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Financial Advisor: Good Qualities to Look For

There was a time when only the wealthy had access to professional financial advisors. Today many middle-class American’s enjoy the benefits of a trusted financial advisor. If you're looking to hire a financial advisor, here are some qualities you may want to look for.

Good Personality
This doesn't mean you need to find a financial advisor that's always the life of the party or anything like it. But you should make sure that you get along with your financial advisor well since you'll be working closely with him or her. If you find that you butt heads with a potential financial advisor, working with that person would only create trouble down the road.

In order for an advisor to be effective they need to first understand your current situation, goals, risk tolerance, concerns and more. This means that they will need to be a good listener. You can tell if an advisor is a paying attention if he or she summarizes what you've said and takes time to answer all of the questions you ask.

Meets Your Needs
As in any profession, there are financial advisors with varying specialties, degrees of education and experience. Seek out an advisor that has the skills to best fit your needs. For example if you are a small business owner you may want to work with an advisor that has extensive experience in this area.

Financial Approach
Some financial advisors will want to involve all aspects of your financial life in the plan he or she creates for you. Others will simply want to give you advice in one small area of expertise. In addition different advisors may approach investing with varying levels of risk tolerance. Make sure that the advisor that you hire to work with you has an approach that is closely aligned with your own.

Compensation Structure
Financial advisors can receive compensation in different ways. For example, some are strictly fee based. Others receive a commission from the investment products that you purchase. There are benefits and drawbacks to each, speak with advisors so that you are clear on how they will receive their compensation prior to hiring anyone.

Selecting a financial advisor is an important decision. Take the time to meet face-to-face with an advisor prior to making a commitment. It’s in your best interest to create a positive long-term relationship with your advisor and the first step is choosing an advisor that you will work well with you.

For a complimentary consultation with Debbie Craig, CFPâ at Craig Wealth Advisors located in Northern Michigan please feel free to contact us at 231-331-5500.

By Debbie Craig CFP®, MBA, CRPS®

Branch Manager

Any opinions are those of the author and not necessarily those of RJFS or Raymond James.

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