I get asked all the time about how to select a financial adviser. Here are some pointers.
First of all, decide if you want to work with a particular financial firm or an independent individual.
If you’d like to work with a firm, determine what its major business line is: banking, investing, or insurance to help you focus on your specific needs. Firms tend to lean into their primary business line. For example, if you want to differentiate between your insurance needs and your money needs, you might not prefer to use an insurance product to achieve your money goals. Some insurance products combine a savings/investment program with an insurance plan. On the other hand, there might be times an insurance product best meets your money needs.
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If you prefer an independent financial professional and not a firm, look on these sites to find an independent practitioner:
- Certified Financial Planners (CFP®)
- National Association of Personal Financial Advisers
- Financial Planning Association
- Garrett Planning Network
As you narrow your selection of advisers, look into their backgrounds on the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc.’s broker check site.
Use Investor.gov for a general education on the investment and financial industry and how to be a savvy investor. This site, run by the Securities and Exchange Commission, is full of helpful consumer information.
Learn more about selecting financial advisers (and many other financial topics) on our website by searching “shopping financial adviser.”