Considering working with a financial advisor in NH? The right professional can help you establish a plan and roadmap to financial success. And the best financial advisors will use their knowledge and expertise to provide you a huge ROI for their services.
But how to choose that “right” professional? Don’t be afraid to ask these 4 important questions before selecting a financial advisor in NH to work with:
1. Are You a Fiduciary?
This is a critical question to ask any financial professional. A fiduciary is a professional who promises to work in your best interests, which means they put your interests ahead of their own.
Fiduciaries help you by using their knowledge, skills, education, and expertise to navigate complicated topics — like financial planning — and lead you to the right solution for your situation. They don’t push products that you don’t need or are wrong for you, and they don’t provide advice that’s inappropriate for your situation.
If an advisor isn’t a fiduciary, then they’re not held to this ethical standard. Make sure any financial advisor in your area that you want to work with is willing to sign a fiduciary oath on your behalf.
2. What Are Your Qualifications?
As the industry is today, there aren’t regulations around terms like “financial planner” or “financial advisor.” Anyone can call themselves a planner, but that doesn’t mean they’re properly educated or certified.
While anyone can call themselves a financial planner, only those who have completed rigorous training along with years of in-the-field experience can use the CFP® designation.
Before working with any professional, ask what their qualifications are. What kind of education do they have? Have they gone through any special training? Do they participate in continuing education courses or programs to keep up with trends and changes in the industry? What does their experience entail?
3. How Do You Receive Compensation?
It’s important to understand how your potential financial advisor gets paid.
Old school advisors are known for earning commissions off investment vehicles or financial products. This can cause a conflict of interest, if the items they receive payment for don’t fit your financial needs. Will they really provide the best possible advice for you and forego earning their income?
There’s a newer model of financial planning available. Some advisors are fee-only, meaning they charge a flat rate for their services. They don’t receive commissions.
Ask any advisor you want to work with how they’re compensated: are they fee-based, which means they may charge a fee and earn commissions, or are they fee-only, which means there’s only a standard rate for financial planning services?
4. What Are Your Services?
Financial advisors can specialize in different areas — and even in different kinds of clients. Some planners may have a special focus on individuals ready to transition out of careers and into retirement. Others serve younger clients just getting started with their professional careers and establishing families. It really runs the whole spectrum.
There’s no one right answer to this question, but you might find you’re happier with a financial advisor who seeks out clients just like you. They’re more likely to understand exactly what you’re going through, what your specific needs are, and what your goals are and why they’re important to you.
Remember, choosing the right financial advisor for you is no small task. Don’t feel bad or hesitate to ask these important questions — and any others you may have before agreeing to work with a planner.
And if you’re having trouble deciding between a few advisors, trust your gut and choose the professional you can relate to the most. You’ll be working closely with your financial advisor, so there’s a lot to be said for choosing someone you genuinely like and connect with.