Are you looking for the right advisor for you? Dataalign Consulting makes finding a financial advisor specific to your needs easier than ever.
How to find a financial adviser
Money is not everything, but everything matters. When looking for someone to help you manage and grow your money, you want to make sure you trust that person and the company they work for. Benzinga explains why this decision is important and offers suggestions on how to find the best financial advisor for you.
Understand the types of advisors you can choose from
Financial advisors assist clients with their investment choices and you can choose from different types of advisors. The terms financial advisor, investment advisor and financial planner are often used interchangeably. They have specific differences, but each expert gives advice on how to manage money. You can hire an advisor with their own business, an advisor who is a small cog in a massive multi-billion dollar investment conglomerate wheel, or an expert somewhere in between.
Financial advisors may also help with money management, create financial plans, give general financial advice, or sell financial products. Regardless of their title, professionals who receive remuneration for providing advice on securities investment must be registered. People who buy and sell stocks, bonds, mutual funds and other securities are called dealers or registered representatives. They transact on behalf of clients in exchange for a fee, a commission, or both.
Like investment advisers, broker-dealers must pass exams and register with the SEC, but they are regulated by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). You can research the brokers you plan to work with on the regulator’s website. BrokerCheck website. You can search for an advisor or a company you are looking for on the SEC Advisor Search Website.
A major difference between brokers and investment advisers concerns the standards by which they must operate. Investment advisors are bound by a fiduciary standard that requires them to always put the best interests of clients first. Brokers, on the other hand, must meet a suitability standard. This means that the broker must have a reasonable basis to believe that their recommendation is right for you based on your current situation.
Financial planners are different from investment advisors or brokers in that they offer advice on overall financial health (cash flow, debt, benefits, retirement, insurance, taxes, and estate planning) without giving investment advice on the securities to be purchased. A financial planner can help clients determine how much of their assets they might want to commit or allocate to an investment strategy, but unless the planner is also registered as a financial adviser, they cannot legally offer specific investment advice.
Determine the type of help you want and need
One-on-one soul-searching or a meaningful conversation with your partner is the best place to start before seeking out a financial advisor. From there, you can assess what you really need help with. A financial advisor can help you recover if you are facing any of these life experiences:
- A major life change such as marriage, divorce, or children
- Debt problems
- Worries about retirement
- Possible dismissal from your job
- Problems with your business
- A recent bargain
If you have financial assets that you would like to invest and the rest of your financial life is going smoothly, all you might need is a financial advisor like the one you could be matched with through research by Dataalign Consulting. If you need general financial advice, you might consider working with a financial planner or financial adviser who is also an expert in financial planning.
Decide how much you want to pay
Compare fees — whether it’s an hourly rate or a monthly percentage of the assets you have with the company — before making a decision. Reputable companies are upfront about what they charge and what you will pay.
Research your options
Spend time researching financial advisors. You can go for a general search by typing “financial advisers near me” into Google, or you can go to a search entity like Dataalign Consulting to personalize the search for a financial advisor that will meet your specific needs.
If you want to find a financial adviser to invest your money, Benzinga’s selection of the best financial advisers can help you. Browse each advisor’s investment strategy and schedule a consultation when you find a strategy you like.
If you want to get started with a financial planner, you can access the online searchable database of Certified Financial Planners® (CFPs) at LetsFakeAPlan.org.
Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, set up a meeting. Most financial advisors and planners offer a free introductory meeting. The SEC Investor.gov website suggests asking these questions when evaluating potential financial advisors:
- Are you registered with the SEC, a State or FINRA?
- Can I have a copy of your company’s latest Form ADV including brochure and brochure supplement?
- Have you, the company or anyone supervised ever been sanctioned by a regulatory body? If yes, why and how was the problem resolved?
- Have you ever been sued by a client who was unhappy with your work or the services you provided or the products you recommended?
- How are you paid for your services? What is your usual hourly rate, flat rate or commission?
- What experience do you have, especially with people in my situation?
- Where did you go to school? What is your recent professional background?
- What products and services do you offer? Are you expected to recommend a limited number of products or services to me? If yes, why?
Dataalign Advisory makes it easy for you by connecting you with an advisor who meets your needs and preferences.
What financial services do you need?
Financial advisors offer a wide range of services. Basically, a financial advisor will manage your investment and retirement funds and assets for you, buying and selling investments in brokerage, retirement, bond, real estate investment trust (REIT) and alternative investment accounts. . Some financial advisors provide additional services such as financial planning, tax preparation and strategies, retirement advice, college planning, estate and inheritance management, career counseling or advice on starting a business.
- Financial planning: If you don’t know where you’re headed financially or don’t have a lot of assets to invest, your best bet might be to hire a financial planner. A CFP® is considered the gold standard in financial planning.
- Investment advice: If you have money you want to invest, a licensed financial advisor can review your risk tolerance and invest your money for you. Financial advisors cannot guarantee a return, so make sure you fully understand the risk involved.
- Fiduciary Commitment: If you hire a fiduciary financial advisor, they must act in your best interest at all times. Fiduciary status means they seek out the best prices, terms, and products for your situation; act in good faith in all advice they provide to clients; and avoid conflicts of interest.
What type of financial advisor is right for you?
In addition to ensuring that the advisor you choose is qualified to skillfully provide the financial services you need, the best financial advisor for you is someone you like and feel comfortable with. If you like the company but don’t like the Investment Advisor representative assigned to you, ask someone else. They’re the person you’ll call for some of the most intimate advice you’ll ever ask for, so you want to make sure it’s right for you.
- National channel: If you feel more comfortable with big names like Fidelity Investments Inc., Charles Schwab Corp., UBS Group AG and the like, you can start online with one of their national advisors or find a local representative to connect with in person.
- Independent company: A boutique business in your city — or anywhere in the United States if the business provides remote service in your state — will provide full-service investment advice without the franchise feel of a big name.
- Financial advisor search site: Companies like Dataalign Consulting ask you questions to determine the type of financial advisor that would best meet your needs, and then offer you possible matches.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are financial advisors expensive?
Are financial advisors expensive?
Kathryn Hauer, CFP®
The fees and costs of hiring and using a financial advisor vary widely. Some advisors charge percentage fees based on assets under management (AUM) with their firm. If, for example, your advisor charges 0.75% of assets under management per year and manages a portfolio of $200,000 for you, you will pay $1,500 per year for this service. If, in addition to the AUM fee, the advisor charges performance fees, integration fees, surcharges, commissions, trading fees or other additional fees, you will pay more. Look up any fees charged by your advisor by asking them and using the Investment Advisor for Public Disclosure (IARD) website review advisor’s opinions ADV form Part 2 brochure and CRS form, if applicable.
Should a Small Business Hire a Financial Advisor?
Should a small business hire a financial advisor?
Kathryn Hauer, CFP®
Small businesses benefit from the advice of financial advisers and financial planners as well as lawyers, and a consultation with an expert should be a first stop before setting up a new business. Entity choice is a decision you as a business owner will make before opening, and this choice has down-the-line ramifications for your business and personal tax situation.