Selecting a Financial Advisor

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When selecting a financial advisor, make sure you know more than just their name and professional credentials. Here are some guidelines.

The first step is to decide whether you want to work with a fee-only financial advisor or with an advisor that is paid by commissions. You will also need to decide if you are comfortable working remotely (via telephone and email) with a professional located somewhere around the world or if you would  prefer working with someone in your own community with whom you can talk face-to face.

To understand the differences better, see Why Fee Only?

In addition, be sure to:

1. Use FINRA BrokerCheck to make sure that the investment professional and his or her firm are properly registered.
2. Talk with several financial professionals. Ask about their:

    • Registrations, licenses and professional credentials
    • Areas of specialization
    • Products and services
    • Investment experience

3. Understand how the financial advisor will be paid. Fee-only investment professionals are typically paid in one or more of the following ways:

    • An hourly fee
    • A flat fee
    • A percentage of the value of the assets they manage for you
    • A combination of the above