How to Select a Financial Advisor

financial advisor

When we think of DIY (Do-It-Yourself) it is usually in the context of building, modifying, or repairing something without the help of a professional. With the advent of on-line discount brokerage many people have become DIY investors managing their own portfolios without any professional help.

The year 2016 has certainly tested the mettle of investors. We began 2016 with the poorest four-day beginning to a new year for the Dow Jones Industrial Average in modern history closing below 17,000. The day before our November Presidential election the DOW closed at about 18,200. Today as I am writing this article we are 100 points away from a DOW 20,000.

These major swings in the market are causing many DIY investors to question themselves and are asking themselves if they are comfortable being a DIY investor. For those of you that are going to be looking for a prospective financial advisor, I recently read the following which may be of help to you.

When considering a new financial advisor, there are a number of questions that you should ask. Here are a few of the most important:

• How many years of experience do you have and what is your background? The more complicated your situation, the more seasoned your planner should be.

• What does your typical client look like and how do you get new clients? It’s a good idea to have a planner who is experienced with your circumstances. (e.g., self-employed, medical doctor, high-net-worth individual, etc.)

• How do you stay on top of the changes in your field? With changes to regulations and the tax code, it is critical that your advisor take action to stay current and protect your situation.

• How often should I expect to hear from you? You need to know how the advisor will communicate with you and how often.

• How do you get compensated for your work? Understanding whether your advisor gets commissions for sales or is paid an hourly or flat fee for advice can help you identify conflicts of interest.

I hope this information is helpful to you.

Wishing you a Healthy, Happy and Prosperous 2017!

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About Ira Brower

I have been in the financial service industry for more than 40 years primarily providing wealth management solutions for retired and soon-to-be retired individuals. I am President and Founder of Garden State Trust Company. Our clients depend on us for elder care solutions, such as; trust and estate planning, investment services, and lifestyle management. We also administer to “special needs” or “supplemental needs” trusts. www.gstrustco.com

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