According to data provided by Cerulli Associates, there are approximately 300,000 registered financial advisors across the United States. During the past decade, there has been a growing belief within the financial services industry that robo-advisors and other technological innovations would decrease the demand for financial advisors. This has simply not been the case. In fact, despite projections that the industry would shrink in the coming years, the demand for financial advisors has never been stronger. Are you searching for a financial advisor? If so, a good place to start is by reviewing a list of the most important characteristics of a quality Financial Advisor. Let’s review the details.          

Good Reputation

Arguably, the most important characteristic of a good financial advisor is “reputation.” If you are searching for professional financial guidance, do your homework by asking friends, business associates and family members for a referral. Search for an advisor who comes highly recommended in your circle of acquaintances. The biggest mistake you can make is to quickly select the advisor with the biggest advertisement or the most impressive website. Typically, the most successful advisors are not interested in “over-the-top” marketing campaigns and aggressive media exposure. Instead, they focus on serving their clients and relying on their pristine reputation to bring in a steady stream of new clients.          

Wide Range Of Knowledge

Successful financial planning is more complex and intricate than it was 30 years ago. Prior to the 1990s, a financial advisor was nothing more than an asset allocator. Typically, their main focus was to simply allocate their clients’ portfolios into the proper asset “buckets.” During the past few decades, an added layer of volatility and complexity have been introduced to the financial markets. A slew of new investment products and regulatory issues have been added to the financial landscape.

These days, there are many areas involved in a complete and thorough financial plan. Consequently, a good financial advisor should be well versed in the areas of retirement planning, investment management, insurance planning, estate planning and tax planning. It takes much more than a simple asset allocation model to provide clients with proper financial advice. As you are searching for a financial advisor, it’s critically important that your advisor has a solid understanding and a wide range of knowledge in all areas mentioned above, particularly tax strategies.

The Client’s Interests Are Always Placed First

A reputable financial advisor will always place the client’s interests ahead of her own. One of the chief complaints among critics within the financial services industry is that some advisors have a reputation of pushing unnecessary products on their clients in order to collect additional commission dollars. This type of activity gives the industry a bad reputation. Prior to starting a relationship with an advisor, ask the advisor is she has the ability to offer a wide range of products versus a small list of proprietary products offered only by the advisor’s firm. If your advisor is constantly pushing products, that should be treated as a red flag.

The Advisor Lays Out A Clear Strategy

Would you take a trip across the country without a map? The same logic should be followed when working with a financial advisor. A good advisor will lay out a plan of action in an effort to help you complete your financial goals as you journey through life. Of course, the ultimate goal is a comfortable retirement. If an unexpected event arises, your advisor should help you make the necessary changes in order to keep your financial plan on track.

Maintain A Sense Of Calm Whenever A Crisis Occurs

The best financial advisors are those who have the ability to weather the storm without invoking a sense of panic. Whether we like it or not, financial markets are inherently volatile. Crises will certainly occur over the course of your life, as you’re saving for retirement. Clients will usually take their cue from their advisors. If the advisor exudes a feeling of calm in the middle of a financial crisis, this will dramatically reduce the anxiety level of the client. A good advisor will remind her clients that the best course of action during a crisis is to follow their long-term strategy and don’t deviate from the plan.    

These are just a few important characteristics of a good financial advisor. As a perspective client, the most important thing you can do when searching for an advisor is to ask questions and use industry resources as a means of finding a well-established advisor with a good reputation. In terms of industry resources, a great place to start is https://brokercheck.finra.org/. This website allows you to check the background of all licensed financial advisors. Always remember, do your homework.  

Angelica Roxas has been licensed as an investment professional for almost 20 years. She is  President of Strategic Asset Preservation, Inc. and the Founder and President of South Bay Tax Solutions. Angelica can be more aptly described as a financial strategist based on the fact that she is an expert in providing her clients with specific tax planning strategies and long-term strategic retirement plans.

Angelica sets herself apart from other financial advisors because many advisors within the industry are only focused on wealth accumulation. Angelica provides an added layer of expertise by offering her clients a tax planning perspective that most advisors within the industry simply can’t match. For example, Angelica often finds that many of her new clients are confused when they discover that their Medicare premiums have increased. She is able to show her clients specifically what’s causing the increase in taxation. Together, Angelica and her clients are able to discover the root of the problem and find solutions to lessen the tax burden. 

If you would like to meet with Angelica at no cost or obligation, she will be happy to review your financial situation. Angelica’s phone number is (424) 247-1120 or email at angelica@strategicassetpreservation.com. Visit Angelica at: www.strategicassetpreservation.com


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