Ways to Hire the Right Investment Advisor

By Daniella Rand

Are you in the early stages of searching for an investment advisor? Are you not sure where to turn to find someone to entrust your hard-earned money?

Finding the right investment advisor isn’t something to rush. It won’t happen overnight. Nor should it. This is a person who, if things go as you hope, will help your family manage their investments for many years to come.

Making the right choice is absolutely crucial. That’s why it’s so important to understand the proper ways to hire the right investment advisor.

Ready to take control of your family’s future? Follow this step by step guide to choosing and hiring the right investment advisor for your needs.

Daniella Rand

1. Cast a Wide Net Using Several Different Sources

Don’t limit your quest for financial advice to a single Google search. Use a variety of reputable resources, including professional associations to which seasoned financial advisors should belong, to broaden the list of potential providers.

2. Carefully Review Each Advisor’s Background and Methodology Before Reaching Out

Learn more about each advisor before reaching out to them for an initial consultation. If you determine that their approach is not aligned with yours, there is little point in wasting their time and yours.

3. Have Detailed, Frank Conversations With Advisors Who Seem Aligned With Your Goals

After compiling a list of advisors who do seem to fit your needs and goals, your next step is to pursue frank, detailed conversations about their methodology and your investing objectives. This is your opportunity to drill down on “fit” and decide which advisors you feel most comfortable working with.

4. Ask Probing Questions (And Don’t Shy Away From Conflict)

During these conversations, don’t be shy about asking probing questions, like “how much do you charge” and “are you sworn to act in my financial interests.” The answers to these questions will determine how you proceed.

5. Understand Potential Fees and Expenses

If it’s not yet clear, understanding your exposure to advisory and management fees is very important. Higher fees aren’t always a bad thing; active managers often charge more, delivering better long-term performance in exchange. But you must know what you are getting into.

6. Understand Strategy and Discipline

Take the opportunity to talk through each advisor’s investing strategy. How do they respond to market downturns? What steps do they take to preserve upside while limiting downside? Answer these and other questions before making your choice.

7. Do Your Own Due Diligence

Next, evaluate advisors’ performance through multiple market cycles. Do assets under their management consistently outperform the market? While past performance is not indicative of future results, it’s certainly heartening.

Choose Wisely. Your Finances May Depend on It.

This is no overstatement. Your investment advisor’s decisions and advice have the power to alter the course of your financial future. It’s imperative that you choose one who acts in your best interests and demonstrates a clear record of success. Hopefully, the steps outlined above will illuminate the process and make your choice a bit easier.

Steps To Take To Prepare For Retirement

By Daniella Rand

Many investors believe themselves to be prepared for retirement. Unfortunately, perceptions don’t always comport with reality.

If you have yet to take any of the steps described below, your retirement plan is not as strong as it could be. This is not meant to be a criticism, merely a statement of fact — one that’s easily rectified by taking concrete retirement preparation actions today.

Daniella Rand

1. Consult a Financial Advisor

Begin by consulting a seasoned financial advisor whose process is aligned with your long-term goals and whose track record of outperformance speaks for itself. This step will take some time, but it’s important to get it just right, as the rest of your retirement planning process will depend on a successful outcome here.

2. Develop a Thorough Retirement Plan That Incorporates Your Unique Needs and Goals

Work with your financial advisor to put together a retirement plan customized for your family’s needs, objectives, and tolerance for investing risk. Your retirement plan should not resemble anyone else’s — that’s the whole point of a bespoke package.

3. Complete the Estate Planning Process

Consult an estate planning attorney to draw up your will, advanced medical directive, power of attorney designation, and trust documents. Properly planning your estate is essential to the smooth transition of asset ownership after your death — a valuable measure of peace of mind for you and your heirs.

4. Understand How to Ensure Adequate Income in Retirement

Speak with your financial advisor about ensuring adequate income in retirement. Your goal must be to preserve the lifestyle to which you’ve become accustomed while ensuring that you are providing for your dependents (and future heirs) during and after your life.  Keep in mind that many people spend more in retirement than they do in their working years.  

5. Get Your Household’s Spending Under Control

Follow the golden rule of personal finance: Don’t outspend your income. In consultation with your financial advisor, take whatever measures are necessary to rein in your spending and create a solid financial foundation.

6. Maximize Contributions to Your Tax-Advantaged Retirement Accounts

Maximize your tax-deductible contributions to your employer-sponsored retirement plan and Individual Retirement Account(s). This will reduce your income tax burden while putting more of your money to work for your retirement plan.

7. Use Other Tax-Advantaged Accounts to Your Benefit

Use health savings accounts, education savings accounts, and other appropriate tax-advantaged accounts to shield more of your money from income taxes and increase your net worth.

8. Add Further Layers of Financial Protection for Your Family

Speak with your financial advisor about life insurance, annuities, disability insurance, and other important forms of financial protection. Your family’s financial security may depend on them.

Are You Prepared for Retirement?

Are you well and truly prepared for retirement?

If you haven’t taken the eight steps outlined above, along with many others not mentioned here, your position may be weaker than advisable. You have a duty to yourself and your family to act with deliberate haste to shore up your financial position and give your retirement plan every opportunity to succeed.

That might not sound like your idea of a great time. But the most important move you can make to ensure that you and your loved ones have plenty of “great times” ahead, without the needless worry that comes with financial ill-preparation.