How To Choose A Financial Advisor

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You may have read all about financial advisors, financial planners, and wealth managers. As a high net worth individual, you understand the value that outside professional advice can bring to your financial situation. You know that when the amount of money involved is large, the stakes are that much higher. You want to work with a financial advisor. But one question in your mind that you still need an answer to is this – how to choose a financial advisor? If you are someone who has $10 million or more in liquid investible assets, then make sure you explore this book on choosing the best financial advisor. For quick answers to your question, continue reading this article.

A financial advisor charges a fee in return for the services offered. Therefore, one needs to carefully evaluate whether paying such a fee makes sense and whether the benefits derived from the advice outweighs the fee. Therefore, the first question we will explore is who should hire a financial advisor.

A financial advisor is a very broad term. It includes financial planners, portfolio managers, wealth managers, and other professionals that manage assets or offer financial advice. So, it becomes important to understand the types of financial advisors and what each one specializes in.Pillar Wealth Management specializes in wealth management for individuals with $5 million to $500 million in liquid assets.

Once you have a good idea of the kind of financial advisor that fits your needs, the next step is to figure out how to check the financial advisor’s credentials. How to know if the advisor is genuine and won’t take you for a ride?

Lastly, we will look at some key reasons whyPillar Wealth Management is one of the best online financial advisors. Let’s begin!

Who should hire a financial advisor?

Advisors usually charge anywhere from a few thousand dollars to a few hundred thousand dollars. If you are wondering how to choose afinancial advisor, then you should also know thatadvisors work on different fee models.Pillar Wealth Management is a fiduciary fee-only financial advisor that works with individuals who have liquid assets between $5 million and $500 million.

If you have a few hundred thousand dollars in assets or even a few million, you know that you have to think abouttaxes, investment costs, retirement, your legacy, etc. There are many topics related to your money running around in your head. You can either go to separate professionals that each specialize in one of these topics. You can go to your accountant for taxes, a portfolio manager for investments, and a financial planner for lifestyle and life goals. However, wouldn’t it be great to just talk to one person and get everything done in a coordinated manner? Who should hire a financial advisor? The person who wants an integrated solution should.Talk to Hutch Ashoo from Pillar Wealth Management to know how you can benefit from a customer-centric wealth management firm.

How To Choose A Financial Advisor

If you are someone who has worked with a financial advisor in the past but aren’t happy with the progress, then you need to consider finding a fiduciary who is experienced at managing high net worth wealth. If you have had an advisor who simply kept changing your investments frequently and incurred high short-term capital gains tax, then you need to hire someone who understands investment costs better. Check this downloadable guide on improving portfolio performance for investors with $5 million to $500 million in investible assets.

If you are looking to time, costs, or simply want expertise, then working with a financial advisor makes sense.

Some other reasons to hire a financial advisor

Besides the reasons mentioned above, there are some other factors to consider when thinking about how to choose a financial advisor. If you have decent knowledge of investing and finance but would still like an independent opinionor you don’t want to make any mistakes in making important decisions, then working with a financial advisor makes sense.

If you have multiple things going on and do not have the time to learn about wide-ranging topics on finance, then working with someone who does financial advisory for a living makes complete sense. At Pillar Wealth Management, we work with high net worth and ultra-high net worth clients every day. We understand what issues are common among high net worth portfolios and have experience in dealing with them. You canschedule your free consultation with Hutch Ashoo or Chris Snyder to simply explore how financial advisory and wealth management is unique for high net worth and ultra-high net worth accounts. You can also learn about our strategies for high net worth clientele.

Lastly, those individuals who have a diverse set of needs for financial advice should consider working with an experienced and reputed advisor. Someone who has to deal with buying or selling a multi-million dollar property, manage gift tax issues, think about business succession, and also give back to society through philanthropy will clearly have a lot on his/her plate. Every decision can potentially affect many of these financial aspects of his/her life. Therefore, a trained professional who is adept at understanding all of these issues can contribute positively. You expect a financial advisor to make decisions that are holistic and sensitive to the impact on all areas of your financial life.

