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CHOOSING THE RIGHT ADVISOR FOR YOU

Resources to help you make this important decision

WHY SHOULD I USE A FINANCIAL ADVISOR?

As the saying goes, "When times are good, anyone can make money." But market volatility can leave some investors uncertain on their financial picture. Many will reevaluate their relationship with their financial advisor to ensure that they are in good hands.

At a time like this, some "do-it-yourselfers" may realize that they also want help. But how will you know if you are receiving good advice? Partnering with an advisor to guide you through the complexities of your financial strategy is an important decision that should not be taken lightly. Advisors differ greatly in terms of qualifications, compensation, and conflicts of interest. Also critical are the investment process and performance which are the cornerstone of your financial strategy and key to your long-term success.

Choosing an Advisor: A Discussion

Brightworth partners Annika Cushnie, Mike DeWitt, and Lisa Brown talk about the sometimes bewildering options when choosing an advisor. Spoiler: Brightworth isn't always the right choice for everyone.

 

Annika Cushnie | Partner, Wealth Advisor

BE SMART ABOUT SELECTING A FINANCIAL ADVISOR

As the saying goes, “When times are good, anyone can make money.” The eleven-year bull market following the Great Recession found stocks ending 2019 at all-time highs, but recent volatility has some investors uncertain on where the markets will go from here. Many are re-evaluating their relationship with their financial advisor to ensure that they are in good hands. At a time like this, some “do-it-yourselfers” may realize that they also want help. But how will you know if you are receiving good advice? Partnering with an advisor to guide you through the complexities of your financial strategy is an important decision that should not be taken lightly. Advisors differ greatly in terms of qualifications, compensation, and conflicts of interest. Also critical are the investment process and performance which are the cornerstone of your financial strategy and key to your long-term success.

Qualifications

The financial services industry is diverse, and there are “advisors” from many types of firms – registered investment advisory firms (RIAs), banks, brokerage firms, insurance companies, CPA firms, etc. - who are in the business of helping people with their finances. While competent professionals may be found in any of these environments, the scope of services varies widely, and it is important that the background and experience level of the advisor match the services being provided. Services may range from the purchase of investment products (such as a stock, bond, mutual fund, annuity, or insurance policy) to comprehensive financial planning and fee-only investment management. 

Start by viewing a bio on the advisor’s website (or request one directly) to review the advisor’s educational background and years of experience. While there are many designations in the financial industry, some highly respected designations are the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM (CFP ®) for financial planners, Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA®) for investment managers, and the Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) for life insurance specialists. 

Read the full white paper here. 

selecting a financial advisor

 

WHY SHOULD I USE A FINANCIAL ADVISOR?

Market volatility has some investors uncertain about where the markets will go from here. Many are re-evaluating their relationship with their financial advisor to ensure that they are in good hands. Partnering with an advisor to guide you through the complexities of your financial strategy is an important decision that should not be taken lightly. 

WHAT KIND OF ADVISOR?

The financial services industry is diverse, and there are “advisors” from many types of firms – registered investment advisory firms (RIAs), banks, brokerage firms, insurance companies, CPA firms, etc. - who are in the business of helping people with their finances. While competent professionals may be found in any of these environments, the scope of services varies widely, and it is important that the background and experience level of the advisor match the services being provided.

THE LONG ROAD: BUILT TO LAST

A relationship with an advisor is intended to be long term, and it is important that you find a trustworthy individual to partner with for many years. When evaluating your situation, take into account the stability of the firm and the advisor’s longevity with the firm. 

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