Options, Options, Options
The choices you make regarding your financial life are just as important as any of the other major life decisions you might make. In fact, your choices regarding what kind of financial professional you use and who that individual will be could impact every other part of your life! If you think about it, your finances can impact your retirement, the college your children attend, the type of car you drive, the neighborhood you live in, and even your level of health care. Your attitudes toward money can also impact your relationships and a good advisor should be able to help you make decisions that help improve every aspect of your life.
So . . .
Choosing the right financial professional could be the most important decision of your life!
Advisor Evaluation Toolkit
The key question most people ask when searching for a financial professional is . . .
“How can I tell who is best qualified to help me with what “I” need?”
Advisor Evaluation Tools
Credentials for Financial Professionals can be divided into several groups. We call them Regulated, Selfregulated, Unregulated, and Formal. Click each link to discover how different credentials affect your advisors ability and quality of service.
Advisor Inquiry Questionaires
If you are considering an advisor, you should definitely ask them some questions. The following are a couple of links to some great questionaires that are ready for your use.
The American Association of Retired Persons has developed a questionnaire that ordinary investors can give to brokers, advisers or others in the investment business to help investors evaluate whether they can entrust their money to the person who fills it out.
The Certified Financial Planner Board — 10 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Financial Planner
The Certified Financial Planners board has developed questionnaire to assist individuals interview and evaluate Financial Planners.
Compensation may not seem like an important factor in evaluating an advisors ability to serve you, however, it is critical. There are two basic kinds of compensation primarily used in the financial services industry. There are Fees and Commissions. Some other categories to exist such as Bid/Ask Spreads for Stockbrokers, Broker Dealers, and Market Makers, however most other types of compensation can be lumped into one of the previous two. We consider Bid/Ask Speads a commission at the retail level since the financial worker is paid every time a trade is made. If you are interested more in the particular kinds of abuse that can be present in this kind of compensation please view the link on “Churning.”