Choosing An Advisor
We agree with the Wall Street Journal: this is how you might best select a financial advisor. Read more.
Finding someone you can trust to manage your money and other life resources is critical. You want to be sure you have a skilled, experienced expert who has your best interests always in mind.
We highly recommend choosing an advisor with a CFP® designation. CFP®s are certified by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, a national non-profit dedicated to protecting the public interest by setting strict standards for financial advisors. Anyone can legally call themselves a “financial planner,” but only those certified by the CFP Board can use the CFP® designation.
In addition to rigorous education and experience, the CFP Board requires CFP® professionals to provide their financial planning services as “fiduciaries” – to always act in their clients’ best interests. They have sworn to adhere to the CFP Board’s strict Code of Ethics and adhere to the federal government’s Fiduciary Standard. Broker-dealers and some other financial planners are not held to this legal standard, which requires investment advisors to put clients’ interests ahead of their own. Learn more about the CFP Board and its standards at the bottom of this page.*
A closely related basic rule is to choose an advisor who is fee-based, rather than commission-based. Commission-based advisors - usually designated as broker-dealers - make their money by steering you to particular funds or other investments that may not be best for your situation. Directly paying your advisor a fee removes the incentive to make a recommendation based even partly on his or her income needs. Truly independent investment advisors will make decisions based on your needs.
It’s also essential to have an advisor with whom you feel comfortable discussing any aspect of your life that relates to your financial health. The better your advisor knows you, your needs and your goals, the better service they can provide. Ideally, your advisor essentially will be a trusted counselor with an expertise in financial planning. We invite you to explore our website, call or email us with some basic info about yourself and any questions you may have, then come in for a visit to see if we’re a good match.
*More about the CFP Board:
When it comes to ethics and professional responsibility, CFP® professionals are held to the highest of standards, as outlined in the CFP Board's Standards of Professional Conduct. They are obliged to uphold the principles of integrity, objectivity, competence, fairness, confidentiality, professionalism and diligence as outlined in the CFP Board’s Code of Ethics. The Rules of Conduct require CFP® professionals to put your interests ahead of their own at all times and to provide their financial planning services as a “fiduciary”-- acting in the best interest of their financial planning clients.