4 Rules To Choosing the Right Financial Professional For You


28 Oct, 2016

There’s no doubt that at some point in your life you will need the assistance of a qualified financial professional.


It may be for something relatively simple like purchasing renter’s insurance or it may be for something more complex like setting up a trust. In any event, you’ll want to work with someone who understands that the financial products you buy MUST complement your financial goals and abilities and not compete with them.


When it comes time to seeking out the right financial pro for you, here are some rules to consider:


1. They Must Understand Your Needs, Goals and Abilities


It’s your job to be clear about your needs, goals and abilities, but it’s their job to make sure they ask the right questions and can explain to you in simple, 5th grade language exactly how the product they’re offering you will help you reach your goals, and you must be certain that this solution fits within your abilities.


The collapse of the economy in 2008 was in large part because financial professionals in the mortgage industry placed their clients in mortgage loans which competed with their abilities rather than complementing them. Mortgage loans were approved which included monthly payments that would double within 5 years, even though the client’s income was likely to increase by ten percent.


This was one of the motivators for making the Money Organizer Plan available to consumers and not just financial pros. Had mortgage professionals used a Money Organizer Plan when recommending mortgage products to their clients, they would have been able to place their clients in a mortgage loan which complemented their client’s goals and abilities rather than competing with them.


2. Financial Professionals Should Make a Good Living


Financial professionals should make a good living as a byproduct of properly servicing their clients.


The right financial pro will have a lot of time and money invested in their knowledge, and that knowledge is what can help you improve your Wealthgade each year. In fact, the more valuable their knowledge the more positive the impact should be.


Think about it. If you’re working with a financial advisor who can show you in a Money Organizer Plan how their recommendations could improve your future net worth by $275,000 (the average Money Organizer Plan improvement), how much is that knowledge worth to you?


The problem for most people is they don’t know how to value their financial pro, and that’s a fair concern. If you can’t do simple math, like the example above, then you have to weigh in the factors that matter:


  • Money- how much are you paying vs, what you are getting?
  • Time- How much time are they saving you, and what’s that worth to you?
  • P.O.M.- Peace of Mind is hard to value. But you sure don’t want to be questioning for years to come whether or not the decision you made was the right decision for you and your family. You must have the confidence that the work was done right and that it complements your goals and abilities.
  • Second Opinion- It’s often a good idea to have someone you trust take a look at what you’re being offered before you make a decision.


The bottom line is you need to be properly serviced, and if you are, it might just be ok to pay the higher fee for that certain financial pro you’re considering.


That being said, you also don’t need to pay top-of-the-market fees to get a good job. This article isn’t in support of higher fees. It’s simply saying that you want the right pro for you, and that may sometimes require paying a little more.


3. Conduct an interview


Before choosing a financial professional, be sure you have your own set of questions to ask them to ensure they’re the right fit for you. Some examples of questions you might want to consider asking the prospective financial professional might be:


  • “Tell me what caused a past client to leave you- the most recent case- and what would they say was the best and worst part of working with you.” It’s possible that some will try to avoid answering the latter, but use your best judgement on whether they’re being truthful. If you feel uncomfortable with their answer, consider this a red flag.


  • “Tell me how you will ensure my goals are properly aligned with my abilities.” If they don’t ever mention anything about understanding your budget/cash flow, or your debt, then they’re not looking at the whole picture, and that could also be a red flag. It’s critical that they know what you can afford. Actually, new fiduciary rules are requiring more financial pros to ask more budgeting related questions, which is better, but many financial pros still try to avoid the extra work required. You want financial pros who are willing to do the extra work, even if you pay more for it.


  • “What is the exit strategy for you and your business?” Unfortunately, too many financial professionals haven’t thought about this, but for those who have, you want to make sure they don’t plan to retire soon without you understanding what will happen to you when they retire. The average age of the financial advisor in America is 56. If they already have a successor to their business, you should meet them before making a decision to work with them.


4. Help Your Financial Pros Grow Their Business


When you find a financial pro who you are confident did an excellent job with you, don’t keep it a secret. The best thanks you can provide your financial pro is more business. Look for opportunities to spread the word. We want good financial pros to grow their businesses.


The most important thing to remember is you must understand how the financial products you purchase, whether a mortgage, an annuity, or life insurance, complement your financial goals and abilities.


It doesn’t matter what success someone else may have had with a certain financial product, it only matters that your Wealthgrade will advance quicker with the product than without.




We have a network of professionals who meet our standards and if you would like to be connected with a financial pro in your area, click here and we’ll share with you some folks in your area who meet our standards.

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