investment Management Process

Discipline and a personalized approach potentially can help you reach your goals. Ask important questions like:

  • How will this Financial Advisor invest my money?
  • Is your investment approach customizable to my individual needs?
  • Does the Advisor consider my needs and risk appetite before investing my money?


Financial Planning Capabilities

Maybe it’s not your top priority, but knowing where you’re going and how to get there is critical in tackling other financial situations.  How your liquid investments fit in with your other assets, such as your business and home, could be critical.  Your Advisor ought to consider your whole financial picture before making any recommendations for you.


Custody Arrangements

Which custodian will hold your assets? A reputable custodian should offer you flexible services economically.


Fiduciary vs. Suitability

This might be the most important question. Fiduciary Advisors are obligated to serve your best interests, even if it benefits you at their expense. Suitability Advisors lack this duty. When in doubt, always go with a true Fiduciary.



There tend to be three pricing models among advisors: a percentage of the total assets they manage or advise, project-based fees, or commission earned on the products they sell.


At the end of the day, you should choose an advisor whose management process, philosophy, fee structure, and business approach make sense to you. And most importantly, you need someone you can trust.

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