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Finding a Financial Advisory Firm That is Right for You

If you are looking for a financial advisor in the Wilmington, Delaware area, you may have found plenty of options. However, selecting the financial advisor that you ultimately end up working with may be easier said than done. It pays to do your research, and in this article, we will share some tips as you begin your search.

Some financial advisors are fiduciaries, which means they have a duty of care to act in the best interests of their clients.  Certain financial advisors work for a flat fee, while others are on commission.  Add in the fact that some financial advisors take on more clients than they should, and you may find that pinpointing a professional to dedicate sufficient time and effort to your financial planning is that much more challenging.

Let’s take a look at what to zero in on when sorting through financial advisor prospects.

Search for a Financial Advisory Firm Willing to Tailor Service to Your Situation and Goals

If you are like most people who are looking for a financial advisory firm, you may be searching for a group that will help you pinpoint investments that spur sustainable cash flow throughout the entirety of your retirement.

However, you may also benefit from a financial advisor who implements a balanced approach that accounts for your unique cash flow needs, risk tolerance and targeted returns.  This means you might want to select a financial advisor that is willing to spend the time and effort necessary to custom-tailor financial planning and investment strategies for your specific situation.

Looking for a different approach to financial planning? Contact Clariti Wealth Advisors for a complimentary consultation!

If your portfolio withdrawal rate is elevated and the relationship between cash required and investment funds is imbalanced, your financial plan won’t prove effective — regardless of the financial advisory firm you select.  The best in the business will invest the time necessary to gauge each client’s specific cash needs prior to creating a portfolio.  Though this approach might seem fairly obvious, a considerable number of financial advisors do not implement it.

Financial Planning Tailored to Your Situation and Goals

The financial advisor you select must be willing to develop an intricate understanding of your financial situation and aims.  This means your current financial status will have to be evaluated in depth.  If the financial advisor you are considering is unwilling to develop and present recommendations for financial planning tailored to your nuanced financial picture and goals, it would probably in your best interest to move on to the next candidate.

However, gathering information, analyzing that information, and developing your investment portfolio along with a financial plan is only half the battle.  The other half is monitoring investments made on your behalf to make sure they are being evaluated for potential position changes based on market fluctuations, the economy, current events, etc.

Comprehensive Financial Planning

Some firms restrict their services to investment management.  Others strictly provide ancillary financial guidance.  In fact, some such professionals are primarily interested in pitching products as opposed to financial solutions.

You may benefit most from a comprehensive financial plan that is tailored to your investment goals, your financial picture, your tolerance for risk, and more.  Everything from your unique employee benefits to insurance coverage, debt management, and even estate tax planning should be considered when crafting your unique financial plan.

“Set it and Forget It” Will not Suffice

You deserve active financial planning in which your financial advisor does more than merely allocate your money in the most prudent manner on your behalf.  The strategic distribution of your investments across tax-free, tax-deferred and taxable accounts is certainly important, yet the steps taken after this allocation are also crucial.

The best in the business continue to gauge the success or failure of clients’ investments and reallocate and rebalance accordingly.  You also deserve a periodic review with your financial advisor to go over the allocation of your assets, pinpoint new opportunities, and alter your strategy as appropriate based on changes in your financial circumstances.

Check the Credentials

Do not hire a financial advisor until you have performed your due diligence, which should include verifying the advisor’s credentials.  You can check a financial advisor’s credentials on adviserinfo.sec.gov or brokercheck.com.  These are no-cost tools that provide information pertaining to the experience and background of financial advisors as well as financial advisory firms.

If the financial advisor you have in mind has any disciplinary action taken against them, it will be noted on these sites.

Take Some Time to Consider the Services You Require

The services you need are not the same as those required by your neighbor or your co-worker.  Find an advisor who provides the specific services you need, and you will be happy with your decision.

As an example, if retirement planning is your primary concern, it is in your interest to find a financial advisor with a track record of success and a stellar reputation in retirement planning.  Other financial advisors may have their own unique specializations, strengths, and even some weaknesses.

As an example, if you do not require full-fledged financial planning and need specialized assistance in selling or exiting your business, you can benefit from the assistance of a certified exit planner.

Those who are looking for guidance to make it through a significant life transition such as the sale of their business or the death of a spouse will find the assistance of a certified financial transitionist quite helpful.  Estate planners can make preparing an estate for loved ones that much easier.  Wealth planners are skilled in performing financial planning for clients with comparably high net worth.

Fee-only or Commission: That is the Question

Those with extensive experience in the financial advisor industry typically recommend that clients hire fee-only specialists who do not accept commissions on recommended investments.

Those who operate on commission may have potential conflicts of interest in that they may be inclined to recommend specific investments to maximize the commission they receive from a 3rd party.

Alternatively, those who work for a fee have no such conflict of interest as they have nothing to gain by recommending specific investments and are paid by you-their client.

At Clariti Wealth Advisors, we have been helping our clients build sustainable wealth for over 30 years.  While the majority of our clients reside in or near Wilmington, Delaware, we provide service for households in other states, as well.  We are ready and able to meet with you in person and/or virtually to provide all of your planning needs.  We do everything with one result in mind:  and that’s you achieving your life goals. Contact us today and start planning for a brighter tomorrow.

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