How do I choose the right financial planner?


Q. I am recently retired and have always managed my portfolio. Given the volatility and instability of the market, I believe it is time to bring in a fee advisor for a portion of my portfolio and provide market commentary and advice. How can I choose the right person?

– I’m looking for help

A. We are happy that you asked the question.

Your relationship with a financial advisor is one of the most important in your financial life.

There are several things you should be looking for.

Start by asking yourself what services you’re looking for, such as retirement planning, investment planning, or comprehensive planning, said Deva Panambur, paid planner at Sarsi, LLC in West New York and assistant professor of personal finance at Montclair. State University. .

He said that an independent advisor might be a good choice for you as he is affiliated with many companies that help with tax planning, estate planning, investment products and more. Independent advisers choose the best products and services and don’t sell any proprietary products, he said.

“It’s important that you understand how the advisor is paid and who pays the fees,” he said. “Independent advisors often pay only a fee, no commissions, and only their clients pay them a fee, so their interests are aligned with yours and they are prompted to act in your best interests. “

You need to make sure the advisor manages your assets in an account opened for you with a third-party custodian, such as Charles Schwab, Panambur said.

“The account must be in your name and managed by you. You can log into your account at any time and the custodian periodically sends you a statement. The advisor only has the ability to buy and sell investments in the account and receives the fees, ”he said.

Be sure to check the advisor’s references to make sure they have the required expertise.

Some common references are Certified Financial Planners and Chartered Financial Analysts, for example.

These diplomas are obtained by passing rigorous exams and satisfying adequate work experience and training. You can validate these identifiers on the websites of the organizations that offer them: cfp.nethttps: // and

“A few other important things are how the advisor works with you, how accessible they are, and their philosophy on planning investments for someone like you,” he said. “You should feel comfortable with his answers. “

There are several additional ways to consult the advisor.

He said every advisor and their business must be registered and publicly disclose their business details by filing an ADV form. You can view the form here. Other sources of information are the advisor’s website and organizations to which the advisor may belong, such as the Financial Planning Association and the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors.

Email your questions to [email protected].

Karin Price Mueller writes on Bamboo column for NJ Advance Media and is the founder of Follow NJMoneyHelp on Twitter @NJMoneyHelp. Find NJMoneyHelp on Facebook. Register for‘s weekly electronic newsletter.


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