How to Make the Most of a Financial Advisor

Whether you want to invest in real estate, save for retirement or acquire cash management strategies, you will certainly seek the services of a financial advisor. Since you are the employer, it is essential to hire a professional who can best serve your interests. You want an advisor with whom you can build a positive working relationship and share your financial secrets. It is only then you can effectively reach your financial goals.

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1. The Hiring/Selection Process

The first and most essential step to getting the most of a financial advisor is to hire an experienced and competent professional. It is understandable that sometimes trusted relatives or contacts can refer you an advisor, and you may not see the need to vet him or her. However, when it comes to money matters, you should not take any chances.

Look out for the credentials and licenses your potential advisor holds. Be particular about credential such as Certified Financial Planner and Chartered Financial Consultant, because they’re hugely respected in the world of finance.

Although not essential, you should also consider hiring an advisor who specializes in your area of financial interest. For example, if you want to save for retirement, then you will best be served by hiring a retirement financial advisor.

2. Discuss Your Targets

Now that you have selected an advisor, discuss what you wish to achieve, and ask whether you think it is achievable. If the advisor thinks you are too ambitious, or provides an answer that doesn’t appear supportive, you may have hired a competent professional, but one who doesn’t have your best interests at heart. It is not too late find another advisor.

An ideal advisor should be supportive, and very willing to make your relationship collaborative. Hold meetings regularly and respect his professional suggestions. For instance, if the advisor suggests changes to your financial priorities, you should be ready to embrace them.

3. Disclose Everything

Establishing a thriving relationship with your financial advisor means you need to disclose all your financial information, including the dirty secrets. Whether you often empty your wallet in a strip club, or you’re supporting a secret love child, say it all. If you don’t, the advisor will likely find gaps in your financial history and as a result, he or she may be unable to devise a wholesome strategy that can help you achieve your goals. Needless to say, you will also fail to make the most of him.

4. Ask Everything

Since you’re paying for the services you’re getting, don’t be economical with questions. Ask beyond regular questions such as ‘how long will I take to achieve financial freedom or what is your investment approach.’ This is the time to solve your financial curiosities. Ever wondered what will happen if you suddenly deposited $900,000 to your bank account, when the highest deposit you ever made was $10,000? If you do, then your advisor will have an answer for you (Hint: The feds will get curious too).

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Finally, don’t discard your financial advisor’s contact information once the agreement period comes to an end. Sometime soon you may want to sneak a question to him, and based on your past relationship, he may answer you without asking for any compensation!

Ever hired or consulted a financial advisor? What was your experience? Please share with us in the comments section below.