I recently met with an individual who was in need of financial guidance. She had spoken to so many financial professionals that she became confused and did nothing. Unfortunately, too many people have the same experience and end up doing nothing. It’s crucial to have a financial plan. As you prepare to be financially proactive in 2011, here are 5 ways to help you choose the right advisor or financial team:
1. Start with a goal in mind.
When meeting with a financial advisor, the primary items that should be discussed are your goals, both short-term and long-term.
2. Determine your current/future needs.
Financial decisions must address current financial needs. Are you going through a transition and may have to liquidate funds? The right advisor will be more concerned with your needs than making a sale.
3. Know your risk tolerance.
How much can I afford to lose? This is a question that both you and your advisor should take into careful consideration.
4. Feel comfortable with your advisor.
I often tell my clients that they’re stuck with me for the long haul. That’s because I view my relationship with my clients as just that – a relationship. When choosing to work with an advisor or financial team, make sure some key factors are in place – trust, comfort, communication and teamwork.
5. Do your homework.
Often times when an advisor tells you that a particular product is “no good,” that means that they are not familiar with how it works or they don’t offer it. Either way, that doesn’t help you, especially if that product may be a good option for you. Don’t expect your adviser to know everything. You have to do your homework.
Remember – One sure-fire cure for frustration is understanding. The more we know, the better we can navigate the challenges we face.
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