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Financial Advisor Wealth Philosophy

On 09/26/2012, in Financial Advisors, by Jordan Wilson

When assessing potential financial advisors you should consider the advisor’s wealth management philosophy and general approach to financial planning.

An extremely important point to review, but one that many individuals overlook.

Being comfortable with the philosophical approach of your financial advisor is crucial for a few reasons.

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Financial Advisor Service Offering

On 09/14/2012, in Financial Advisors, by Jordan Wilson

A third question to ask a potential financial advisor is, “What services do you offer?”

The goal is to find a match with your current and (realistic) future needs.

A secondary goal is to match the offering depth to your needs as well.

What do I mean? 

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Financial Advisor Experience

On 08/31/2012, in Financial Advisors, by Jordan Wilson

In Questions to Ask Financial Advisors, the first thing to review is your potential advisor’s professional credentials.

The second question to ask is, “What experience do you have?”

Relevant experience is obviously an important factor. Here are some things to consider. 

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Alphabet Soup of Designations

On 08/25/2012, in Financial Advisors, by Jordan Wilson

In Financial Advisor Qualifications, I noted there is a veritable alphabet soup of financial service designations. There are so many different accreditations that it can be difficult to assess and compare financial professionals.

So the timing of this announcement was interesting (at least to one with no life, like me). 

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Financial Advisor Qualifications

On 08/23/2012, in Financial Advisors, by Jordan Wilson

In Questions to Ask Financial Advisors, the first item to consider is the professional qualifications of your potential financial advisor or planner.

What qualifications and credentials does he have to indicate that he is able to assist you with your wealth management requirements?

Qualifications alone do not guarantee that a financial advisor is competent. Not by any stretch. But possessing appropriate professional credentials is a bare minimum for consideration. Plus, professional credentials may provide comfort in other areas which may be advantageous.

Let’s look at what I mean.

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Questions to Ask Financial Advisors

On 08/13/2012, in Financial Advisors, by Jordan Wilson

I was speaking with someone recently about finding a good financial planner. His problem was that he knew the questions to ask potential advisors, but he could not properly assess the answers he received.

For example, he knew that he should ask what credentials the planner possesses. But how to compare a CFP, PFP, RFP, SFC, CA, CFA, CLU, CFC, CSWP, etc., etc., etc.? It is a virtual dog’s breakfast of designations out there. And that is just Canada.

The issue of finding the right financial planner is kind of a catch 22. You really need to know the financial services industry in order to understand and differentiate the responses from potential advisors. But if you know the answers, you probably do not need to interview a bunch of professionals.

So what should a teacher, fireman, nurse, engineer, do? 

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Over the next few posts, I will discuss how to find the right financial planner or financial advisor for your needs.

I tend to mingle the two terms in my posts. Simply because there is significant overlap when looking at both financial advisors and planners. However, they are two different creatures.

Today I shall briefly define the differences between a financial advisor and financial planner. 

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Value of a Financial Advisor

On 08/06/2012, in Financial Advisors, by Jordan Wilson

In Do You Need a Financial Advisor?, I wrote about the value that a financial advisor can bring to your wealth management requirements.

I realize that competent financial advice may be relatively expensive. But the long term benefits often greatly outweigh the up-front cost. In discussing this cost-benefit relationship recently, I was asked if I could provide an example or two of the potential benefits that a financial planner can provide.

So here are two short real-life examples of adding value to a client’s wealth. 

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Do You Need a Financial Advisor?

On 08/01/2012, in Financial Advisors, by Jordan Wilson

Does anyone really need a financial advisor?

Short answer, no.

Longer answer, a financial advisor may be well worth considering.

Here is why. 

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HighTower Advisors has created a great video comparing investment brokers with fiduciaries.

A broker is someone who takes a fee in exchange for executing a transaction. They provide a service in return for compensation. For the most part, a broker is not a fiduciary. However, brokers – depending on where they reside, professional qualifications, company, regulatory oversight, etc. – may have certain duties of care to their clients.

A fiduciary is someone with a legal duty of care to the client. It is more than simply executing transactions. More as if the fiduciary steps into your shoes to try and best meet your needs.

It is an important distinction. Make certain that you always know whether you are dealing with a fiduciary or not. I am not saying never to deal with a non-fiduciary. Only that you know the difference between the two. And, if appropriate, take steps to safeguard your best interests over those of your representative (agent, banker, broker, financial planner, etc.).

Now to the HighTower video. 

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