An Advisor Can Be Your Financial Partner for Life
Learn all the facts and understand what it means to have a financial advisor you can trust. Don’t get taken advantage of by an unqualified professional.
It might seem pretty natural that an article written by Garnett Retirement Group, a financial planner firm, would suggest you choose one of our advisors. That’s not what we’re here to do. In fact, we’re just as picky about selecting our clientele as some clients are about selecting a financial advisor. Guess what? That’s perfectly fine. When searching for the perfect CFP, you need to be a little selfish and find the one that meshes with your investment style.
Find a Certified Financial Planner
You’ll likely see a nice alphabet soup behind every financial advisor’s name, but CFP is often considered the most important designation in this industry. This simply means that an individual has passed the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards’ test and continues to keep up with the required educational courses.
Commission vs. Fee-Based
Although commissions are likely on their way out, it’s important to understand the distinction. Commission-based planners make their money when they move funds from one account to another. For some clients, this may be a great option, but there are those financial professionals who stand to make a profit from your hard-earned cash. In fact, some advisors get a kickback for moving funds to a particular product.
Fee-based consulting is becoming a bit more common these days and for good reason. With something called the fiduciary rule launching soon, this will be the only acceptable form of financial planning. In some cases clients will be charged a flat fee, a percentage of their managed assets, or an hourly rate.
Get a Fiduciary Financial Advisor
Although we briefly touched on the fiduciary rule above, it’s important to understand how it affects a financial advisor. While it’s currently not in effect, the Garnett Retirement Group strictly abides by fiduciary standards. This means that we (and anyone who identifies as a fiduciary) look out for the best interest of our clients. We will never move funds, invest, or sell you insurance if it provides no benefit to you and your family.
Just as you’d hire an employee, you’ll need to consider how you’ll “hire” a financial advisor. This includes a complete background check, including criminal history, investing blunders, and general complaints that have been filed against them. Use FINRA’s BrokerCheck to see how our advisors fair. You can do this for any number of firms or investing professionals to make sure your advisor doesn’t have some skeletons in the closet.
It’s not that financial advisors don’t want to make promises to their clients, but markets are not always as predictable as we’d like. Should you run into an advisor that promises you a certain return or guarantees market performance, you might want to find another person to manage your finances. We absolutely can’t promise we’ll make a certain return on your investment, but we can say that our firm will work diligently to help grow your wealth.
Selecting the right advisor is more than just checking their background, checking their fees, and making sure they’re looking out for your best interests. It’s also about your gut feeling. Remember, this person is going to be managing a very personal part of your life, so it’s important that you don’t just trust your advisor—you have to actually like them at least a little bit.
This ensures that you have a strong, understanding relationship with each other and can weather the tougher financial times. Choose wisely.