Choosing the right advisor is an important part of a successful financial plan. Ideally, the relationship between you and your advisor should be a long-term mentorship, as your advisor shepherds your investments toward your goals, guides you through the planning process, and educates you on money matters along the way. Your advisor should be there in good times and in bad, as markets ebb and flow, and when unexpected life events occur. They should act as the hub of your financial team, coordinating between your tax and legal professionals. They are your long-view experts, helping you stay on track as things change. (Watch a video.)
At nVest Advisors, we often call ourselves “financial advocates” for our clients.
So how do you know if your financial advisor is right for you, or if you even need one?
The first step is to know yourself. Ask yourself the following questions, and answer them truthfully:
- Do I know exactly where I am financially today, including my assets and liabilities, net worth, and cashflow?
- Do I have 3-6 months of expenses saved in an emergency fund?
- Are my goals very clearly defined and in a written plan?
- Does my plan include safeguards against unexpected life events?
- Am I properly insured?
- Am I prioritizing my financial goals correctly?
- Do I comfortably understand how to use various investment strategies and products to accomplish my goals?
- Can I control my emotions during periods of economic uncertainty, or do I tend to panic during market downturns?
If you aren’t sure of some of these answers, or definitely know you are not where you should be, then a consultation with a financial advisor would be a very good thing.
If you already have a financial advisor, here are some other questions to ask yourself, and answer truthfully:
- Is my advisor someone who has taken the time to get to know me and my needs, and created a plan specifically for me?
- Does my advisor return to and review my goals, and adjust my plan periodically?
- Is my advisor a “right fit” for me philosophically? Do we see “eye to eye” on what needs to be done?
- Is my advisor staying in touch with me regularly, and are they available for me when I need them?
- Do I fully understand how I’m paying for my financial advisor? Is my advisor compensated by commissions for transactions, or a fee for service?
- Is my advisor independent (and therefore free to represent me) or do they represent their company? Are they under pressure, or given extra incentive, to sell me certain financial products? Are they on a sales quota? Do I even know the answer to this question?
- Does my advisor act as a true fiduciary of my assets?
- Does my advisor listen to me?
- Despite good intentions, does my advisor consistently do what they say they will do?
If you are satisfied with the answers to these questions, we’d recommend you stay with your current advisor!
But, if these questions made you think maybe a change might be in order, we encourage you to schedule an hour to visit with us.
We’ll give you a chance to tell us your story, ask us the questions you need to have answered, and see if we’re a good fit. No pressure, no obligation, no commitment.
Give us a call at 888.852.0702, or book your own appointment today.