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.
Step #5: Interview Candidates
No matter what kind of advisor you need, I recommend that you interview at least 3 before hiring one. If you're married, or have a partner who shares your financial goals, make sure you both participate.
You might arrange to meet in person, talk on the phone, have a Skype video call, or do a Google Hangout. There’s no rule that you have to work with an advisor in your area. I live in California and work remotely with an investment manager and CPA who are both located in Florida.
Be ready to lead the conversation with questions that get him or her talking openly about themselves, their current clients, and how they prefer to work.
For 10 essential questions you must ask before hiring an advisor, download my free Financial Advisor Assessment Tool (PDF). It’s a one-page form that gives you an easy way to rate and compare advisors at a glance.
Step #6: Set Up Your First Meeting
After you choose an advisor, find out what documents you should have on hand during your first meeting, or send to the advisor in advance. For instance, some may ask to review your tax returns, investment statements, or pay stubs. Set up a meeting date that gives you plenty of time to prepare.
If you're married or in a serious relationship, make sure you can both attend the meeting. Be ready to answer questions about your ongoing expenses, current investments, and financial goals. If you don’t know all the answers, that’s okay - it’s part of the process!
Take notes during the meeting and never be afraid to ask questions, no matter how silly or elementary you think they might be.
Using a financial advisor to achieve your goals can save you time, help you make more money, and keep you disciplined about following a sound investment strategy.
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