3 Simple Steps for Choosing Your Next Financial Advisor

The number and variety of financial advisors today is simply astounding. From those who specialize in fortifying money to those who believe in growing wealth as quickly as possible, there is no lack of options when it comes to choosing a financial advisor. But this can be a double-edged sword. The sheer number of choices can often be overwhelming, often leaving clients disheartened and confused.

As a financial advisor who’s helped clients in that very situation, I believe there are three key steps to choosing your next financial advisor and it’s easier than you think.

1. Know Thyself

Before you begin your search, it’s essential for you to understand a little about yourself. Which of these options best fits you?


Do-It-Yourselfers don’t want to work with someone else. They typically enjoy managing their own finances and have the capability to do so. They write their own plans, conduct their own research, make their own computations, and set up their own accounts.


Collaborators like to take on responsibility but desire a professional to lean on for information or occasional advice. They like the control of the do-it-yourselfer but the peace of mind of a delegator.


A Delegator is someone who knows what they can confidently hand off to someone else. Delegators believe they benefit from the value a trusted Advisor provides, freeing them to focus on other, more important things in life.

Your role will help define the relationship with your financial advisor and will be a key element in determining its success.

2. Ask Around

Once you understand your desired role, it’s time to find an advisor who complements it. But where do you start? I think asking friends is one of the most efficient ways. In all likelihood one of them has a financial advisor they know and trust. After all, your goal is to build a relationship with someone who is taking care of an important part of your life. Friends and acquaintances can be an easy way to cut through the clutter and find an excellent advisor quickly and easily.

3. Ask the Right Questions

Once you’re sitting across the table from a potential advisor, be sure you ask the right questions. Remember, this is an interview, and easy questions won’t help uncover his/her potential shortcomings. With that in mind, here are some important areas to cover:

  1. What makes me a good fit for your services? Most advisors specialize in helping similar types of people. Find out what their niche is and if you’re a part of it.
  2. What should I bring for the first meeting? Good advisors want you to come prepared. They will request you bring your financial documents and significant other.
  3. What is your process for new clients? Any advisors worth doing business with will have a structured process outlining onboarding and follow-up procedures. Make sure their process is clear and understandable.
  4. How will you determine my strategy? If their answer is focused on solving your significant issues while helping you attain your life goals and living your ideal life, you’re on the right track. A financial advisor should be focused on more than just your account balance.
  5. Can you refer me to someone else? A good advisor will recognize when a different financial advisor would better serve a client. If you’re not a good fit, ask the advisor if he/she knows someone who might be.

Keep your eyes open during the meeting. Does he/she seem detail oriented? What does their support structure look like? Is their response to your financial information nonjudgmental and supportive? Do they ask great questions? Do the reports/material seem relevant and understandable?

Once you have found someone who can answer these questions to your satisfaction, go for it! You’ve likely found a great financial advisor who will serve you well for many years to come.

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. To determine which investment(s) may be appropriate for you, consult your financial advisor prior to investing. The performance data given represents past performance and should not be considered indicative of future results.

Securities and Advisory Services offered through LPL Financial. Member FINRA/SIPC.