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Financial Planning
Date: March 1, 2021

5 Steps for Finding a Financial Advisor in Lakewood, CO

Finding a financial advisor in Lakewood, CO is easy.  Pinpointing the right financial advisor for your unique needs and financial challenges is a bit more difficult.  If you don’t know where to start in your quest to find a financial advisor worth his or her keep in Lakewood, don’t fret.  Print out this guide, take your time, thoroughly vet potential candidates and you will be comfortable making a truly informed decision when selecting a Lakewood, CO financial advisor. 

Let’s discuss ways to get your financial life balanced. Contact The Normandy Group today!

 

Determine the Specific Services You Need

No two people need exactly the same financial advisory services.  The types of services you require are just as important as the potential cost of the service.  So don’t let the financial advisor’s compensation be a deal-breaker.  Instead, shift your focus to whether the financial advisor is capable of serving your unique needs.  

As an example, those who are primarily interested in planning for retirement will be best served by finding a financial advisor who specializes in retirement planning.  Known as retirement planning specialists or RPS for short, these professionals help clients prepare for retirement and also ensure they have a high quality of life during retirement.  

Alternatively, wealth planners thrive in the niche of assisting clients who have a comparably high net worth.  Some wealth planners specialize in serving clients with a million dollars or more of assets while others narrow their focus on clients who have even more money.   Add in the fact that there are estate planners, exit planners, and other specialists within the industry and you have even more options to consider.  The moral of this story is there are multiple specializations within the financial services industry so be sure to select the one that is optimal for your unique needs and desires.

 

Choose the Right Type of Advisor

The financial industry requires financial advisors to adhere to compliance regulations. The compliance regulations vary for the type of financial advisor you may be interested in working with. 

Furthermore, there is a distinction to be made between fee-only advisors, fee-based advisors and commission only advisors.  Fee-based advisors may charge commissions and fees.  Fee-only advisors are compensated only through fees paid on a percentage of their clients AUM (assets under management), or fixed fees paid to the advisor by the client.  Commission based advisors earn their income based on the products they sell and the accounts they open.  

 

Consider Your Budget’s Limitations

Selecting a financial advisor often comes down to cost in terms of what you need and also what you can afford.  Financial advisors earn money through either a flat, annual or hourly fee, through a combination of commissions and fees or strictly through commissions earned through the sale of investments.  

The most common financial advisor fee structure is an annual fee determined by assets under management.  The average financial advisor fee is 1% per year yet the exact figure is determined through a sliding scale.  In many cases, the greater the assets placed with the advisor, the lower the fee.  As a result, assets that gradually increase in size will ultimately reduce the cost of the financial advisor’s services as time progresses.  

Alternatively, robo-advisors are available at a lower cost, yet they do not provide an opportunity to interface or communicate with an actual person.

 

Consider the Financial Advisor’s Credentials

It will only take a couple minutes to verify your financial advisor’s credentials using adviserinfo.sec.gov or brokercheck.com.  These are no-cost tools that have valuable information about financial advisors in terms of their experience, background, and credentials.  If any disciplinary action has been taken against the advisor you have in mind, it should be listed on these sites.  

It is also advisable to perform research on your own.  Ask colleagues, friends, and family about their experiences with Lakewood, CO financial advisors.  

 

Meet With the Financial Advisor You Have in Mind Before Committing

Even if you meet with the financial advisor at the top of your list through a videoconference, as many financial advisors have moved to this type of meeting due to the pandemic, it is better than not interacting at all.  Pick the financial advisor’s brain, ask questions, pose concerns and carefully listen to the responses.  

Consider whether the financial advisor will customize solutions for your unique needs or whether you will be provided with the same exact services and recommendations as other clients.  Inquire about resources provided to the advisor’s clients.  

If the financial advisor lacks access to highly specialized expertise and you need such insight at some point down the line, the advisor will only be able to help to a limited extent.  

Prepare ahead of time before interacting with the financial advisor you have in mind and you will be able to pose specific questions that help you determine whether the advisor in question is deserving of your business.  

As an example, it is in your interest to ask the financial advisor how long he or she has worked in the industry, the manner in which they are compensated and whether they are willing to walk you through the basics of proposed solutions to your financial challenges.  

If you feel as though the financial advisor is unwilling to break down complex concepts into plain English you can understand with ease, do not hesitate to move on to the next candidate.  When in doubt, ask one or several follow-up questions to ensure you fully understand the value the financial advisor brings to the table. 

The CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Professionals and Certified Estate Planners™ at The Normandy Group offer serious financial planning for today’s complex world.  By combining tax, financial, and estate planning strategies we can help you achieve your goals. Contact us today for a complimentary consultation.

 

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Charles Partheymuller
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Charles Partheymuller