What is a Financial Advisor?

A Financial Advisor is a financial services professional.   Depending on an individual’s training and area of specialization, he or she can:

  • Design your financial plan
  • Advise you on investment choices
  • Buy and sell financial/investment products for you
  • Design and implement retirement and estate planning strategies
  • Prepare your tax returns
  • Sell you life or disability insurance

Ten Desirable Traits in a Financial Advisor

If you want to find good advisors to help you with your finances, look for people who:

  • Possess expertise in a relevant field of genuine knowledge (i.e. a CPA, an attorney, a securities person, a Life Agent), in other words, a specialist .
  • Are more interested in how well you benefit than how well theybenefit.
  • Provide meaningful information, excellent choices and clear explanations.
  • Present choices in the context of the full range of competing options.
  • Present accurate and reasonable assessments of the risks and uncertainties involved.
  • Strive to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
  • Strive to educate you so that you can make your own best choices.
  • Are just as satisfied with your informed selections as their own recommendations.
  • Are willing to reveal how they are compensated and how it affects their advice.
  • Have the warmth and wisdom to handle you and your money with great care.

Five Ways to Avoid a Scam

  • Never send money to purchase an investment based simply on a telephone sales pitch.
  • Never make a check out to a sales representative.
  • Never send checks to an address different from the business address of the brokerage firm or a designated address listed in the prospectus. If your sales representative asks you to do any of these things, contact the branch manager or compliance officer of the brokerage firm.
  • Never allow your transaction confirmations and account statements to be delivered or mailed to your sales representative as a substitute for receiving them yourself.
  • Never allow the brokerage firm to name themselves as owner of your IRA.