Did you know finances do not need to be complicated or scary?
I’ve been hearing this recently as a reason people don’t pay attention to their finances. The reality is that many of us were specifically taught about finances in school. Some have been privileged to have others guide us along the way, but this is not something that is widely talked about. And depending on cultural background, talking about money is a taboo subject. But if we do not talk about this, we will be left at a detriment.
If I want to learn more about different areas of my life that I don’t know, I need to reach out to others who know more than I do. I’ve decided to stop letting myself stop me from asking the right questions and admitting what I do not know – because it is in the learning that we can become better.
I also have to pause here and say that there are a lot of people who consider themselves to be financial advisors, however, a financial advisor should not be trying to sell you something before they know anything about you.
When a professional is interested in being able to advise and guide, they need to understand more about you above how much money you have. There needs to be dialogue about what you are looking to accomplish.
What are some things you should you look for in a financial professional?
- Are they considered a fiduciary? Some professional designations automatically gives the person a fiduciary role – meaning, they have to put your interest first.
- Are they able to share how they get compensated – without glossing over your question?
- Are you able to relate to this person? If you are not comfortable asking questions of this professional, or they make you feel weird for asking questions – this is not the right person for you. If you are in the learning phase, it’s important to have someone who is willing to help you understand.
- What are some of the most important things you are trying to accomplish? Different professionals have different areas of strength – make sure the person you are hiring will be able to help you solve what you are looking to do.
- Does this person fit what you are working to accomplish? Consider interviewing a few financial professionals to determine one that best fits your needs. Different advisors will have different styles of working with their clients.
This list is by no means comprehensive.
Different professionals can be compensated differently depending on where you are in your investing journey. Some professionals will charge based on a flat fee, some will be a fee based on investable assets, some will be based on commission. It is important that you ask this question and understand what works best for you.
Always remember that hiring a professional goes both ways. Both you and your advisor are checking to see if you are a good fit for each other.