Where To Find a Financial Advisor
Congratulations! You’ve taken the first step in bringing a greater order to your personal finances by deciding to hire a financial advisor. Now you’re probably wondering, “How do I find a financial advisor near me?”.
Naturally, we’d love for you to use our leading advisor match feature to find one, but in the interest of being fair and objective, we’ll provide you with some other suggestions as well.
What To Look For In a Financial Advisor
Before you actually start looking for the right financial advisor it’s important to narrow down the criteria for your search. That way, you don’t waste time researching professionals who don’t meet your specific needs.
Here are some factors to consider:
- Service model: You need to determine if you’re looking for a holistic financial plan, someone to manage your investments, or a combination of the two. This will determine the kind of advisor who will be best for you.
- Compensation structure: If you want a financial advisor who is committed to acting in your best interests, an investment advisor or financial planner who is paid directly by you (rather than one who earns commissions for selling products) may be the best choice. This is referred to as commission-free.
- How much you’ll invest: Some investment advisors won’t manage portfolios worth less than $500,000. And many so-called wealth management firms require an initial investment of $5 million or more.
- Location: Some people consider face-to-face meetings critical in building a strong client-advisor relationship. They prefer to find an advisor who is located within a reasonable driving distance. Having said that, we believe in focusing on quality over proximity. Advances in technology, such as video conferencing, allow clients to build a rapport with their advisors from the comfort of their own homes. Just because a financial advisor is 5 miles away does not mean they are of the highest caliber or best suited for your needs! Conversely, someone 100 miles away might be exactly who you need.
- Advisor characteristics: Some investors only want to work with highly experienced advisors. Others, particularly millennials, often want to work with advisors who are in a similar life stage and share their preferences for communicating digitally. Do you have specific demographic requirements?
Once you’ve defined these parameters, you’re ready to begin your search.
How To Find a Financial Advisor Near Me
If you’re looking for a commission-free advisor, our advisor search feature might be the best place to start. It will provide you with a list of expertly-vetted professionals that meet your criteria. But of course, there are other ways to find someone.
Leverage Your Networks: Ask friends for referrals
Even in this plugged-in world, most investors still find financial advisors by asking for recommendations from friends, family members, coworkers, accountants, and attorneys. And don’t forget about your dentist or primary care physician – if these professionals don’t use financial advisors themselves, they probably have several as patients.
Also, consider asking members of your LinkedIn and Facebook networks for recommendations. But you might want to think twice about doing so in a post, as it may expose your request to a larger number of people than you originally intended!
Search Engines: Google where to find an advisor
Google offers the easiest way to search for advisors in your area. If you want to make your search more efficient, consider using location specific keyword phrases. For example:
- Financial advisors near me (this will only work if Google “knows” your current location)
- Top investment adviser Dallas, TX
- Financial planner Miami, FL
- Retirement planners in New York City
- Best financial advisors in Houston
Keep in mind that many firms use search engine optimization (SEO) techniques to appear at the top of search results. This doesn’t mean that they’re the best firms, or even the right firm for you. In fact, many highly-regarded firms rarely show up in searches. Why? Because they get most of their business from referrals or word-of-mouth, so appearing at the top of internet search results isn’t a marketing priority for them.
You can also use Yelp and other consumer rating sites to find financial advisors, but be very wary of the reviews. In many cases, friends and family members are asked to write glowing recommendations, and in some instances, people are paid to write positive and negative reviews. While one can hope that this doesn’t happen in a heavily-regulated industry like financial services, it’s always possible.
Finding a Financial Planner Near Me
Because financial planners aren’t licensed, you may want to use one who has been certified as a CFP® professional by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards (CFP Board). These financial planners earn their certifications by being experienced financial professionals who have passed a rigorous financial planning examination. They also agree to uphold the highest standards of integrity, accountability, and client service.
You can find a CFP® professional in your area using the CFP Board’s search feature.
Run a Background Check on the Financial Advisors You Find
Once you’ve got a list of names it’s time to conduct background checks. Enter the names into a Google search to find links to the advisor’s website bios, any articles or blog posts they’ve written, or mentions in the news. Also take a look at their LinkedIn profiles to view their employment history and any client recommendations. (Note that some firms don’t allow these recommendations to appear on their advisors’ profiles).
Last, but not least, research their industry licenses and backgrounds on Investor.gov. You can use this site to view a detailed report on any licensed financial advisor. Entering a name will tell you if the advisor is a licensed investment advisor, broker or both. It will also tell you where they currently work, where they worked in the past, their educational background, licenses they currently hold and any situations in which they violated industry regulations.
Taking the Next Step…
Once you’ve found one or more advisors who pass your own due diligence criteria, it’s time to move from interactive to human interaction: contact them to set up a call or meeting.
This may seem unnerving, but keep in that you are interviewing them… not the other way around. If you go in armed with the right questions, you should be able to easily get the answers you require. These will help you determine if you’ve found the right advisor for you.
How To Find Financial Advisors & Planners In The Zoe Financial Network
Finding a financial advisor alone can be daunting and time-consuming. At Zoe, we make it easier for you. Through an interactive quiz we give you access to the top commission-free financial advisors & fiduciary planners in your local area and across the country, allowing you to find the best advisor for your specific financial needs.
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