Whether you’re wondering when the best time is to buy a home or looking for ways to maximize your retirement investments, a qualified financial advisor can help guide you through important financial decisions. Over time, an advisor can have a significant influence on your financial health. That’s why it's crucial to find one who understands your goals and acts in your best interest.
Just as doctors have different bedside manners, advisors bring different approaches and personalities to the table. Most financial advisors do not charge for an initial meeting, so meet with three to five candidates to get a feel for how their style fits with yours before settling on one. "If you want to understand an advisor’s financial recommendations and he or she seems unwilling to explain it, then that's a bad match," says Tom Warschauer, a professor emeritus of personal financial planning at San Diego State University.
In addition to assessing a potential financial advisor's style and approach, ask these questions:
"People need to make a lot of investment decisions in their lives, and if they base those decisions on faulty premises, then they're going to make bad decisions," Warschauer says. "That's why it's important to find a financial advisor you trust and feel comfortable with."
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