Choosing the Right Financial Adviser: What To Look For

You don't have to make seven figures a year to achieve true financial success. Finding the right investment professional can mean the difference between a lifetime of security and a lifetime of struggle. A finanacial advisor  with the right education and experience will be able to show you a wealth of ways to build personal wealth.

But as you've probably guessed, finding a financial advisor who'll be able to help you succeed isn't as simple as a flip through the phone book or a few searches typed into Google. To find a qualified investment manager you trust, you'll need to do some shopping around.

First, determine your needs. Do you have a substantial sum of money, and you need some good wealth management advice? Are you looking to invest capital and expand your portfolio? Do you want to implement a retirement plan? Most financial advisers will be able to handle many tasks, but if you have very specific needs, be sure to find someone who's skilled at addressing those needs.

Make a short list. Now's the time to start looking through local listings and doing Internet searches. But go beyond that: Do you have friends or colleagues who seem to enjoy a great degree of financial success? Why not ask them about their financial advisers? Don't close yourself off from any options.

Start making calls and doing website exams. Often, you'll be able to cross a financial adviser off your list simply by looking at his or her website; a poorly designed website, or one that looks like it hasn't been updated in years, is a good sign that a consultancy isn't interested in courting new customers. Company websites also tend to list a menu of services and a company philosophy; these can help you in making decisions. Once you've narrowed down your list, it's time to start making some phone calls.

Ask questions. Remember two things: There are no stupid questions, and there's no such thing as too many questions. You're interviewing someone who'll be charged with managing your money, which affects your financial future,. So ask questions like:

•         What's your experience? What are your qualifications?
•         What other types of clients do you work with?
•         What qualifies you to offer financial advice? What is your certification?
•         Who'll be working with me? How many people?
•         Do you work on fees? Commissions? Are you salaried by your employer?
•         What is your involvement in the community?
•         Can I have a written agreement of the services you'll provide and the method in which you expect to be paid?
 
The search for an investment professional isn't a search to be taken lightly. Take your time with it, and take every precaution to ensure that you've chosen the right person for the job.