When you select a financial advisor, it’s a very important decision. That person and financial firm they are associated with has a critical role in your financial well-being.
Whether you are currently choosing a financial advisor or considering one to help with you financial planning and retirement needs, the client-advisor relationship is important.
Many people today are not ready for retirement. It’s been reported by the Federal Reserve that 1 in 5 people do not have any money set aside for retirement. That is a very scary fact. How do you stack up?
Rodger Alan Friedman is a financial advisor and wealth management professional, plus author of the book “Forging Bonds of Steel.” Friedman was quoted, “This issue is making news regularly, and financial planning for retirement advertisements have spiked in recent years, in case you haven’t noticed.”
So what traits do you look for in a financial advisor. There are many advertisement out there all claiming they are the best. What is important to you?
Advisors also need to improve understanding their client’s needs. Just as every financial advisor is different, so are their clients. Some need a lot of guidance, some are very independent with minimal interaction.
– Here are four key attributes that clients should look for in a financial advisor.
What is a client going through? Advisors must have their antennae up. Tears, anger, regrets and frustration are often bound with a person’s finances, and “I have met very few 22-year-olds who can fully understand the struggles, worries and dreams most people experience throughout a lifetime,” he says. Advisors have to develop an approach that helps clients feel comfortable in discussing difficult matters. The client needs to understand that the advisor truly cares and is not there merely for a transaction.
• Perspective & insight:
Perspective and insight are like twins: wherever there is one, the other is not far behind. Planners gain perspective and insight through thousands of hours of listening, collaborating, advising and acting as a steward of the financial assets and dreams of the families they serve. You know when you’re in the presence of these “twins;” it is often said that people with both see with their intellect – they possess vision. Clients should keep their antennae up for these traits when meeting a prospective advisor. Pay attention to how he or she may, as if without effort, intelligently guide the two-way conversation.
When advisors are unsure of themselves, it comes through. When presented with a set of facts, new advisors may not recognize what they are dealing with, or its importance. A seasoned advisor, on the other hand, has dealt with many clients with numerous problems several times over and knows what it takes to solve a problem. That’s why I feel that an experienced financial advisor is the best answer for someone in need of retirement income and financial planning. Also, financial advisors should be very well-read, with self-imposed reading requirements. Learning new ideas and revisiting old ones keeps veteran advisors fresh.
• Ability to listen:
“ ‘You have to have two ears and one mouth,’ my mother used to say; she made it clear that I should be listening twice as much as I was talking, and that advice has served me well in my life and career,” Friedman says. Clients come to an advisor for professional expertise, but they don’t want to be lectured. Advisors have to first listen to clients – their problems, needs and hopes – before offering a professional response. The conversation should flow easily both ways as an advisor and client get to the heart of matters in an atmosphere of mutual respect.