Choosing the Best Financial Advisor for You.

A simple guide for Tucson, AZ retirees and small business owners to finding a financial advisor who will help you approach your financial life with confidence and clarity.

We’ve all heard the stories from friends and coworkers about terrible decisions they (or people they know) have made with their investments.

What’s worse, many were led to those decisions by financial “professionals” whose advice they trusted
and followed.

Which can be extremely frustrating when trying to make sound decisions.

That’s why we created this guide.

The more you know about successfully choosing an advisor, the better chance you have of navigating retirement and the big financial events in your life with confidence.

To help you gain some clarity, we’ve put together our series, “How to find the best financial advisor for you.”

In this series we will go over topics such as:

  • The questions to ask when you’re looking for an advisor.
  • The qualifications and designations that signify a certain level of knowledge and
    aptitude.
  • What Advisors (in our opinion) we would avoid.
  • And whether or not you really need a financial advisor in the first place.

Over the last 19 years I’ve been advising retirees and small business owners and helping them create realistic financial plans. The reason I am so passionate about this is that along with the good, I’ve also seen my share of horror stories.

That’s why my goal is for you to feel much more confident in your ability to choose an advisor that has your best interests at heart and has the tools to properly execute a solid financial plan.

Let’s start with the basics.

What is a “Financial Advisor” You Ask?

The term financial advisor is often shrouded in mystery or confusion with the many different types of “advisors” claiming the title.

But let’s keep it simple: Financial Advisors are best explained as professionals who help you manage your financial life from investment choices and retirement vehicles, to life events and estate planning.

See that?

I didn’t just say manage your investments or sell insurance or annuities.

Those are products or “tools” an advisor may use in executing your plan, but the real qualification is someone who can help you plan for your future, guide you to those goals, and help you make the right decisions for your situation.

But where it gets tricky is that many people claim the title but don’t operate under any standard operational procedures. Unlike how a Medical Doctor has to go through years of training and education to claim the title, some advisors can get a license and start practicing the next day…

Confusing? Yes, it can be.

That’s why I want to arm you with the following 5 topics.

How to Choose the Best Financial Advisor For You:

Start With Research

We met an older lady who was interviewing another financial advisor and was impressed with his presentation and seriously considering hiring him. He had told her he had 11 years of experience, all satisfied customers, and was even going to manage her money for free since she was a friend of his mom.

Since she was a trusting person, she didn’t do any research and simply hired him based on what he said and the fact that he worked for a name brand firm.

Thankfully, her son was receiving copies of her statements and was monitoring her account. After a couple of months of the account going down, he became suspicious.

He did the research….

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Understanding Designations

Would you blindly trust just anyone to operate on you?
 
I sure wouldn’t.
 
If I was going under the knife I’d want to check out the team who had my life in their hands.
 
I’d want to know if they were qualified?
 
Did they have a history of success?
 
Is this even their area of expertise?
 

I might be fearful before going under, but the last thing I would want to worry about is whether or not I trusted their skills…

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Tough Questions You Need to Have Answered First

Several years ago I ran into someone who had hired a financial advisor at a big bank. They had asked lots of questions about qualifications, the safety of the custodian, types of investments etc.
 

Unfortunately, the client didn’t ask was what brand of products the bank would invest their money in. The bank put all of their money into proprietary products owned and managed by the bank. A couple years later, the client wondered why his performance was lacking and realized that the bank hadn’t picked what they thought was best or even investments with the best track record, but rather what would make the bank the most profit.

This person’s theory was that…

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Do You Really Need a Financial Advisor?

You’re about to retire and your 401(k) and other investments have grown over the years to where you think you’ll have enough to retire comfortably.

You’ve talked to a few friends who have retired recently and they’re telling you great things about the financial advisors they hired to help them manage their funds in retirement…

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What Financial Advisors to avoid.

It seems like everyone these days is calling himself a financial advisor.

There’s everything from bloggers talking about retiring early by writing a blog to insurance agents calling themselves full financial planners.

Probably the most common thing we run into is an advisor who recommends almost nothing but annuities but calls himself a financial planner other than an insurance agent.

It’s no wonder it’s confusing.
 

The problem is, if you don’t know how to tell them apart, it’s hard to know which ones to seek out and which ones to avoid.

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Your Future is Our Priority

Now that you’ve gone through the series you should know more about what kind of advisors are out there, what types to avoid (in our opinion), and what research and questions are going to help you make a wise decision for your future.

We believe that the best situation is for you to be educated on what to look for before you just “trust” someone to do the right thing.

In today’s day and age, it’s more important than ever to be diligent about your choice whether you need one or not.

If you need further help, feel free to reach out. We’d be glad to take your call and point you in the right direction whether it’s working with us or choosing someone else.
In the end, as long as you reach your objectives and approach retirement with confidence we’ll be satisfied.

Thanks for reading,
Alex Parrs
Ironwood Financial

Ironwood Financial Planning

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