47 - Find a financial adviser / mentor

Reason for this Goal:    Find a financial adviser, mentor or planner to help you achieve your financial goals and ensure you remain focused to achieve your investment goals.  You can also find a local investment club, or group, that specializes in buying investment real estate or investing in other asset classes, in your local area.   While you can just go it alone, working with people and learning from their mistakes can save you a lot of time and costly errors.  

Types of financial advisers

Types of financial advisers and investment clubs available are . . . 

  • Financial adviser (commission based)
  • Financial planner (fee based)
  • On-line financial services company
  • An experienced, wealthy friend or mentor to guide you
  • Stock, mutual fund, or bond investment club
  • Private investment club

How  to find a good financial adviser

Take these steps to find a good financial adviser:

  1. Understand the types of financial advisers. Choose the type that work best for your your situation and level of investment experience to date.  Talk to people and find out their personal experiences.  

  2. Seek someone with reputable experience and credentials.  Their experience and track record matters as you want someone guiding you that has a proven track record.  There are many new advisers that haven't yet developed a track record.

  3. Understand how the financial adviser is compensated.  The most unbiased financial adviser is one who is fee based vs. commission based.  There are pros and cons to both types.  The big thing to understand is if the adviser is financially motivated to select one investment versus another, based on a higher commission rate.   

  4. Develop a list of interview questions that you wish to qualify or rate different financial advisers against before you select your preferred adviser.   I've personally interviewed an adviser and disqualified them when they didn't have an answer to a fundamental principle that was important to me. 

  5. Ask for references and check them out carefully, before deciding.  Having a personal reference (friend or family member) is best.   Third party references are fine too but I'd obtain at least 2 or 3.  

Things that a financial adviser should help you with

A good financial adviser should be able to help you with the following:

  • Assessing your risk tolerance for investments
  • Guiding you with the amount of money you should be investing, both monthly and annually
  • Recommending specific stocks, mutual funds, and other types of investments, while considering the Management Expense Ratios (MER) and the impact that will have on your net returns
  • The tax impacts with each type of investment
  • Both short and long term investment strategies
  • Understanding your real returns each year on each of your investments

The people you associate with, who help you, will to a large degree impact your financial health.  Taking the time to find the right financial mentor, advisor, investment club, or on-line financial services company is a great way to be mentored by success-minded people, and will give you the confidence to act.  Good planners and investment groups will have regular meetings, training classes, monthly newsletters, and member websites for you to learn from.   Make sure you consider the fees and management expense ratios associated with your financial advice, as the impacts to your financial results can be enormous.   

Suggested Goal(s):    Find your financial adviser or mentor, meet with them regularly, and start investing.
Your Outrageous Goal:  Become a contributing member of an investment club that helps others.

Return to financial goals.