Gulf Winds Federal Credit Union Blog

Things to Look for When Hiring a Financial Planner 

Future investment goals often lead people to seek savings help from a professional financial planner or advisor. If it’s time to plan for retirement, you’re ready for a down payment on a home, or you’re starting a family, it doesn’t hurt to have a financial expert on your side. That said, not all financial planners are created equal, and it’s your job to find the advisor that’s right for you.

Questions to Ask Potential Financial Planners

After you’ve done some homework and have a list of potential candidates, it’s important to ask a range of questions that cover the following:

  • Background and references – Most financial planners have advanced degrees in business and finance, with years of experience as investment analysts or traders.
  • Track record – Ask for documentation showing your advisor is registered with both the Securities and Exchange Commission and the state securities authorities. They typically do so using IRS form ADV.
  • Rate – Often confusing territory, rates can be negotiated as a percentage of investment, a flat rate, or a number of in-betweens. Forbes recommends going so far as trying to negotiate an hourly rate in some circumstances.
  • Usual clients – Often, financial planners specialize in different areas. Does your potential advisor usually work with retirement, family planning, or portfolio management clients?

Legally Bound to Act in Your Interest?

Believe it or not, financial advisors aren’t always legally bound to act in your best interest. In fact, it wasn’t until April 2016 that a Department of Labor fiduciary ruling tried to ensure that they did. Find a financial advisor who’s contractually obligated to do what’s best for you and your finances.

The Right Time to Hire a Financial Planner?

Business Insider says the real value of a good financial planner is in helping you live a better life. If your budget is tight or you’re drowning in debt, it probably isn’t a good time to invest in a financial planner. Make sure you’re ready to take the next step (financially and emotionally) before you look for professional financial help.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Credit: bigstockphoto.com user Rido81

 

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