Most people start their search for a financial advisor using online search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. These search engines show you hundreds of financial advisors near you, but how do you know which advisor to hire? As you need to do your own research and validate each advisor listed, the process can become very time consuming and challenging. Some people might also consider other options for their advisor search, such as asking friends and family for recommendations. However, it is important to note that your financial situation may not be the same as your friend or family member. Therefore, it may not always be the best approach to find an advisor suitable for your specific financial needs. Instead, you may want to consider using the service of a trusted impartial third party like WiserAdvisor, that vets each and every advisor on their platform and provides you with the most suitable advisor for your needs. This match service is free to use and you get to compare 3 advisors, their fees, credentials, etc. with no obligation on your part to hire them.
Below is a step-by-step guide you can use to find a financial advisor suitable to your specific financial requirements:
Step 1: Figure out the kind of financial advisor you need
The first step to finding the most suitable advisor for you is determining the type of financial advisor you need based on your financial situation.
There are several kinds of financial advisors, some of which are defined below. To learn more about all the different types of financial advisors and the services they offer in detail, you may also read more in our article here.
1. Investment advisor:
An investment advisor is a financial professional who offers investment advice in exchange for a fee. The advisor helps you choose the most suitable investment instruments that will allow you to reach your financial goals. He or she also manages your investments and advises you on when to buy or sell in order to protect your portfolio. If you are seeking expert advice on securities and investments, an investment advisor may be the right hire for you.
2. Financial planner:
A financial planner is a professional who works with individuals to help them with holistic financial planning. They assist you in effectively managing your current money needs and long-term financial goals. In addition, they offer comprehensive advice pertaining to several areas of financial planning such as tax planning, budgeting, retirement planning, investment planning, education planning, debt management, etc. If you are looking for holistic financial planning, a financial planner may be ideal for your needs.
3. Wealth manager:
These professionals manage the financial affairs of wealthy investors and primarily work with HNWIs and ultra-high-net-worth individuals (UHNWIs) only. Wealth managers offer a wide array of services to their clients such as business succession planning, estate planning, investment planning, asset acquisition, tax planning, and more.
4. Retirement planner:
Retirement planners do more than simply ensure you save enough money for retirement. They can assist in providing effective withdrawal strategies, making penalty-free withdrawals from your retirement accounts, and provide tips and guidance on how to meet rising healthcare and long-term care expenses. Furthermore, these professionals can also assist you in matters related to tax and estate planning.
Robo-advisors are digital advisors that offer automated, algorithm-driven financial planning services based on the information provided by you. These virtual advisors use computer algorithms to evaluate the information furnished by you to assess your risk profile and recommend investments and savings instruments that match your financial needs and goals. If you lack the capital to invest and are on the hunt for cheaper alternatives to start investing, robo-advisors may be the right choice for you.
Step 2: Begin your search for a financial advisor
You may try the following options in your search for a financial advisor:
1. Use a search engine
Search engines may seem like the easiest option to begin your search for a financial advisor, but it is also important to ensure you enter the right words while using the search engine. For example, if you’re looking for a financial advisor near you, it is recommended that you run a Google search for terms such as “financial advisor near me”, “best financial advisors in <your city name>” or “financial advisor in <your city name>”. You may also use other popular search engines such as Bing or Yahoo to find licensed financial professionals in your city or state. Note that search engines usually display ads at the top of their listings, followed by organic listings based on the keywords you searched for.
It is important to do your research and assess all options listed in detail before making a final decision, rather than going with the first option you may see listed. If you find this process time consuming and challenging, consider the other options below.
2. Ask your family, friends, or colleagues
Some individuals may not feel comfortable with the idea of finding and hiring a financial advisor using a search engine, and may consider hiring a professional recommended by their family or friends. However, since no two people’s financial situation is the same, it is advised to be cautious while considering this option, as the services provided by the advisor may not be beneficial to your unique financial requirements.
3. Use a free ‘find a financial advisor’ match service
Individuals looking for a suitable advisor can also use the services of an online match service. Financial advisor match services match you with pre-screened advisors based on basic information provided by you regarding your finances and the kind of financial service you are looking for. These match services are generally offered free of charge. WiserAdvisor is one such service that has been a trusted source for over 20 years. It is an independent and unbiased matching service that also hosts a directory of highly qualified and vetted financial advisors. You may browse their online directory to find a suitable match near you, or consider using their free advisor match tool that connects you to 2 to 3 vetted financial advisors based on your specific needs. It's a simple 2 minute process to place your secure request. The service is free, and you are under no obligation to hire the advisors matched to you.
How does WiserAdvisor work?
Below are a few simple steps on how to use WiserAdvisor to find an advisor that matches your financial needs:
1. Get started by entering your zip code on wiseradvisor.com.
2. Answer a few simple questions about yourself based on your present financial situation and financial goals.
After you submit your request to be matched with an advisor, you will receive a list of 2-3 suitable financial advisors from WiserAdvisor who match your financial requirements. You may interview each prospective advisor and pick one that best fits your needs.
3. Verify the qualifications and credentials of the financial advisor you wish to hire.
Research the background, fee structures and the financial services of the advisor to assess if they are a good fit for your financial needs. You may also use FINRA’s BrokerCheck to find out any disciplinary actions or complaints filed against them.
4. Set up a free initial consultation with the advisor, and prepare a list of questions to ask them.
It is important to learn extensively about an advisor and their financial services before making your final decision to hire them. One of the best ways to do this is to plan a meeting with the advisor and ask them any questions you may have. This can include questions about their qualifications, experience, their investment philosophy, compensation method, and more. Once you have met with the advisor and clarified all your doubts and concerns, you may be ready to make your final decision on hiring them to help you achieve your financial goals and needs.
To effectively and strategically plan for a secure financial future, you may require the services of a professional financial advisor to ensure you are on track to meeting your financial goals. Additionally, it is important to ensure the advisor you hire is experienced and well suited to meet your unique financial needs, and is vetted as per the criteria mentioned above in the article. If you need further assistance in getting started with your advisor search, consider using the free advisor match service to find highly qualified and vetted fiduciary advisors. Answer a few questions about yourself and get matched with 2-3 financial advisors that are suited to meet your financial requirements.