Choosing a financial advisor to trust with your hard-earned money should be done with care and discernment. These professionals will be in charge of giving you professional short- and long-term guidance on serious money matters like helping prepare your taxes, various asset management aspects, or saving up for life milestones like your kids’ education and retirement fund.
Financial advisors also provide counsel on matters that have to do with key financial elements like investments, risk, and tax management—all of which are factors that can define and impact your wealth in major ways. This is why it is essential to hire a financial advisor with the right mix of experience and characteristics to help you reach your goals.
Here are some of the top traits of a great financial advisor you can trust to manage your wealth in the most effective way possible.
1. Provide proactive guidance
Great advisors can spot good financial opportunities based on current trends. They will give you consistent updates and recommendations so that you can work on recalibrating your short- and long-term goals as needed. Pros who know their stuff can simplify complex financial concepts and clearly explain how different scenarios or decisions can affect your wealth.
2. Well-rounded professionals
The best advisors have a wealth of knowledge gained from significant experience in the financial services industry. Aside from having verifiable certifications and accreditations from reputable institutions, they can keep up with ever-evolving industry standards, guidelines, systems, and products in the world of financial planning and investments through continuous learning.
It is important to note that there are different kinds of financial advisors who can help you with specific concerns:
- Accountant– helps with tax concerns, preparing financial statements and reports, and setting up and managing your books so you can keep track of your cash flow
- Insurance Agent– matches insurance policies to your specific needs
- Lawyer– can help you with the legal aspect of financial concerns or scenarios in business, estate planning, wills, home purchases, or settlement claims
- Financial Planners-makes big-picture financial plans so you can pay off debt, save for different financial goals, or grow your wealth through investments
- Investment Advisor– advises on the best investments for you to choose from and manages specific assets on your portfolio
- Debt Counselor– helps you develop plans to pay off debts
- Money coach– uncovers the psychological implications that affect your finances like personal beliefs, behaviors, and habits so you can learn how to make sound financial decisions aligned with your values
Note some of the certifications you must keep an eye on when choosing a financial advisor. These are based on different specialties, so look out for those areas of expertise that will fit your needs:
10 financial certifications based on a financial advisor’s expertise:
- Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
- Certified Financial Planner (CFP)
- Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC)
- Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)
- Chartered Investment Counselor (CIC)
- Financial Risk Manager (FRM)
- Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU)
- Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA)
- Chartered Mutual Fund Counselor (CMFC)
- Certified Management Accountant (CMA)
3. Deeply analytical
Competent advisors can think on their feet and analyze different facets and processes involved in financial planning despite changes thrown their way. There are many variables to consider in various aspects of financial planning, such as cash flow, investments, insurance, tax management, retirement, and estate planning.
As financial goals, trends, and markets change, a good advisor will be able to reallocate assets and restructure portfolios based on a sound analysis rooted in their deep understanding of how the risk-and-return relationship works in financial planning.
4. Genuine and empathetic
Making a genuine connection with your financial advisor is paramount to having a good working relationship with them. Transparency through honest communication of their relevant personal stories enables them to empathize with clients. A genuine connection stems from authenticity, which results in them having an in-depth, thorough understanding of what matters most to their clients.
A certain level of empathy is required to confidently pursue financial goals that will align with their client’s actual needs.
5. Makes you feel at ease thanks to their salesmanship and authentic confidence
A good financial advisor makes you feel at ease as they discuss your options because they can sell their services by demonstrating high knowledgeability and confidence. They can discuss their recommendations and convey solutions in a way that even those with very little financial literacy can understand.
Having the right set of credentials is just one part of the equation. Top-notch financial advisors operate on a fiduciary level to ensure that your best interests are met both legally and ethically.
They possess traits that will give you undisputed clarity and peace of mind as you work your way to financial freedom. Good financial advisors will be able to provide you with not just solid financial advice but also some perspective and a level of emotional support for when you face economic challenges.
Aside from doing your research, it is also a good idea to ask for direct recommendations from friends or family when looking to hire a financial advisor. Your hard-earned pay deserves to be looked after by someone who not only possesses the right qualifications but it is also a task best suited for an expert who genuinely looks after your welfare.
Assistant Marketing Manager
Randall is the Founder of Tax Samaritan, a boutique firm specializing in the preparation of taxes and the resolution of tax problems for Americans living abroad, as well as the other unique tax issues that apply to taxpayers. Here, they help taxpayers save money on their tax return.