Financial advisors provide advice on matters such as wealth creation, income protection, planning for your retirement, investment strategies and insurance – generally anything that can help you achieve your financial goals.

Given that they will be dealing with something very close to your heart – your money – it makes sense to choose your financial advisor carefully. The following tips will help guide you through the process.

Finding the Right Financial Advisor for You

  • Ask friends and colleagues for recommendations. If someone has had a great experience with a financial advisor, you might too. Your lawyer or accountant may also be able to provide a recommendation, as both professions work with financial advisors.
  • Ask your prospective advisors what their qualifications for dispensing financial advice are. Although formal financial qualifications are not necessary to operate as a financial advisor in New Zealand, they do provide an indication that the advisor has undertaken extensive training in his field.
  • Find out how long the advisor has been in business and how many clients he has. Can he provide testimonials from satisfied customers?
  • What kind of clients does the advisor generally deal with? An advisor who prefers to work with large businesses may not be the appropriate person to give financial advice to the private individual.
  • Has the advisor ever been the subject of disciplinary action related to incompetent or misleading financial advice?
  • Not all financial advisors offer the same services, so check that they cover the areas you are interested in.
  • Will the advisor be working with you personally, or will he farm the work out to an associate in his office? You need to know who will be providing your financial advice and handling your portfolio.
  • How will you be charged for services rendered? Will it be a flat fee, an hourly rate, or a percentage charged as commission? This information should be provided to you in writing.
  • Lastly, ask for at least three references and check them to ensure that your financial advisor is held in good standing within the financial sector.
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