Finding a trustworthy investment advisor requires careful vetting. You need to know how they make their money, what they specialize in, and if they have any real or perceived conflicts of interest.
Before you meet with an adviser, research their credentials and background. Also, be sure to understand how they collect fees for their services.
A financial planner can help you create an investment strategy for your objectives and risk tolerance. A seasoned advisor like investment advisor Frederick Baerenz may also guide taxes, estate planning, and more.
When selecting a financial planner, check their credentials through public databases such as the CFP Board’s Investment Adviser Public Disclosure website or FINRA’s BrokerCheck site. These sites will display an advisor’s employment history, registrations, reportable professional designations*, and outside business activities.
You should select a Certified Financial Planner who will act as a fiduciary and work fee-only. This means a flat fee will compensate them for their services and a percentage of assets managed rather than commissions based on transactions. This can provide unbiased advice, ensuring your best interests are always the focus of their recommendations. Experience counts, and a wealth manager who has weathered market cycles and guided clients through varied financial situations can offer insight and wisdom that can be difficult to find in textbooks or online classes.
Whether you’re simply looking to maximize your investment returns, a wealth advisor can help. Investment experts like the founder of AOG Wealth Management Fred Baerenz, can guide various topics, including how to save for retirement, manage debt, and even navigate the tax code.
Investors often work with a financial advisor or investment adviser representative because they need help developing an investment strategy that aligns with their goals and risk tolerance. They may also need help setting up tax-advantaged investments, such as IRAs and 401(k)s, or rebalancing their portfolio by selling overperforming assets to offset underperforming ones.
When choosing an investment advisor, look for a credential such as the Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) designation. This indicates they’ve met rigorous educational, experience, and ethics standards. You can check their credentials using FINRA’s BrokerCheck or the SEC’s Investment Advisor Public Disclosure tool. The financial world’s equivalent of a seal of approval, these certifications ensure an investment advisor’s integrity and competence.
When it comes to tax planning, an investment advisor will always consider your circumstances. This could mean using tax-efficient arrangements like Individual Savings Accounts or pension plans, choosing growth-focused assets over income to maximize capital gains allowances versus paying income taxes or utilizing trusts and other structures to minimize the potential for estate taxes and inheritance charges.
Financial advisors must thoroughly understand investing vehicles and methods, including global stocks of small and large companies, bonds of various types, alternative investments, and more. They should also have access to cutting-edge technology and be able to provide you with customized portfolios that align with your unique risk tolerance, goals, and time horizon.
When shopping for an investment professional, check that their adherence to the fiduciary standard is current and that they offer clear fee structures that fit your budget. It’s also important to interview prospective professionals, as their communication styles can play a significant role in the success of your partnership.
Insurance planning is one of the most essential elements of financial planning. It helps protect you against unforeseen events and circumstances that may cause you to lose significant wealth. Financial advisors can help you create an insurance plan that meets your needs.
They can also guide you through retirement plans, helping you understand the various options and ensuring you’re set for your golden years. They can also help you with estate planning, essential if you want to leave behind a legacy for your loved ones.
When looking for a financial planner, ensure they are a fiduciary, which means they’re legally required always to put your interests first. You can check their status using FINRA’s BrokerCheck website, which shares details on an advisor’s employment history, professional designations*, and outside business activities. You can also look at their portfolios to see their performance over time. You’ll also want to ensure they are up-to-date on industry trends and technology.