By Chris Palabe, CFS®, AIF®
Finding the right financial advisor can be a bit like dating. First there’s the research phase where you’re asking around and joining groups to find someone you might be interested in meeting. Then there’s an awkward introduction and a getting-to-know-you phase, before you start to feel comfortable enough to trust them and decide if you want to continue the relationship or not. Maybe you were introduced by a friend or family member. While they may have your best interests in mind, only you can decide who will be the best choice for you.
Like other long-term relationships, working with a financial advisor is a partnership that should be built on trust. A financial advisor should be someone you can go to for advice and objective guidance when you’re faced with tough decisions. But with so many advisors to choose from, how can you determine whether a specific financial advisor will be a good fit for you? You need some sort of criteria to narrow down the list so you can make the best selection. Luckily, we’ve done some of that work for you; here’s our top 3 tips to consider when choosing a financial advisor.
1. Know Your Options
There are many types of financial advisors out there, including but certainly not limited to:
- Investment advisors
- CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals
- Financial consultants
- Portfolio and asset managers
Some gray areas and overlap exist among the services different types of advisors offer. For example, an investment advisor might specialize only in managing assets and investment advice. On the other hand, a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional might offer comprehensive planning strategies to help you reach your goals, in addition to providing asset management and investment advice.
An advisor’s title can’t tell you everything there is to know about their services, but it’s a good place to start. If you’re looking for goals-based financial advice, you may want to interview CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals. If you’re looking for a more hands-off relationship with an advisor who manages assets directly, a portfolio manager might be a better option.
2. Choose Based on Specialty
Advisor specialties should be one of your most essential considerations. Some advisors specialize broadly in retirement planning, while others specialize in narrow niches, such as retirement planning for physicians or portfolio management for real estate investors.
Some advisors serve specific age ranges, others focus on specific professions, and others even specialize in helping women or divorced individuals with their unique circumstances. In all likelihood, there’s an advisor out there who specializes in serving your particular needs.
Our team here at Palabe Wealth works with both businesses and individuals. We specialize in helping our clients with retirement planning, wealth management, and financial planning. I am also particularly interested in working with the Millenial/Gen Z generations to help them with financial planning and wealth creation.
In today’s virtual world, it’s less important that your advisor is located physically near you, and more important that their specialty aligns with your needs. Although being able to meet with your advisor face-to-face is nice, most work can be done through videoconferences, especially with features like screen-sharing and recording.
3. Vet Credentials and Philosophies
Finally, you should consider every potential advisor’s credentials and philosophies. The truth is that anyone can start a financial advising firm, and they don’t necessarily have to have any credentials to do so.
As for credentials, our team maintains both the Certified Fund Specialist® and Accredited Investment Fiduciary® certifications. There are other noteworthy credentials that focus on financial consulting, financial analysis, and fiduciary matters. Not all credentials are created equal, so make sure you know what a credential entails when you see it attached to an advisor’s name.
In addition to determining your advisor’s credentials and designations, you should also ensure their philosophy regarding investments and wealth management aligns with your values. You can usually find out about a financial advisor’s philosophy on their website, but I also highly recommend asking them to tell you more about their philosophy during a consultation call.
Partner With an Advisor You Trust
It can be difficult to take that first step and reach out to someone. How do you know who you can trust and if they will be able to help with your financial needs? At Palabe Wealth, we don’t just give advice, we partner with you on your journey to financial health and prosperity. It’s our goal to help our clients create a plan for their financial future so they can feel more confident and secure. If this sounds like you, take the first step and contact our office today. Schedule a 15-minute introductory phone call or call us directly at 847-249-6600, Option 1, to learn if we are the right fit for your financial goals. We look forward to hearing from you!
Chris Palabe is the founder and CEO of Palabe Wealth, a financial services firm providing retirement plan strategies for businesses and individuals. For 25 years, Chris has been serving his clients with customized plans and a boutique approach. He started his firm because of his passion for making a difference in others’ lives and a genuine desire to build long-term relationships with his clients so they can seek to achieve their ideal retirement and manage risk. Chris is a Certified Fund Specialist® (CFS®) and Accredited Investment Fiduciary® (AIF®) professional and has a degree from Université Denis Diderot (Paris VII). When he’s not working, you can usually find him riding horses and competing in dressage at a national level. He also loves reading, watching movies, and eating out. To learn more about Chris, connect with him on LinkedIn.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.
This material was prepared for Palabe Wealth Inc.’s use.