How do I select the right financial planner or advisor for me?

Written By Steps To Faculty Published July 12th, 2010

It is simply not possible for busy professional people or busy entrepreneurs to handle all of their financial matters – or to even pretend that they are competent to oversee every single financial decision a business will make without external input; at some point, we are all going to have to rely upon the professionals. Since it’s unavoidable, selecting a financial planner is critical to long-tem success. Given that, below are three items that a business entrepreneur should bear in mind when looking for the financial planner or advisor that is right for them. Just as in life as a whole, if you want success, it never hurts to surround yourself with the right people.

Step 1 Find someone with experience in working with people in your type of business

It’s simple, right: if someone is a good financial planner, that means they will be a good planner for me, too – regardless of my line of business? In most instances, a talented financial planner can make a world of difference regardless of the business – but that should never be complacently viewed as a universal truth. The reality is that financial planners are always going to have some areas to which they gravitate because those are the areas where they are more experienced or, relatively-speaking, more competent. If you want the best financial advice possible, then it never hurts to look at working with a financial advisor who has worked with people in your situation before – and, preferably, many times before.

Step 2 Work with someone who values your business

What does this mean? Well, put simply, it means that you should look for financial advisors who are not so large that they have forgotten about the importance of working for their clients; in other words, small or medium-sized financial services firms are often the best ones for small businesses because you are not simply a number to them; as well, you will be more readily able to establish a relationship of some kind with businesses that value your business, in part, because they need your business. At the end of the day, always ask yourself this: how much time does this firm appear willing to devote to helping me achieve my objectives?

Step 3 Deal with financial advisors who have the ability to see things from your perspective – but with a professional objectivity

This is maybe the most nebulous thing up for discussion. When we discuss being able to ‘see’ things from the perspective of a client, we are thinking in terms of a financial planner who possesses real empathy – and the only way to get a sense for whether or not a financial planner has such empathy is to develop a relationship with that planner. In short, you should get to know the person you are working with – and you should collect data on how their work compares to others in the field; the best way of doing this is to simply ask other clients or to compare the results you are getting to the results that someone in a similar circumstance is getting. By looking at what you are ‘getting back,’ you can get a sense as to whether or not they are really able to see things from your perspective; at the same time, by engaging in constant evaluation and appraisal, you can develop a sense of whether or not they are being truly objective – for the best planners will be both empathetic and objective.

When we look for financial planners, it never hurts to look for someone who is ‘into you’ and who cares about your business almost as much as you do. Keep the above in mind, and success will surely follow you.

Roger Due

Investing in Your Destiny® & Coaching Program - Wealth Building Summit Dallas, Texas

My name is Roger Due and I am from Albuquerque, New Mexico and I am the owner of the Monsano software company. This has been an absolutely fantastic conference. This is the best I have ever been to.