It’s time for a better approach to finding an advisor. That’s what this post is all about.
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.
It turns out this advisor was working as a waiter less than 2 years ago, had several complaints on his record, and had charged his mother over $50,000 in commissions in just three months.
This shouldn’t happen to anyone.
That’s why we made this video. To help you understand that it’s your responsibility to do research on the advisors you’re interviewing to see their history and qualifications.
It can be difficult to find good insight into someone’s qualifications without knowing where to go.
A great place to start is Finra’s Broker check tool. https://brokercheck.finra.org/
Here you can look up a firm or an individual and see their work experience and licenses held if they’re a broker. You can also see if there are any complaints and often the results of those complaints.
If they’re not a broker, but an investment advisor, you can look them up at the SEC’s site. https://www.adviserinfo.sec.gov
If they don’t show up in either of those places, I would really worry if they are actually a financial advisor.
Just making those few clicks would have alerted this lady and saved her all of that strife.
Unfortunately, just that one step isn’t enough. Knowing that someone is properly licensed and doesn’t have a disturbing disclosure record isn’t enough to make sure that advisor is right for you.
You need to know more.
This is where you need to ask questions and research their background.
But it’s time to do your research, know your advisor’s history, and not just hire the first one you meet.
Look around, meet many, and choose the right one for you.
In the next installment in “Choosing the Right Financial Advisor for You,” we cover all about designations and what they really mean.