People are busy. There’s work, family obligations, relationships, children – the list goes on. Because of this, some very important tasks are often pushed aside, like financial and retirement planning. But this can be a costly misstep.
Time can lead to more money when it comes to investments – the sooner you start, the more money you can potentially make.
We understand: Adding one more thing – especially something important like financial and retirement planning, which demand time and focused decision making – on an already busy schedule can lead to stress and anxiety. But think about the anxiety you will face if you wait too long, retirement surprises you and you’re not prepared?
This is why so many investors turn to the help of a financial advisor. But how do you find the right advisor to manage your money? Not all financial advisors are created equally.
Here are 4 tips to finding the right financial advisor to assist with retirement planning in Baton Rouge:
Find Out Whose Interests Come First
When searching for the right financial advisor, make sure you ask if he or she is an investment fiduciary.
When financial advisors are providing advisory services, such as financial planning or asset management, they are investment fiduciaries who are held to the highest ethical standards in the financial services industry. They are required to put their clients’ financial interests ahead of their own. Advisors who don’t operate in an advisory capacity are only required to offer something that is "suitable,” opposed to in your best interest.
Ask the Right Questions – And Know the Right Answers
To determine a professional’s expertise, you have to know the right questions to ask.
There are three primary ways financial advisors typically obtain financial planning and investment knowledge:
- Certifications and Designations
For example, most of the advisors at Align Wealth Partners are Certified Financial Planners (CFPs), one of the most comprehensive designations an advisor can possess. In fact, the CFP Board adopted a Code of Ethics to establish the highest principles and standards. To understand what these principles are, what it takes to become a CFP and how this all benefits you specifically, click here.
Learn How an Advisor is Paid
Financial advisors are compensated with fees for their retirement planning knowledge, advice and services. You may pay an hourly or fixed fee or you may pay an asset-based fee (a percentage of assets). Advisors providing brokerage services are paid by commission.
When an advisor is paid by commission, there are additional conflicts of interest. An advisor will financially benefit if they sell you a product, and that sometimes can outdrive any other priority.
For example, a salesperson may convince you to invest $200,000 in several mutual funds, which will allow him or her to collect a $10,000 commission. Keep in mind, there may be times when it may be more suitable for you to pay an advisor by commission – for example, if you intend to “buy and hold” investments for a long period of time.
Advisors who are paid fees, on the other hand, are paid like other professionals, such as a doctor or a lawyer, to help you pursue, address and manage your ultimate goals.
Do Your Research
Doing the proper research to find the right financial advisor may take a little time, but finding the right person the first time will save you a lot of time in the long run. This decision shouldn’t be taken lightly. The right financial advisor can determine when you can retire, how you can retire and what you are able to leave behind when you’re gone, if anything. A little research now can pay off when it’s time to retire.
The more you know, the better prepared you are to protect your financial interests – and the people who rely on you.
Do your research, schedule an appointment with a financial advisor and let someone else take on the burden of your financial and retirement planning. That’s one less thing to juggle in your already busy life.
Align Wealth Partners is based in Baton Rouge, LA and can help you with many aspects of your retirement planning. Click here to schedule a free, one-hour “Get To Know You Session” with one of our professionals, and start planning for a better tomorrow, today!
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.