Planning your financial life can be challenging and emotional. And with so many options for products and services out there, it can be hard to know where to start. There is not one right way to manage your money; finding the right solution depends on your unique goals and priorities. Working with a financial advisor can help provide expertise and objective advice, plan for the future, and support you through complex financial decisions in your life.
We put this checklist together to help you find the right financial advisor.
1. Identify your your goals and priorities
Thinking through your unique goals and priorities is the first step in creating a financial plan that works for you
- Reflect on your financial goals. Whether you are saving for retirement or your kids' education, start by thinking about the milestones in your life that you are planning for. Maybe you dream of starting your own business or sending your kids to college. This can change your financial plan.
- Think about what types of services you need. Different types of financial professionals offer different services. Do you need investment management? Tax management? Estate planning? Knowing what types of services you need can help narrow down the type of advisor that makes sense for you.
- Figure out your budget. From robo-advisors (automated investment management services) to in-person financial advisors, prices for services can vary.
- Decide who is involved. If you have a partner, kids, or anyone else that’s impacted by your finances, do you want them involved in planning and managing your finances? Many families find it helpful to define their shared goals together.
2. Set up a few conversations
Talking about your finances is very personal, so it’s important that you feel comfortable with your advisor and confident in the plan you create together. Take your time finding the right advisor for you by setting up a few meetings with different advisors to make sure you find the right fit.
- Introduce yourself to Ethic. Ethic works with over 100 advisory firms with different specialties. We can help point you in the right direction. Introduce a little about what you’re looking for and we can make some introductions for you. You can email us at email@example.com.
- Look for additional advisors. Doing a quick search to see advisors in your area can help broaden your choices for advisors. And if you find a good one, introduce them to Ethic to see if we can work together!
- Set up a few introductory meetings. Meet with a few people. Get to know what you are looking for!
3. Meet with advisors
Here’s a few important questions to keep in mind while speaking with advisors. Remember, this person will be with you through many life changes & the goal is to have a partner to navigate through your financial life together. Use these questions as a guide to finding the right advisor.
4. Find out more about the firm
- Firm values. Does the firm have an impact focused mission? Do they specialize in a specific type of financial advising?
- Who makes decisions about investing? Is your firm independent or affiliated with a larger organization?
- How are you compensated? Are there fees on the products you sell? How do I pay for an advisor's time? Determine the fee structure you're most comfortable with: fee-only, commission-based, or fee based on assets managed.
- Typical clients. Do you work with clients in my financial situation? What does your typical client look like?
6. Find the right match for you
- Working relationship. What type of relationship does the advisor like to have with their clients? Do they like to check in often or infrequently?
- Personal fit. Do you trust this person and enjoy communicating with them? Do they listen to your concerns and address them?
- Sustainability & Impact. Does the firm have a sustainable investing strategy? Do they have other clients investing sustainably? Can they help you explore what you value and reflect that in your investments?
Reach out to get introduced with firms we work with that could be a good fit: firstname.lastname@example.org