Vetting Your Adviser for Appropriate Licensing and Consumer Behavior
After the market meltdown in 2008, many investors regret that they didn’t vet their financial adviser. With the market crash as a backdrop and most portfolios only recovering to par, many investors started looking for active management that will mitigate the losses. Watch the video interview with registered financial consultant and investment adviser representative Ted Meyer on Retirement Tips for Seniors.
What about financial advisers? Some are like architects who can design an overall blueprint for a comprehensive financial plan that integrates smaller plans for college, retirement, long term care and estate planning? Other financial advisers are asset allocators, some do the allocation themselves and others outsource the mutual fund and ETF management. These are all individuals who may have their area of expertise, but they need someone to ride herd over them to ensure you get the best possible management of your money.
Consider your legal team: from CPAs who work on your taxes, to attorneys who oversee real estate transactions, business transactions, and estate documents like wills and trusts. How do you find the time to interview the many fiduciaries involved? Could you even intelligently conduct the interview?
Could someone have the breadth of knowledge to understand all these areas? More than likely no. But there are financial stewards that can vet all these areas of concern and hire the right representative for each area. A financial steward is a position that carries a sacred family trust; he is like a financial consigliore. He or she reports to you, delivers financial statements from all areas of your finances and is your most trusted adviser.
Many advisers and insurance agents have LinkedIn accounts and company web sites that have their biographies posted. It’s a bit like reviewing an autobiography, but it may reveal information critical to your selection process.
You need to vet your financial adviser. Is your adviser licensed to offer all the financial product lines for your money goals and psychological suitability? Many “advisers” are not security and/or fee-based licensed, so that consideration should be part of your hiring criteria. It’s your money, so make sure your interview with potential advisers has your interests at heart.