How do you find a professional financial advisor in your area? It may feel like a choice you don’t know much about. But in fact, if you live in Newark, CA, or in another part of the Bay Area, there are a set of steps to take to find a professional financial advisor for your needs.
1. Determine what you want to use a financial advisor for
People use a financial advisor for a wide variety of reasons. One or two of them might be very important to you — or you may not be fully aware of all the services they offer.
The role of a financial advisor is to help you achieve your financial goals and help build a plan that impacts all aspects of financial life. Your goals may be managing your financial life better, preparing for retirement, saving for a down payment on a home – anything you want.
Looking for a financial advisor who can help you set a course for financial success? Contact Humanity Wealth today!
Advisors provide advice on many topics (see below). You may want to consult a comprehensive financial advisor who does it all or just uses one or two of these services.
Budgeting and cash flow – establishing a record of your expenses and income, working with you to manage debt, living within your means, identifying ways to save for your goals.
Investment advice – advising you on how to invest, investment goals, what to invest in, how much to invest, managing your investments, and their performance.
Retirement advice – how much to save for retirement, investing for retirement, how to manage your retirement income (Social Security plus other income, such as investments), withdrawing money upon retirement, taxation at retirement.
Higher education – saving for higher education, for yourself, children, or grandchildren
Insurance needs – making sure you have sufficient insurance for all your possessions (home, car) plus life insurance if needed.
Estate planning – setting up a plan to transfer your wealth to the next generation through wills and trusts, setting up healthcare plans, and financial management in later life.
Investing involves risk, including possible loss of principal.
Humanity Wealth Advisors and LPL Financial do not provide legal advice or tax services. Please consult your legal advisor or tax advisor regarding your specific situation.
2. Work with an advisor who follows a fiduciary standard
Many people don’t know that some advisors are mandated to put their clients’ financial well-being first, and others aren’t. It’s an important distinction to know!
When hiring a financial advisor, you should strongly consider hiring an advisor who follows a fiduciary standard. These professionals give advice that puts your financial interests first and not their own.
3. Know their fee structure
Fee structure matters because it determines how much you’ll pay, of course. But it also matters because it’s often linked to whether an advisor follows a fiduciary standard.
Advisors who follow this standard generally work with a fee-only structure. They can charge by the hour, service, subscription, or percentage of the assets under management (AUM). It’s prudent to work with someone who is transparent in their fees.
Brokers and other advisors who adhere to the suitability standard often work on commission, not on a fee basis.
4. Research their qualifications and experience
While asking family and friends for recommendations is fine, it’s even better to conduct your due diligence when hiring a financial advisor. You should use an objective set of questions (see below) when interviewing financial professionals that stick to topics like experience, credentials, and their background. Whenever possible, obtain the advisor’s qualifications in written format so you have a fully documented outline of their backgrounds, skills, and services they will provide to you.
Then, research the recommendation’s background and experience.
5. Interview them and ask questions
Finally, interview several financial advisors you’ve researched. Ask them if they follow a fiduciary standard. Ask for their fee structure. Ask if they’re worked with clients at your income and knowledge level before. (It may be prudent to pick one whose client’s income, assets, and knowledge are roughly similar to yours.)
You want to select a financial advisor you feel comfortable with. Look around their office. Is it comfortable for you to be there?
Then, ask them questions. You should feel comfortable that they can explain concepts and factual information in a clear, transparent way that you understand. You shouldn’t feel any negatives (overwhelmed, unsure, condescended to, responded to with jargon or unfamiliar terms). Questions are always part of working with a financial advisor, so you need to evaluate how they answer questions!
Come with questions that you really want to be answered. But you might also want to ask a question you know the answer to evaluate how it’s answered.
Some sample questions are:
- What financial planning services do you provide?
- What’s your financial planning philosophy?
- Do you have any account minimums?
- What information do I need to provide to you?
- Can you work with my other advisors, like accountants or lawyers?
- How many times and how often will we meet?
- How often will I receive reports on my investments?
- Financial questions you actually have, such as “how much do I need to retire?” or “what’s the best college savings plan for my children.”
- Specific questions you actually have, such as “what’s the difference between Roth and traditional Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs).
Contact a Financial Advisor in Newark, CA
Humanity Wealth Advisors was founded by a single governing principle: That the everyday individual is our greatest bottom line. That’s why our team is committed to your success.
Our fee-only services include affordable financial planning in the Bay Area and advice and support tailored to your needs. We provide guidance in plain, ordinary terms (without all the industry jargon).
With over 20 years of financial experience, we help our clients develop a clear, holistic plan to build their financial futures. When you’re ready to pursue financial planning, contact our team of friendly, reliable professionals.