Investment advisors are a dime a dozen, and they’re not just for millionaires anymore. If you’ve always wanted to get into the money market or trade in securities or simply want to create a good financial plan for the next decade, you may need someone who may have more knowledge on how these things work. Hiring an adviser can be an undertaking fraught with risk, and not doing your homework may see you losing a lot of money. In this post, we’ll take a look at what you should keep in mind when looking to hire an investment advisor.
Be Clear About Your Goals
A lot of people get into investing because they know two or three of their friends and family doing it. This kind of thinking may get you in trouble in no time because your goals may not be the same as the people you’re trying to emulate. Before approaching an adviser, make sure you have clear and achievable goals such as wanting to retire by the age of 55, traveling at least three times a year, an emergency fund of more than $100,000 at any given time, being able to cover your living expenses for the next 3 years, and having at least $300,000 in your children’s college fund. Having clear, written-out goals will help you stay on track as well as motivate you in a systematic manner.
Constant Communication is Vital
The average investor usually makes the mistake of thinking that the investor knows everything and that they ought to be trusted as far as investments are concerned. The truth is, not keeping a tab on your adviser can have you losing money in no time through bad financial decisions on the adviser’s part and even fraud. Make sure that the person you have entrusted keeps you on a loop every couple of days and is capable of giving you a detailed report on what they’ve been up to with your money. As a new potential client, ask them if they have records of such documentation that they wrote out for previous clients, and ask if you could speak to current or past clients. Transparency is key, and clear and regular communication will help you determine this.
Check their Registration Details and Credentials
Blind faith on account of how many letters precede someone’s name shouldn’t be the route you follow if looking to hire an investment adviser. Make sure that their credentials check out by heading over to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority to see if they’re registered, and also finding out whether they are registered by the SEC and the NASAA, with the second one catering to brokers who are registered only in North America.
Lastly, doing a simple Google search may uncover a lot of details about your would-be broker. Check out their LinkedIn profile, their Facebook and social media profiles as well as any additional information regarding their performance and complaints (if any) brought forward by previous clients. At the end of the day, doing your homework and arming yourself with information can go a long way in ensuring that your money is handled by the right people for maximum investment opportunities.