Tips for Hiring Advisors
Depending on your circumstances, you might want to hire an attorney, financial advisor, insurance agent, doctor or another type of specialist. Before you sign a contract and begin paying someone for advice, it is important to clarify how they will help you and what exactly you are looking to get out of the arrangement.
Try to find advisors who will help you look at your situation holistically. Especially if you are in a complex situation that crosses many parts of your life (such as deciding when to take your Social Security payouts as you transition to retirement), you will want to get your questions answered before you take action. Some decisions are irreversible. Once you make your move, you can’t go back.
When seeking any kind of professional advisor, ask yourself if hiring this advisor would ease your stress, or if it would add more stress. Sometimes it is OK to go it alone.
- Conduct informational interviews. Whenever possible, interview at least three candidates before choosing one. Keep in mind that when you are in a crisis situation, you are more likely to rush into an agreement you might regret later.
- Know how they get paid. Ask them to explain all fees, including administrative charges. Ask them how and when they expect to get paid. If they operate on commission or only represent one product or company, do some comparison shopping before committing to anything. Reputable professionals are willing to have straightforward conversations about the fees they charge. It raises a red flag if someone is glossing over details or not giving you straight answers to your questions.
- Ask for references. Look for certifications and professional associations. Research customer complaints, and ask for testimonials or references from former clients if you need reassurance before signing a deal.
When hiring a financial advisor, follow these guidelines: