Trying to find the right financial advisor for you can be difficult. There are lots of questions you need to ask before you make a decision, such as: Is the person in question part of a bigger company or agency? Are they residing locally? Is there any evidence provided about their previous experience? Have they received any accolades for previous work? Do they specialise in a specific area of the financial services? All of this will have a bearing on the quality of service provided, but it still doesn’t provide a complete picture of what you’ll be receiving.
To provide a cursory explanation of what the answer to these questions are, we need to understand how you can assess you options effectively. There are lots of ways you can determine the voracity of people’s claims, particularly regarding a competitive industry like the financial services. Firstly, you can review online literature, to make sure that the advice they’ve already provided is accurate, secondly, you can make sure that you get a referral to them from people you trust, and lastly, you can look for any customer reviews on their website, or through any other websites which offer the same thing.
Having a locally placed advisor is important as well, as having a face to face discussion with somebody is preferable to the alternative, particularly when talking about a lingo-rich industry like financial services. It also improves the chances of them having good connections to other resources within your area, which is invaluable for your financial planning.
Deciding upon whether you want an independent financial advisor, or a member of an agency can be tricky. Often times, there will be a trade off between the two options. With an independent advisor, you can be sure that the business you’re providing them is essential for their business’s health, whereas with an agency, they will have a larger pool of clients, meaning that none of them are essential for their business’s overall health. Conversely, an agency may have better resources and connections than an individual. Of course, both of those points are gross generalisations, but they are still useful.
Having an award winning financial advisor at your beck and call sounds great as well, but somebody with accolades will usually be able to charge more for their services as a result of their recognition, and you risk the same thing as with an agency; you won’t necessarily be the most important thing to them, as they will probably have a larger number of clients.