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5 tips on choosing the perfect financial advisor

Contributed by Daniel Heuer
09 January, 2017

Learning how to save, invest and build your wealth is a daunting task. That's why a large majority of people opt to hire a financial advisor to help them in this aspect. However, not all financial advisors are created equal.

Lucky for us, we have Joe Garza's 5 tips on choosing the perfect financial advisor. Joe Garza works in wealth retention with partner Cameron Harris making up their firm, Garza & Harris Ltd. located in Dallas, Texas.

Know how your advisor is getting paid

If your financial planner charges commission rather than a flat hourly fee, there's always a chance they could steer you in a direction that get's them paid, without really caring what happens to you. "Most planners will announce right away that they are paid a flat fee, and those are the guys you want to use." Unfortunately, if you want to purchase insurance or an annuity, most of the financial advisors that focus in that area will charge commission.

Make sure your advisor is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP)

Any planner with a CFP will be licensed and regulated, having to take regular classes on various areas of financial planning. They will be the most up to date on any new regulations and practices and are more likely to follow a stricter, more lawful formula with your finances.

Don't stay with an adviser that you hate

He or she may be really good at her job, but lots of people are good at the job. You deserve respect and you deserve to feel good about your financial decisions, so if your planner isn't explaining things well enough or even blowing you off, show them the door.

Read your advisor's code of ethics

Take a look through the whole thing and, above all, make sure that you see the word "fiduciary" in there. Even if you don't completely understand the whole thing, that word means you can rest easy knowing that your advisor is looking after your best interest.

Ask what type of services your planner WILL and WON'T do

It's imperative to know if your advisor is the exact right one for you. The easiest way to find that out is asking about what services he or she specializes in. For example, some advisers will only help you with investing, while others are more well rounded and can help plan your retirement, taxes, estate and more. There's a place for both of these planners, (and a price range) you just have to figure out what you really want out of your financial planning.

Like we said, dealing with your finance is a daunting task, but picking the right financial adviser doesn't have to be.

"Do your homework, ask the right questions and don't be afraid to start over if it's not working," Joe Garza sums up.


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