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6 Tips for Finding a Trustworthy Financial Advisor

Money Girl details 6 ways to find the best financial advisor for your situation and budget. Plus, she offers an assessment tool that makes it easy to rate and compare advisors, so you can pick the best one for your needs.

By
Laura Adams, MBA
6-minute read
Episode #397

One of the fastest ways to improve your financial life is to work with a financial advisor or retirement planner. They provide a variety of services, but are commonly used to help pick investments and create a clear plan for achieving long-term goals, like saving for retirement.

While this sounds terrific, it can be surprisingly difficult to find a good advisor. How do you know where to go, or if you should trust someone’s advice to begin with?

In this episode, I’ll tell you where to find the best financial advisor for your situation and budget. You can also download a free assessment tool that gives you an easy way to compare and rate advisors, so you know which one is a good fit for you.

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If you value your money as much as I do, choosing a financial advisor should be a deliberate, thoughtful decision. After all, you’re going to partner with someone or an investment firm to achieve goals that are critical for your financial future and happiness.

Getting a personal recommendation is a good start. However, just because you know someone who is happy with his or her advisor doesn’t mean that he or she is right for you. So here are 6 things to consider when looking for a trustworthy advisor:

Step #1: Evaluate Your Needs

Before you begin your search for a financial advisor, be clear about what you’re actually trying to accomplish with your money. In other words, be prepared to articulate the problem you need him or her to solve for you.

Here are some examples:

  • I want to retire by age 60 and maintain my current lifestyle. 
  • I just had a significant life event or income change that I need help managing. 
  • I want to put my child through a college that will probably cost $50,000 per year. 
  • I want to make sure that my investments are allocated correctly in order to achieve my financial goals. 
  • I want to pay off certain debts while still saving enough for a comfortable retirement.

If you have fairly simple goals, you’ll be a good match for many potential advisors. But if your financial situation is complex due to factors like having a high net worth, being a business owner, or having offshore accounts, you should look for an advisor with the appropriate expertise.

Resource: Financial Advisor Assessment Tool (PDF) free download

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About the Author

Laura Adams, MBA

Laura Adams received an MBA from the University of Florida. She's an award-winning personal finance author, speaker, and consumer advocate who is a trusted and frequent source for the national media. Her book, Debt-Free Blueprint: How to Get Out of Debt and Build a Financial Life You Love was an Amazon #1 New Release. Do you have a money question? Call the Money Girl listener line at 302-364-0308. Your question could be featured on the show. 

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