5 Things to Look for When Hiring a Financial Advisor

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Do you know how to go about finding and hiring the right financial planner for your individual or family needs?

Kathleen E. Owings, Principal and Financial Advisor for the Westbilt Financial Group has some key points on hiring a financial advisor.

In today’s day and age people spend more time on their devices checking out their social media feeds rather than thinking about their financial future and hiring a financial planner or adviser.

Most people stumble into relationships with financial professionals without a real plan for their engagement and do not research their options ahead of time. If you put some time and attention to the process, you will be much happier in the end—and hopefully have a long-lasting relationship with a financial professional that supports the goals for your financial future.

Here are 5 tips when looking for a financial professional:

  1. Ask family members and friends for referrals of financial planners or financial advisers that they are working with. Ask them questions like: How long have you been working with them? Why do you like working with them? 
  2. Check out the financial planners or advisers background and experience in the industry. Although it may be tempting to help out your best friend’s son who just started in the business, be sure to do your research about any professional you may hire to help you with your finances. Go to sites such as FINRA BrokerCheck or Advisors You Can Trust to look at their background and training. 
  3. Interview your prospective financial planner or advisor to learn about their process. Ask them how they make investment decisions and how you can expect to work with them in the future. This can be a long-term relationship, so make sure you feel comfortable with them. 
  4. If you are married, it’s important that both spouses meet with the financial planner or adviser. Ideally, you are making important financial decisions collectively as a couple. To that end, having a strong relationship with this professional should be a priority for everyone involved. 
  5. Ask the planner or adviser how they are paid. It is important to know how they are compensated. A financial planner may have a flat fee for the plan they create as opposed to others who may not charge a fee, but rather is compensated on the investments they manage.

Although it may seem like a daunting process to find the perfect financial professional, taking the time to do your homework is something that can pay off in the future–literarly!

Kathleen E. Owings was named one of the 4 Under 40 in 2018, a prestigious award given by the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors to only four young advisors in the country. Kathleen manages assets for individuals, families, and businesses to the highest standards of fiduciary duty.