You’ve made the decision that you need help with your financial life (if you don’t need help right now, read along because you might need help later). Where do you start?
First, you must realize that you will need to put as much effort into this decision, perhaps more, as you ever have ever put into any investment selection decision.
Start by making a list of trusted people “in the know” within your community. Perhaps your lawyer, your Certified Public Accountant, or anyone you trust and feel is knowledgeable about investment matters. Ask each for the names of two or more wealth or financial advisers that they would suggest you consider. Develop a good list of five to 10 professionals or financial teams.
Next, review their websites and then do an online search for the adviser or organization. Check out their licensing authorities for reports on their activities that could be of concern (sometimes called “disclosure events”).
Narrow this list down to three people or firms and arrange in-person interviews, preferably on the same day so outside conditions will not be a variable in your decision.
My book The Eight Points of Financial Confidence includes an extensive list of questions you can ask prospective advisers when you are evaluating their ability to serve you.
Make your decision in a day or two. (If it’s too hard to make the choice fairly easily, consider continuing your search or starting over.) Once the decision is made, contact your selected adviser, make an appointment, and begin your work together.
If everything goes OK, let the other advisers you interviewed know you hired someone else. A short email is fine.
My next post, part three, addresses firing your broker.
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