Investors shouldn’t be afraid to interview advisors before settling on someone they can work with, says Dawn Marchand, vice-president of marketing and direct distribution for CBIA/Lawyers Financial.
Marchand tells AdvocateDaily.com that the value of good financial advice can be significant, with one study showing that advised investors accumulated almost four times as many assets compared to non-advised investors over a 15-year period — after adjusting for socio-economic and attitudinal differences.
She says referrals from family, friends, colleagues and other trusted people are a good place to start the search for sound financial advice.
“But you can’t stop there," says Marchand. "Just because someone uses one advisor and loves her, doesn’t mean she’s right for you. This is a very important relationship to get right and you need to take it seriously because you’re going to be giving them your money and asking them to look after your finances.
“Set up a quick interview, ask them some questions, and see if it’s a good fit,” she adds.
Even a quick meeting can give investors a sense of some of the more intangible qualities that are critical to an ongoing relationship with an advisor, Marchand says
“There has to be a personality fit and a certain level of comfort,” she says. “When you’re talking about finances, this person will have to tell you when you’re overextended in one area or another and explain your choices. They’re not there to boss you around, but it’s not always easy to hear these things, which means you need someone you feel very comfortable with.”
To aid investors with their search, Marchand shares her three key questions for finding the right advisor: