How to find an advisor: 5 easy steps
To help you find a good financial advisor, we suggest you follow these 5 easy steps:
- Ask family, friends and professionals you trust for the names of investment professionals they would recommend. Whom do they use and why?
- When you ask for a recommendation, provide a brief description of the advice and services you are seeking (debt management, investment management, insurance planning, financial planning, estate planning, etc.). Offering this detail will help to narrow the list of potential advisors to those with the experience and qualifications that fit with your needs.
- Once you have 3 or 4 names, go back to the same family, friends and professionals and ask if they have heard anything (good and bad) about the advisors on the list. Their feedback will help you to filter your list of names.
- With a shortened list in hand, you can now do a little background checking of your own://
- Google them! Do a Google search of their name and see what pops up.
- Visit their firm's website and locate their professional web page. Almost every investment professional has a dedicated website/page which typically has their picture, a biography of their background, a summary of the products and services they offer and an outline of their approach to saving, investing and financial planning.
- Next search public data bases for current and historical information about their academic achievements and professional licences. Above, we have provided quick links to a few of the public data bases that you can access. Typically you can search by the individual's name or the firm's name. These links also enable you to search for qualified individuals within your local area.
Meeting the advisor
Meeting with a potential advisor serves a couple of purposes.
First, it gives you an opportunity to see if they are someone you can work with: do you like them, do your personalities compliment each other? If the answer is no to any of these important questions, you're best to strike them off your list and move on to the next name.
Second, meetings give you an opportunity to ask questions that will help you determine if the advisor is well suited to help with your savings, investing and planning needs.
The types of questions you ask will be dependent upon your needs and concerns. The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) offers a few sample questions for your consideration in their publication Questions to ask when choosing a financial advisor.