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7 Ways to Be Sure You Get Better Financial Advice

7 Ways to Be Sure You Get Better Financial Advice

October 02, 2023

Understanding Your Financial Advisor's Compensation and Services

  • Know how your “advisor” gets paid.
  1. If they work for ONE company, they get paid by an investment product manufacturer and have a vested interest in you choosing that company’s products.
  2. If they work on commission, they are paid to generate transactions. They do NOT get paid to create great financial outcomes for you. There incentives will be to have you use MORE stuff, DIFFERENT stuff and to CHANGE often.
  3. You want a clear explanation of what you will pay and the value you can expect to receive. If it’s confusing to you, ask again.
  • Understand their training and credentials. Many advisors, especially those new to the business, get only basic sales and product training at the beginning. I have been in this business for more than 20 years and am a big fan for the CFP® and BFA® designations. That’s why have both the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional and Behavioral Financial Advisor I am a financial planner who is an advocate for my clients ALL THE TIME – a fiduciary financial planner. I provide guidance based on clients’ best interests, not commissions or sales quotas. I think it’s the best way to serve clients and I am thrilled to work this way all the time.


If you would like to talk about your situation, I love to meet new people. So, follow this LINK to find a time for us to have a get-acquainted visit.

  • Talk about All the Services Available. Some “advisors” offer only a limited menu of investments. Others offer a comprehensive menu of financial planning advice. For my clients, as a CFP® professional, we always talk about several aspects of the client’s financial life:
    1. Cash Flow and budgets.
    2. Risk management strategies. (Insurance)
    3. Current savings rates and strategies.
    4. Investment management.
    5. Retirement Income Planning.
    6. Tax-Smart Investing.
    7. Estate Planning
  • Understand the working relationship. Are you meeting with the person who will do the day-to-day work for you. Or are you talking with a “marketing professional” who will sign you up and hand you off to other folks? You want to meet and get to know the people you can expect to contact most often.
  • Understand the Investment Philosophy. Today, there are lots of short-term options that can promise 5%, or more, of interest over the next year or so. CDs are a great example. But CDs are not a perfect fit for all families in all situations. Talk about the investment tools you can expect to use as you work to move toward your financial goals.
  • Think About the Why of Your Financial Goals. A great financial plan will help you prepare to achieve the most important goals in your life. Things like: save for a vacation home; retire early; send family to a great college; take a historic vacation trip; start mission-driven business. But in order to reach these big, important goals, you want to understand why you are pursuing them. Being clear on your big picture values, it provides a guide for many of the choices you will face. Does it help you move toward your big goal? Or not?
  • What is Your Role in the Process? A successful financial planning process is a dialog. Over time you will meet for updates. Things will change in your life. Maybe even your goals will shift. You can expect a professional financial planner to want regular contact and at least an annual review meeting to discuss goals, progress, priorities and clarify next milestones.

Conclusion

I am an experienced, highly-trained, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional and Behavioral Financial Advisor. I am a financial planner who is an advocate for my clients ALL THE TIME – a fiduciary financial planner. I provide guidance based on clients’ best interests, not commissions or sales quotas. I think it’s the best way to serve clients and I am thrilled to work this way all the time.

If you would like to talk about your situation, I love to meet new people. So, follow this LINK to find a time for us to have a get-acquainted visit.

And yes, I’m still taking on a few great families to be part of my financial planning practice.

Dunncreek Advisors does not provide legal or tax advice, nor is this article intended to do so.