Why do you want a financial advisor or financial planner? Knowledge and experience. Its what you’re paying for. So, you want to make sure you’re getting the best financial advisor or financial planner to get the best planning advice available.
When you buy a house do you use just any realtor? When you buy a car do you buy from just any dealer? Not if you want best results.
Financial advisors provide advice on how to manage your money, including investments, pensions, tax planning and insurance. They tend to focus on a singular issue or a one-off need for help, while financial planners look at the bigger picture and help you plot out a path to reach your financial goals in life.
Studies show a financial advisor’s value is estimated to be better than 3% annually. No amount of fee savings will justify the value of advice. You can read more here.
There are somewhere around 90,000 financial advisors in Canada. The turnover is high. Its not an easy gig even without added compliance costs and expectations. Recent stats say 8% enter the industry annually and 8% leave annually. That’s a net annual gain of zero. Add into that, older advisors are retiring means the number of advisors you may choose from may be shrinking.
Before you choose, make sure they offer all of the following.
1. First, they include a team of experts to support them and your needs for tax, legal, investment, insurance, estate and wealth transfer planning, including a charitable planning. For business owners, experts to protect key people, business continuation, business succession, group insurance and pension. There is value in having all this consolidated under one roof.
2. Second, they have a proven track record of success. How do you determine that? Check them out! Browse their website. Look at their testimonials, social media sites and reviews. We’re a little late to the table on asking for reviews but we’re starting to. Ask them questions. Talk with their clients.
3. Next, what is their level of expertise? Professional designations are a common way to find out. You should gravitate to advisors who have or are working on a Certified Financial Planner (CFP), Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU), Chartered Financial Consultant (CH.F.C.), or Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). Only 17% of advisors are a CFP, 5.5% CLU and 1.7% CFA. While many want to help someone newer in the industry, you owe it to yourself to get the best financial advisor knowledge and experience available.
4. Fourth, they do lifestyle financial planning. People want lifestyle. As such, you want a financial advisor who focuses on lifestyle attainment and not financial products.
5. Number five, they do whole picture planning. Whole picture planning is like today’s wide-screen television display. Most advisors only do the work of the old-time black and white postage-sized television screen (e.g., investment priority) and miss many of the blind spots that will impact you at the worst possible time.
6. The first of the best, six overall, they bring positive energy and mindset growth. Everyone has limitless potential. School never taught you how to attain it. We become what we think about. “A person cannot directly choose his circumstances, but he can choose his thoughts, and so indirectly, yet surely, shape his circumstances.” – As A Man Thinketh. Bob Proctor further says, “you’re either living in the problem or you’re living in the solution.” You can change, rewire, the way you think. Doing so can get you authentic and sustainable results. You can move beyond your limiting beliefs and go on a journey of achieving more than you ever thought was possible.
7. Next up, they know how the banking system works. Why is this important? Banking is responsible for loan and mortgage interest, and inflation. Advisors, even the well-known media experts, don’t discuss it because they don’t know about it. The banking system was never taught in school. The government and banks don’t want you to know about it. The small, select group of advisors who know can save you up $400,000 or more in loan and mortgage interest. Read more here. This will also reduce the impact of inflation on you and society over your lifetime. Why be a bank customer when its so easy to become a bank owner?
8. Eight, they use a two-advisor interview approach. Two-deep has been used for years, in various situations, but not in financial planning. Two (or More) Heads Are Better Than One for Reasoning and Perceptual Decision-Making. This reflects people working in groups are more likely to come to a correct decision than they would if working alone. Two advisors, one left-brain and one right-brain, both with different social styles. Why? Two heads are better than one. This reduces the chance that something may be missed and avoids single advisor bias. A greater knowledge base results in better quality decisions. It ensures a thorough consideration of problems from all angles and alternative points of view before arriving at a decision.
9. Nine, they are an Elder Planning Counselor. The 4.4% of advisors who are EPC’s are specialists with issues affecting people age 50 and above. Since you, your parents or grandparents are, or will, be age 50 and above, you will benefit having an advisor who has an EPC designation.
10. Next, especially important if you are a woman, they are able to address the unique needs of women. Women think about money differently than men. Not surprisingly, women advisors are a natural good fit with women clients. Most women choose to not be involved in meetings with male advisors. Most may be surprised only 23% of advisors are women. We are so happy Lori is on our team!
One Last One
11. Lastly, they do not plan to retire. Its not uncommon to have a financial advisor who is similar to your age. While this is a good fit, what happens if they retire, like the majority do? You lose the advice of someone at a time you need them more. You’re left working with a younger, less-experienced advisor. Retirement is an old concept created at a time when physical work was the norm, that when you aged you could not be as productive as you aged. As our economy moves away from physical work, more and more people are rethinking the concepts of aging and of retirement. Many of the world’s famous men and women did their greatest work long after the age when most are in their graves. We believe in this new age view of retirement and don’t plan to retire, so that our clients don’t have to deal with this issue. It’s a pertinent question for you to ask.
In conclusion, don’t assume any financial advisor will be a good fit with you. Do the little extra research and find the best financial advisor available for you. We would love for you to share your situation with us to see if we would be a good fit to work together.