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Investing is complex and often confusing. A financial advisor can be a great ally, but how do you decide which advisor to use? It’s an important decision and one that you should make with care. Here are some factors to consider:
Determine your financial picture
Ask yourself important questions before meeting with a potential financial advisor. Determine how much you have to invest, what kind of investments you want and how much help you need. Be armed with knowledge of your situation before you begin your search.
Networking makes the world go round. Ask people you trust — family members, friends, colleagues, neighbors — whom they work with and what their experience has been with their financial advisor. Follow those leads to set up informational sessions with people they trust with their financial assets.
Check a broker’s background
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is the largest independent regulator of securities firms doing business in the United States and has introduced a free online tool called “BrokerCheck” to help investors research the professional backgrounds of current and former FINRA-registered brokerage firms and brokers. Check here finra.org/Investors/ToolsCalculators/BrokerCheck to support your search.
Interview multiple brokers
We all have unique investment needs and, regardless of references, not all financial advisors’ strategies line up with our needs and wants. By talking with at least two different people and measuring their responses to your situation, you will ultimately make the most appropriate choice for your situation.
Be comfortable with your choice
You are about to enter a partnership with your financial advisor and that relationship should be built on trust and understanding of your situation. You deserve the right to feel comfortable with your decision, knowing that you’ve entrusted your financial advisor to put your needs first in order to be the most effective steward of your assets.
While the prospect of choosing a financial advisor may seem daunting, it is one of the most important decisions you can ever make. Preparing yourself by following these simple steps will give you peace of mind, knowing you aren’t navigating your financial future alone.
This article is provided by Pamela J. Carty a Financial Advisor at RBC Wealth Management. The information included in this article is not intended to be used as the primary basis for making investment decisions. RBC Wealth Management does not endorse this organization or publication. Consult your investment professional for additional information and guidance.
RBC Wealth Management, a division of RBC Capital Markets, LLC, Member NYSE/FINRA/SIPC