Many of life’s major milestones require a decent financial investment.
For example, getting married, having a baby, buying a house, getting surgery, or retiring. These are all once-in-a-lifetime decisions, so it’s vital you make the right decision.
If you’ve been saving in preparation for these milestones, you might feel like you need some guidance on how to manage your money optimally. That way, these events go smoothly.
So are you wondering: how do I find a financial planner near me? Then read on. We’ll give you some useful tips on how to do so.
Figure out If You Need an In-Person Advisor
Often, financial decisions can be simple enough that you can use a digital advisor. You just fill out a survey, and the program’s algorithms can give you an investment portfolio based on your responses.
While this may be a more cost-efficient solution, it’s only ideal for simpler and smaller accounts. For more complicated issues like retirement planning, you’ll most likely need a human financial planner to guide you through the process.
Search “Financial Planner Near Me”
The first step to finding a financial advisor is to type in “financial planner near me” into your preferred search engine. This should generate a solid list of planners you can easily travel to for consultations.
Write down the ones within an acceptable radius, then check out what their previous clients have to say about them.
Do they have glowing 5-star reviews, or do people have a list of complaints about their service? Find out what the low-scoring clients have to say, even for firms with high ratings.
They may not be happy with an important aspect of service to you, so it’s worth looking at a firm’s weaker areas. This can aid you in narrowing down your choices.
As you go through some of the important points below, you can remove even more from your list.
Ask Your Friends and Family
If you have any friends or family who have used a financial planner before, ask around and see if any of the names coincide with the ones on your list. They can tell you their firsthand experience dealing with these financial advisors.
When you know who comes highly recommended or strongly advised against, you can reorder your list of candidates, or even eliminate some if their service was truly that bad.
Choose Ones with Certifications
Take a look at your list and see if the financial planners have a “CFP” by their names. This stands for “certified financial planner.”
CFPs have to take a rigorous exam and go through ongoing education. This should help ensure that the financial representative you choose is always up-to-date on laws and regulations and adheres to a strict ethical code.
Find out How They Charge You
Some financial planners will charge around 1% of the amount they’re managing for you. Others will charge you either an hourly rate, flat fee, or a retainer. Some may even have a minimum requirement in investment assets before they’ll work with you.
It’s important to have a discussion about how a financial advisor charges you before you commit to them. For example, if you’re more comfortable with flat fees rather than an hourly rate, you’ll want to ask about it.
It may feel awkward and you might want to skirt the issue of payments, but you’re dealing with money, after all. By being upfront about what types of payments you’d prefer, this can save you a lot of trouble in the future.
Do Background Checks
For any financial firms you’re interested in, check their Form ADV. This form transparently gives you al their service charges and fees.
Not only that, but it also shows you if they’ve had past disciplinary actions or conflicts of interest. Obviously, you want to avoid firms that have an unscrupulous past, as they may not handle your finances in the best ways possible.
Also, check that they actually have the credentials they claim to have. A quick Google search will show you the proper authorities to call. A simple phone call can confirm if a particular financial advisor actually has the listed credentials.
Interview Potential Candidates
The majority of financial planners offer complimentary initial consultations. This is an excellent chance for you to find out how they treat their clients and if they’re a good fit for you.
Treat this like a job interview and you’re the employer. Have them walk you through how they treat a typical client.
How often do they communicate with them? Can they customize their strategy to fit your needs? Do they have references to previous clients with similar needs as yours?
These are all great questions to ask at the interviews. A reputable financial planner will be able to answer these questions confidently and directly.
If any seem upset at your questions or try to dodge them, this can be a red flag.
Find the Right Financial Planner for You
Now you know the steps on “how to find the right financial planner near me.” It’s important that you take your time to research and speak with potential financial advisors, as finding the right fit can make all the difference.
If you ever feel like one’s too pushy, don’t feel bad if you cross them off your shortlist. Since you’re dealing with your life savings, you should make sure you’re 100% comfortable with the financial planner you choose. So interview several of them to get a good array of options.
If you’d like to get a complimentary financial assessment, then get in touch with us today.
This educational third-party material is being provided by Luke Will Director of Investments as a courtesy.
Material discussed is meant for general informational purposes only and is not to be construed as tax, legal, or investment advice. Although the information has been gathered from sources believed to be reliable, please note that individual situations can vary. Therefore, the information should be relied upon only when coordinated with individual professional advice. 2019-85681 Exp 09/21