Many of us take the time to find the right doctor, the right personal trainer or the right hairstylist, but sufficient attention might not be given to finding the right financial advisor. Taking the time to find a financial advisor who understands your needs and circumstances and can guide your behaviour when making critical financial decisions may seem like an arduous task, but could undoubtedly prove beneficial over the long-term. You should also consider whether the advisor's financial planning capabilities and their methods of conducting business meet your requirements.
A key component in a financial advisor's ability to render relevant advice to you is the relationship between you and the advisor. Mutual respect and trust are critical in the financial planning process, given that often it requires the advisor to have knowledge of intimate family and business financial matters. Many financial planners end up knowing more about their client's affairs (pun intended) than the client's spouse, so this is not a relationship that should be forged with just anyone - your dad's financial advisor probably shouldn't be your first choice.
Notwithstanding the advisor's qualifications and experience, the products they are licensed to provide, and whether they are independent or bank-affiliated, other factors to be considered in your decision of a financial advisor should include:
1. Flexibility: Are physical meetings necessary? Will virtual meetings suffice and save travel time in the process? Is the advisor's business set up to accommodate transactions electronically?
2. Fees: Does the financial advisor charge a consultation fee? Are you billed according to a set scale for work done or hours worked, or does the advisor earn a commission – upfront, ongoing, or both?
It will help you to consider your level of experience regarding investments, taxation, and other financial products when choosing a financial advisor. An advisor who is patient and takes their time to explain complex products in simple terms may better suit you than one who enjoys using jargon and assumes a certain level of knowledge. However, a more experienced client may appreciate having in-depth macroeconomic conversations about the local and foreign markets with their advisor.Many factors can lead to a breakdown of the relationship between the client and advisor, and therefore communication is vital. Good communication upfront allows the advisor to understand what you require of them and similarly enables you to determine whether the advisor can adequately meet your needs. Referrals from friends and family can go a long way to shortlisting advisors. Conduct some research on the advisor and their business, develop your shortlist, and then set up appointments to discuss your needs. Choosing a financial advisor is an important decision and spending some time to understand their nuances will serve you well in developing a robust financial plan.
With over 35 years experience in the industry, we at NFB Private Wealth Management understand that with the right financial services partner by your side, you’re free to focus on what’s important to you - spending time on business or with family - secure in the knowledge that your money manager has a firm grip on managing your financial affairs. Contact us today.