New York - In our opinion, one of the most important criteria for selecting a financial adviser is whether or not they are independent from the investment products they are recommending.
A financial adviser should be independent in fact and in appearance so that they can truly provide a fiduciary duty to you. They should not be biased towards any product or financial service and should have the ability to provide advice that is free from sales quotas. They should not sell proprietary investment products.
Prior to consulting a financial adviser, consider the following:
- Determine what you want them to do. This includes determining what your own financial and life goals. For example, consider whether or not you want need a financial plan or just more comprehensive estate planning.
- We put less emphasis on customer referrals because of the ease of providing fake references. Investors should choose an adviser whose investment philosophy is similar to theirs and who has a well known reputation either through a personal friend or the press.
- Investigate an adviser's background. All advisers should freely provide a copy of their registration or disclosure statement detailing compensation arrangements, conflicts of interest, business affiliations and personal qualifications.
- Understand the financial adviser's fee structure. All advisers should provide a written advisory contract or engagement letter that will document the scope and nature of services. You need to consider whether or not you are comfortable paying a flat or hourly fee.
- Determine if the adviser can provide additional services when you need them. This includes considering whether or not the adviser can refer you to specialists such as accountants, insurance agents or lawyers should you need additional assistance. The Independent Adviser Corporation provides investors with an array of professional services to choose from.
Source: For more information or to get connected to a FEE-ONLY financial adviser, money manager, CPA or Attorney, visit America's Favorite Independent Advisory Network at TheAdviser.com or 1800ADVISER.COM.
Founded in 1998, The Independent Adviser Corporation has assisted thousands of individuals, families, and businesses. We are 100% independent and objective and offer free private consultations to our clients. Our company publishes free investment research and educational materials, and when specific financial or legal advice is needed, we connect clients with a network of FEE-ONLY professionals. For more information, become a member or to schedule a free consultation, please visit our website at TheAdviser.com or 1800ADVISER.COM.