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What to Look For From a Financial Adviser
10:53AM / Wednesday, December 23, 2015
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There’s a lot to know about investing, so it’s a good idea to get some professional help. But with so many financial advisers out there, how can you choose one that’s right for you?

You may have to interview several prospective financial advisers before deciding on one. When you talk to them, see if you can get a sense of how they might work with you. Specifically, try to answer the following questions:

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… Understand you? Perhaps above all else, you want a financial advisor who will take the time to get to know you and your family, your goals and what’s important to you.

… Clearly explain investing? Once you enter the investment world, you will likely be curious about it. Why is diversification important? What’s a market correction? How do interest rate movements affect different investments? You will want to work with someone who will make the effort to educate you on investment topics and answer all your questions.

… Know your investment style? Obviously, you’ll want someone who will recommend only those investments that are in your best interest and that can help you make progress toward your goals. Therefore, the person you choose needs to understand your investment personality – that is, whether you are an aggressive, moderate or conservative investor.

… Have a certain investment philosophy? You may have your own investment style and preferences – and so do many financial advisers. In fact, some financial advisers have an overriding investment philosophy that governs many of their recommendations. You need to find this out before you start working with someone.

… Communicate frequently? The most knowledgeable financial adviser in the world won’t be of much help to you if he or she is not a good communicator. You need someone who will regularly let you know if you’re on track or make suggestions if you’re not – even if you aren’t scheduled to meet for a while. And, speaking of conferring with your financial adviser, you’ll want someone who will meet with you when it’s convenient for you, whether it’s in person or over the phone.

… Avoid making big promises? You want a financial adviser with the expertise and experience necessary to help you make the right moves. And you’ll want someone committed to your success. But there’s a big difference between someone who promises to do the best possible job for you and someone who promises big results. Be wary of financial advisors who claim they can consistently achieve high returns for you – there are very few guarantees in the investment world.

… Explain how he or she will be compensated? Financial advisers get paid in various ways, often in some combination of fees and commissions. Ask all potential financial advisers how they get compensated; any reputable professional will be upfront about his or her charges.

By finding the answers to these key questions, you should be able to find a financial adviser who is well-suited to work with you. So take the time you need to gather enough information to feel confident in your choice. After all, you’re enlisting the help of someone who can have a big impact on your financial future.

This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor. Courtesy of Walter Lother, Financial Advisor, in North Adams, at 413-664-9253. Edward Jones, its employees and financial advisors are not estate planners and cannot provide tax or legal advice. You should consult your estate-planning attorney or qualified tax adviser regarding your situation.


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