When you get to the point in your financial life when you need a financial planner, you really want a good one.   You have a lot at stake.  You want financial advice that will provide the guidance you need for making strong financial decisions.

To get a good financial planner you will want to shop for one.  You will want to interview several planners.   To find a good financial planner, you will need to know what to look for.  You will need to know what makes a good adviser; so we will outline some things you should look for.

Things To Look For In Your Financial Planner

Financial Knowledge

  • The way to test a financial planner on their financial knowledge is by asking them to talk to some of their other clients…ask for references.

Communication Skills

  • You need a financial planner with good communications skills.
  • You want to trust them to help you plan and problem solve.
  • They need to able to communicate solutions to you – you need to trust their skills.
  • They need to provide feedback and possible solutions to you in a timely manner. Test them on this.
  • Can they analyze your investment and financial situation and explain solutions in a manner that you understand and can work with.
  • If you can’t understand the investment analysis and documents they prepare for you, then that analysis and documentation is worthless to you.
  • Work with someone you feel comfortable with and can communicate with.

Availability

  • You want to work with a planner who you trust to take time to be available to you.
  • You want to build up your trust and confidence in this individual so you want them to be there at least at the beginning of the relationship.
  • Do they call you back or do you always have to call them back?
  • Do they personally take your questions, or do they have a staff member help you? T
  • Test them, ask these questions; that is one of the best ways to establish trust.

Are Your Best Interests #1

  • You want to trust that your financial planner will have your best interests at heart.
  • You need someone to take you through the process.
  • You don’t want to just be sold an investment product, you want to understand what you are buying and why. What problem will that investment product solve for you.
  • Is it an investment product commonly used in the market place to solve the same problem you are having?
  • Is there a guarantee of any kind?
  • What happens if you change your mind – is there a free-look period?

Even if you do trust your financial planner it does not hurt to get a 2nd opinion. If your financial planner is confident in their own talents, skills and investment knowledge is, they won’t object.