Getting Started With A Financial Advisor

Common mistakes when managing finances

It can be difficult to know where to start when you’re trying to make the most of your money. When it comes to investing, that’s where a financial advisor can help. Having a professional on your side is an important step toward ensuring you’re making smart decisions with your hard-earned cash — and getting the most out of it. But how do you choose the right one? Here are some tips for getting started.

Start with some research,

Ask for referrals

After you have narrowed down your options to a few financial planners, it’s time to check the credentials of each advisor.

  • Are they licensed? Your state’s Department of Securities will have information on license requirements for your industry and area. If you cannot find this information online, call them directly at (800) 722-2472 or visit their website at [name of state].
  • What are their educational achievements? A CFP® designation is one of the most recognized designations in the financial planning industry today. As an independent certification organization, The Financial Planning Association (FPA®) accepts applications from candidates who demonstrate competency in four core areas: insurance planning; estate planning management; retirement income planning; and tax-shelving strategies.* What are their professional affiliations? One way that help add credibility is through professional affiliations with other organizations such as FPA®, NAPFA®, IAABC™ and others that specialize in providing quality training opportunities specific to their profession.* Have they been involved with any public service or charitable causes? The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) requires members participate actively within the community by volunteering 1% -10% of their billable time annually helping others overcome financial challenges through mentoring programs for low income families/individuals, helping seniors understand how Medicare works so they don’t end up paying too much out-of-pocket during retirement years etc…

Check an advisors credentials

Scour the internet. Do a background check on your advisor and make sure that they are registered with a professional body, like the CFP Board or CAIA (Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst). If you’re not sure where to start, ask for referrals from friends and family or colleagues who have experience with financial advisors.

  • Ask friends and family.
  • Ask your doctor, lawyer or accountant.
  • Ask a trusted financial institution.
  • Ask a professional association you belong to (Rotary Club, Chamber of Commerce).

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