Things to check before you Choose a Financial Advisor

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7 of the Biggest Mistakes People Make When Choosing a Financial Advisor

Matt Wiley | Jan 27, 2019         

Choosing a financial adviser is a big decision.

Being aware of these seven common blunders when choosing an advisor can help you find peace of mind, and avoid years of stress.

1. Hiring the First Advisor You Meet

While it’s tempting to hire the advisor closest to home or the first advisor in the yellow pages, this decision requires more time. Take the time to interview at least a few advisors before picking the best match for you.

2. Choosing an Advisor with the Wrong Specialty

Some financial advisors specialize in retirement planning, while others are best for business owners or those with a high net worth. Some might be best for young professionals starting a family. Be sure to understand an advisor’s strengths and weaknesses – before signing the dotted line.

3. Picking an Advisor with an Incompatible Strategyadviser


Each advisor has a unique strategy. Some advisors may suggest aggressive investments, while others are more conservative. If you prefer to go all in on stocks, an advisor that prefers bonds and index funds is not a great match for your style.

4. Not Checking References

Most advisors are happy to offer references to prospective clients. Calling references only takes a couple of minutes, and it can help put you at ease when handing over the keys to your bank account.

5. Not Asking about Credentials

To give investment advice, financial advisors are required to pass a test. Ask your advisor about their licenses, tests, and credentials. Financial advisors tests include the Series 7, and Series 66 or Series 65. Some advisors go a step further and become a Certified Financial Planner, or CFP.

6. Making Assumptions When They are Affiliated with a Reputable Brand

An advisor might appear qualified and professional due to an association with a major firm like J.P. Morgan or Morgan Stanley. Working with an advisor from a reputable firm can lead to stability and better tools and information. However, choose an advisor because they are the best fit, not because of their branding.

7. Not Understanding How They are Paid

Some advisors are “fee only” and charge you a flat rate no matter what. Others charge a percentage of your assets under management. Some advisors are paid commissions by mutual funds, a serious conflict of interest. If the advisor earns more by ignoring your best interests, do not hire them.

How to Choose an Annuity and Retirement Advisor That’s Best for You!

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What we want to impress upon you is that most bias is not necessarily bad; however, by knowing the type of advisor you are working with you can more readily pin point their potential bias as acceptable or unacceptable, being wary if necessary. Within the industry we have two primary types of advisors – 1) commission driven insurance agents and securities brokers – working under a sales oriented Suitability Legal Standard, 2) fee-only advisors and fee-based advisors – working under a best interest of the client Fiduciary Legal Standard. Each advisor type has its share of good and unfortunately some bad advisors. Read more…

Disclosure: Videos are educational and conceptual only and not a solicitation. They are not to be considered investment, insurance, tax or legal advice. It is recommended that you work with licensed professionals for individualized advice before making any important financial decisions. Annuities are not FDIC insured and their guarantees are based on the claims paying ability of the issuing insurance company. State Guarantee Associations, while offering specific protections, are not the same as FDIC insurance. Read more Annuity Guys disclosure at:

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