Choosing a financial advisor is a big decision, perhaps one of the biggest decisions you will make. Figuring out who to trust can be a minefield, and when it comes to your future, you really can’t be too careful. Making sure that your money is in safe hands should be obvious, but how do you do that, and what do you need to avoid?
Don’t just use the first person you meet or find online.
It is a good idea to use a professional to help you get the best results out of your money.  31% of Americans over the age of 65 use a financial advisor to help them. You need to work with someone who understands what you want to achieve, and of course, they have to know what they are doing. There is no point in choosing a person or company just because their office is in the same zip code or if they are the first person to come up in a Google search. Be sure they are the right fit for you.
Make sure you pick a person who specializes in what you need help with.
If you want to save for your retirement, then you should be talking to someone who can help you with that. You need to find someone with a specific skill set and a person who has experience and credentials in that field.  For example, if you decide you need someone that can assist you with an overall comprehensive financial plan, you probably won’t be going to the same person that does asset management. Find out how the person you are talking to will get paid as well. It’s important to know as this will affect the way they deal with you and how they treat you and your money.
Don’t mix up a financial planner with a stockbroker.
When you are looking for help to enjoy a better financial future, you need the right person for the job.  Fiduciary standards can be very different, depending on who you are talking to.  A broker is selling you things and typically will receive a commission for doing so, while an advisor is there to help you and give you guidance. Remember that investing always involves risk, and no two situations are the same. “You shouldn’t gamble your rent money,” says Martin Walcoe, President of David Lerner Associates, Inc. “You want to build and preserve your assets as you get older. My advice is to look for the sensible middle ground of investing.”
Do your research, and work out what is best for you. Choose the best person for the job and the best person for you and your needs. Don’t take unnecessary risks with your money – your future could be at stake.
Material contained in this article is provided for information purposes only and is not intended to be used in connection with the evaluation of any investments offered by David Lerner Associates, Inc. This material does not constitute an offer or recommendation to buy or sell securities and should not be considered in connection with the purchase or sale of securities.
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David Lerner Associates does not provide tax or legal advice. The information presented here is not specific to any individual's personal circumstances. Member FINRA & SIPC