Tips for Choosing a Financial Advisor - Kissing Tree
Jul 14th, 2018

Tips for Choosing a Financial Advisor

A financial advisor helps you figure out the best way to meet your investment and financial goals. As a resident of Kissing Tree, you want to make sure that your retirement savings last for the rest of your lifetime. By picking the right financial advisor, you can figure out the best assets for your retirement goals and get help with estate planning.

Look for Experience and Credentials

When you start searching for a financial advisor, make sure that they are a certified financial planner (CFP). To get this credential, the CFP has to take a rigorous test with the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards. They also have to continue to take classes on ethics and financial matters to retain that credential.

Ask your financial advisor about their credentials and their work experience. The advisor’s credential will determine how they can help you. A financial advisor cannot sell securities or insurance unless they have the right license. In addition, they need to register with the right authorities in order to give out investment advice.

If you want an advisor who can give you financial advice, you need to make sure that they have at least a Series 6 or Series 7 license. They can also give you advice if they have a 63, 65 or 66 Series license. You can check with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) to see if your advisor has any of these licenses. If you want to buy insurance products, you will also need to find out if your advisor has a state insurance license.

Check the Databases

Nothing is worse than hiring a financial advisor and discovering that they have problems following the law. Thankfully, you can check up on your advisor’s record by looking at their Form ADV and Form U-5. Both of these forms are filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. In addition, FINRA allows you to look at your advisor’s disciplinary history on their website.

Ask for a Quarterly Report

Whenever you hire anyone for a job, it is always important to look at examples of their work. Before you hire a financial advisor, ask to see an example of a client’s quarterly report. Then, ask the advisor to go through each line to explain the results and the asset mix.

Consider How They Are Paid

Ideally, your financial advisor will give you the best advice no matter what. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Money is a strong motivator for most people, and financial advisors are the same as everyone else. Some advisors are paid on commission, and they are only held to a suitability standard. This means that their advice has to be suitable for your needs, but it does not have to actually be the best investment for you. If your advisor is paid through a fee, then they are held to a fiduciary standard. This means that they always have to put your needs over their own interests.

Check the Fine Print

Before you hire an advisor, look at the fine print. Make sure to find out if there is a mandatory arbitration clause because this determines your legal options if your portfolio is mismanaged. Your contract will also show important details like whether you will be investing in speculative investments, so make sure to read it carefully.

The right advisor helps you reach your financial goals. With the right investments, you can continue to enjoy an active adult living environment for years to come. By picking a good advisor, you can ensure that your future is in safe hands.

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