In our experience, it’s important to consider two fundamental questions when choosing the best advisor: the length of relationship you want, and how you want to implement your recommendations.
Consider the answers to these questions carefully before hiring a financial advisor. We have found the answers will save you time and frustration.
Get clear about your needs
Ready to retain someone to help manage your wealth? Do you:
- Want a short-term engagement or an ongoing relationship?
Short-term/one time engagement – Let’s say you have a specific need such as buying long-term care insurance or adjusting an investment allocation. A one-time assessment of what you’re doing well and where you can improve is all that’s required.
Hiring an advisor for a short-term engagement means you are confident in your ability to manage your own finances. Perhaps your situation is simple, you only have a few accounts, and your personal life is straightforward.
Long-term, ongoing relationship – Maybe your situation is more complex with multiple accounts, your own business, or tax issues due to high income. Your family dynamics could also be more complex than average.
You want someone to keep an eye on your finances. An advisor can help improve your financial situation, suggest ways to protect assets and reduce your tax liability.
- Prefer to implement your plan yourself or delegate it?
Self-implementation – Do you believe the value is in the advice and implementation is relatively easy? Don’t trust others to implement a plan with the thoroughness and diligence that you would apply?
If so, hire an advisor who is willing to give you the ideas and let you implement them on your own.
Delegation – Don’t have time to do it all or lack interest in managing your personal finances? Maybe, in your mind, that’s the reason to seek professional advice.
Here’s a litmus test: Do you prepare your own tax return or delegate the task to a certified public accountant? If you use a CPA, chances are you’re a delegator.
Make your best choice
Boiling it down to two important considerations helps make your best choice more clear. Now, you know what kind of advisor relationship you want. Once you decide which advisor best suits your needs, you can determine how you want to compensate them.