Find a Financial Advisor – Do Your Research
When you need to find a financial advisor, it’s important to do some research to understand multiple facets of their experience.
WHERE TO LOOK
One of the best places to start your search for a financial advisor is to ask friends, family members, and colleagues whom you trust for names of their financial advisors. They can give you personal experiences and hands-on recommendations for individuals in your area. Don’t be afraid to ask them questions. Get an understanding of how their advisor helped their financial situation, what drove them to pick that advisor, and if they have had any problems. Encourage them to be open and candid.
Remember to not say yes to the first name you get or see. It’s important to get an understanding of the variety of financial advisors working in your area or that can service you. If you don’t get many names from people you know, you can search for local advisors online:
- Google or Bing
And there are so many more to choose from. Just typing “financial advisor” in your favorite search engine will also generate local results for you.
These sites and searches will help you get just names of advisors in your area. From there it’s important to research specific advisors further and understand more about them.
Now that you have names of potential advisors, it’s important to do a little research to get a better understanding of what they offer and who they are.
First, you should know if they are a registered representative of a broker dealer or an investment advisor representative. Learn more about the difference between these types of financial advisors and what advice they may or may not offer on our article Types of Financial Advisors.
You can see if they are a registered representative of a broker dealer through FINRA’s broker check webpage: http://brokercheck.finra.org/
Next, visit their website and try to see if you can get a better understanding of the services they offer and the type of client that they serve. Simply visiting their website may tell you that they don’t offer the services you need.
Other questions that you may be able to have answered from simple research (before making an appointment):
- Are they with a specific firm or an individual? Note that individuals that work at a specific firm tend to have a team of people to help them with cases and may be able to offer a wider variety of solutions. This is not always the case and may need to be asked in your meeting with the advisor.
- What professional licenses do they currently hold?
- How long have they been registered with FINRA, the SEC, or a state securities regulator?
- Do they have any disciplinary actions, arbitration awards, or customer complaints? All of these things can be found on the above searches or on other third-party sources. It’s important to ask these questions of them in person as well to see if their responses match up with your research.
Answers to these questions may help you narrow down who you want to work with. Once you’ve done your research on different advisors, it’s time to book an appointment.
GuideSpring Wealth Strategies, LLC is a registered investment advisory firm that offers financial strategies for retirement or business. We are registered in the state of Colorado and Texas. If you are currently researching advisors and we check out with you, please get in touch.
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