Managing your investments and developing a financial plan on your own can be stressful and difficult. More mistakes are commonly made relative to good decisions. To eliminate this complexity, some people choose to hire a financial advisor. Having someone in your corner provide guidance on the accumulation of assets and growth of a balance sheet can be a tremendous catalyst in accomplishing your goals and dreams. However, not all advisors are made the same. If you are in the market for a financial advisor, consider these three questions to ensure you’re selecting someone who can best help you achieve your goals:
Are you a fiduciary?
The answer should be “yes” or “no.” A fiduciary is legally required to help you make the very best decisions for your specific situation. A non-fiduciary simply has to provide suitable advice, but not necessarily to act in the best interest of the client. This is not a daily choice for the financial advisor, but inherent within his or her organizational structure. Acting and upholding the fiduciary standard is at the core of each client relationship that we build at Petersen Hastings.
How are you paid?
The answer should be very clear. If they are paid by anyone other than their clients, the “conflict of interest” warning siren should go off. Many financial advisors offer commission-based products and/or receive revenue-sharing from investments they put in specific portfolios. Fully understand where their interests and loyalties lie. Petersen Hastings works off a transparent, fee-only structure, ensuring client interests come first.
Do you use in-house investment products?
You want an advisor who can construct a diversified portfolio built to achieve your goals, not someone else’s. Make sure your advisor’s platform offers a broad roster of investments, without an emphasis on investment products sold by the company they work for. We can tailor the risk of your portfolio to meet your comfort level, generate income, and plan for the growth you may need for years to come.
The answers to these three questions will clearly dictate whether or not you should reconsider your choice of advisor. If you do decide to research further, touch on the following:
- Onboarding and ongoing client experience
- Credentials of the advisors
- Advisor tenure
- Client retention rate
- Investment philosophy
Ultimately, if there’s any sense of doubt, keep searching. Too much is at stake in trusting an outside party to help you accomplish what’s most important to you and your loved ones.
To learn more or to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced wealth advisors, complete this contact form or call 509.735.0484.