3 tips for finding the right advisor

The right advisor will help you identify financial needs and make well-informed choices for building and protecting your savings. But it has to be somebody you’re comfortable with.

You want an advisor you can trust.

That means you want someone who:

  • can do the hard work of really getting to know your situation,
  • can help you create a plan that balances your current and future needs, and
  • can help you meet your financial responsibilities and achieve lifetime financial security.

So how do you go about finding this person?

Finding the right advisor to talk to

It’s important to remember that you don’t have to settle for the first advisor you talk to. And, you should never work with someone who makes you feel uncomfortable.

If you’re not happy talking about your finances with your advisor, you’re not talking to the right person.

We recommend that you follow these three tips to find a qualified advisor to provide the financial advice you need:

1. Think about your financial goals

To make the most of your first conversation with a potential advisor, it’s a good idea to spend some time thinking about:

  • your own goals,
  • your financial obligations and
  • the people and things that are important to you.

If your job has benefits, it’s also important to gather all the information you can on your benefit programs and any group retirement savings plan.

But don’t worry if everything doesn’t come together at once. When you find the right advisor, they’ll know what questions to ask you.

2. Ask questions during your first meeting with an advisor

When you’re speaking with a potential advisor, ask about their level of experience and qualifications with questions like these:

  • Why did you become an advisor?
  • Do you have experience dealing with financial situations like mine?
  • What services can you provide for me? What don’t you provide?
  • How stable is the company you work with? (You want to make sure the company will be around when you need it.)
  • How do you keep up-to-date within the industry/maintain your knowledge?
  • How often can I expect to hear from you?
  • How should I prepare for our first meeting?

3. Talk to your personal network for referrals

It's important to ask others about their experiences with the advisor you’re considering. You may feel a little uncomfortable at first, but it's a very common practice that both advisors and their clients are happy to help with.

To start, you may want to ask them:

  • How long have you worked with the advisor?
  • Have you been satisfied with the service provided?
  • How often do you hear from the advisor? Who initiates calls and what are most calls about?
  • Does the advisor respond to your questions and your calls?
  • Has anything about your relationship surprised or disappointed you?

By asking the right questions, you’ll find a qualified advisor who you will feel comfortable working with.