Choosing a financial advisor is one of the most important decisions you’ll make in your lifetime. From paying off debt as efficiently as possible to saving for your dream retirement, expert advice helps guide us from where we are to where we want to be. A good financial advisor can help you build a strong financial pyramid, plan for your family’s future, maximize tax savings and ensure your portfolio is well-diversified for the best returns.
With all the advice available online, it can also be tempting to think that it’s easy enough to manage your own money. However, based on research, analysis and many scientific tests, there is quantifiable evidence that clients greatly benefit from working with a professional advisor. People who work with advisors report having greater confidence in their financial futures. Nearly 40 per cent of those who do not have an advisor report money as their main stressor, but Canadians with a financial planner worry less about their money.
A professional can help you create a rewarding roadmap for your financial future. To do this, they should consider all aspects of your finances, ask questions about your life and check in with you regularly to make adjustments as things change. Advisors are either fee-based, meaning they collect a pre-stated fee for services, or commission-based, meaning they earn a percentage of income earned form the management of the account.
Working with a financial advisor is all about building trust. During strong markets and turbulent times, an advisor will help you understand the markets, time for short- and long-term goals and, perhaps most importantly, help keep your emotions in check. When a professional knows your entire personal and financial situation, they can help you stay on track and reach your goals. Therefore, the relationship you build with your advisor is extremely important.
Here are a few things to consider when choosing a financial advisor:
Credentials: There are many acronyms to consider. The initials in front of titles reflect the education and certifications that different advisors have. The different expertise is important to understand as credentials can inform you of education and experience and how they might align with your life goals. Make sure you check what you’re getting with each professional by taking a look at the guide to our financial designations and credentials.
Fit: Ensure that the advisors you are considering working with share the same morals and ethics that you do. Each advisor will have a different style and approach to investing. Most offer a free consultation, so use this time to ask them as many questions as they ask you. An advisor is going to know the intimate details of your life and financial situation; be sure they tell you details of their practice and philosophies.
Trustworthiness: This is a very important consideration when working with a financial expert as your money affects every part of your life and you need to have trust in the person handling your investments.
Fiduciary duty: The most important of all is to check that the financial professional you are working with is bound by fiduciary duty. This means that they are required by law to work in your financial best interest.
Working with a trusted partner helps manage money stress and build a successful financial future. Why not start by getting a no-obligation, virtual second opinion on your investments? Or, contact our Member Advice Centre or email us to connect with a financial advisor that's right for you.
Mutual funds, other securities and securities related financial planning services are offered through Credential Securities, a division of Credential Qtrade Securities Inc. Mutual funds and related financial planning services are offered through Credential Asset Management Inc. Financial planning services are available only from advisors who hold financial planning accreditation from applicable regulatory authorities. Credential Securities is a registered mark owned by Aviso Wealth Inc.