January 01st - 3 minutes to read

How to Choose a Financial Advisor

Keep these key considerations in mind when looking for a financial advisor.

a couple meeting with a financial advisor
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An advisor can take so much of the stress and burden off your plate when managing personal finances while setting you up for a successful future. Below, we’ll discuss how to choose a financial advisor that fits your needs and circumstances.

4 Things to Consider When Selecting a Financial Planner

Finding the right financial planner is like shopping for the right bank or stylist even. There are plenty of options available. It all comes down to what you need.

1. Your Financial Goals

Financial advisors offer a wide range of services, ranging from estate planning to wealth management. To narrow down your pool of potential advisors, start by defining your financial objectives. This way, whether you require investment advice, assistance with tax planning, or help in other areas, you can specifically look for professionals with the appropriate specializations and expertise.

2. The Types of Financial Advisors

Financial advisors have various titles, and these titles may mean little to the average person. One important thing to note is that while some titles may sound professional, not all imply accreditation or fiduciary duty. You’ll want to look for designations such as Certified Financial Planner (CFP), Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), and Registered Investment Advisor (RIA).

Another type of financial advisor you may come across is a robo-advisor. Although they might not provide the personal touch of a traditional advisor, they can be a good choice if you prefer a more automated, hands-off approach.

3. Fee Structure

Understanding the fee structure your financial advisor uses can help ensure transparency and manage expectations in your partnership. The three most commonly used structures are:

  • Commission-based: the advisor receives payment for each transaction or sale
  • Fee-only: the advisor is exclusively compensated through the fees you pay, typically based on the percentage of the assets you have in management
  • Fee-based: the advisor is compensated through the fees you pay but can also earn money through other means (like commission)

4. Track Record

You’ll want to find a professional with a proven history of delivering positive results and who you trust will act in your best interest. After all, trust is key in financial matters and can set the stage for a successful partnership.

Reviewing potential advisors’ track records is key to forming a clearer picture of their skill levels, expertise, customer service, reliability, and more. A good way to do this is by checking client reviews and asking for references. Talking directly with others about their experiences with the advisor can also give you more firsthand insights and help you make a confident decision.

Find a Financial Advisor Near You

Ready to take the next step on your financial planning journey? Royal Oak Financial Group has a team of certified professionals ready to help you meet your goals. Using our Balanced Formula, we’ll work with you to develop a custom plan that caters to your unique needs. Contact our fiduciary team today to learn more!