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Understand the types of financial advisors

Financial advisor is a general term. It applies to professionals who advise on personal finance. However, a financial advisor could be a wealth manager, a financial planner, a retirement planner, a portfolio manager, an investment advisor, or simply a generic financial planner. If you are thinking abouthow to choose afinancial advisor, then you first need to understand the types of financial advisors.

A financial planner is someone who helps plan your financial life. A certified financial planner or CFP is someone who passes a test and is a certified professional to offer financial planning services. A financial planner studies your income, your expenses, your life goals, how much money those goals need, and when you need to fulfill those goals. Based on that, the planner prepares an investment plan. Some tax-related help is also offered in the process.

A wealth manager is similar to a financial planner but focuses exclusively on high net worth and ultra-high net worth clients. In fact, almost all wealth managers have a certain minimum account threshold that they work with. Their expertise also revolves more around handling multi-million dollar transactions, estate planning, philanthropy, retirement planning, real estate advisory, and all the topics that high net worth individuals deal with.

An investment advisor and a portfolio manager specialize in managing a pool of money. They do not focus as much on what every client’s life goal is, what their standard of living is, and how their financial future can be secured. Their focus is mainly on the rate of return that the fund which they manage generates.

You can read more about the different types of financial advisors in this book called The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Financial Advisor: For Investors With $5 Million to $500 Million in Liquid Assets.

Check the financial advisor’s credentials

Once you start to research financial advisors for your needs, you will start to notice the kind of services they offer and the kind of qualifications that they have. Some advisors will be listed on databases like the CFP website, the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAFPA) website, or the Financial Planning Standards Board (FPSB) website. They may be a member of some other organization. This is one way to check the financial advisor’s credentials.

You can also visit websites like LinkedIn and check the educational qualifications, work experience, and the general background of the advisor. Any articles or blogs that an advisor has written on popular websites or in the mainstream media also adds credibility. If an advisor every mentions any memberships that he/she holds, then make sure you ask for the registration number and then later check if the registration is valid.

One factor that adds significant credibility to a financial advisor’s profile is if he/she is a fiduciary. A fiduciary is someone who is registered with either the state regulator or the SEC. A fiduciary is bound to act in the best interest of the client and point out whenever there is a potential conflict of interest. Feel free to start a conversation with Pillar Wealth Management to discuss how being a fiduciary helps the client in the long run.

You can also ask people who have worked with a particular advisor about their experience. If you cannot find someone directly, then you can ask within your personal network if there is any common connection between you and the advisor. Your family, friends, work colleagues, and contacts may know someone that you can speak to.

After checking the credentials, how to choose a financial advisor

Once you have done your research on the credibility of a financial advisor, you can try and schedule a one-on-one meeting with the advisor. Having another person handle something as personal as your finances requires trust. The point of meeting the advisor is not only to ask all your questions, but also get an idea of the personality. Is this someone that you can work with? Does the advisor come across as genuine and trustworthy? You can only judge these aspects when you speak with the advisor directly.

We have written a complimentary book on choosing the best financial advisor for individuals with $5 million to $500 million in liquid investible assets. Go ahead and check it out for deeper insights into choosing the right advisor. You can also think about what your priority areas are as far as seeking financial advice. Do you want to work with someone who is highly experienced with taxes? Perhaps, you want advice on selling a multi-million dollar property that you have in the north-east and retire on an estate in Florida. In that case, someone who has handled property transactions for celebrities or business moguls makes sense. It is important to check what expertise a financial advisor has in-house and whether those areas matter to you.

You also want to find out what kind of clients your shortlisted financial advisor works with. If you are a high net worth individual, then you want someone who has worked with clients of a similar profile. If you have $50 million in liquid assets, then you want to work with someone who handles $50 million and $100 million accounts. Financial advisory for every person is unique and there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Therefore, the niche matters as much as the credentials do.

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Pillar Wealth Management is one of the best online financial advisors

Before we end this article, we would like to point out a few aspects that are unique to Pillar Wealth Management. Firstly, we make a commitment to save our clients at least $100,000 for every $10 million in assets that clients ask us to manage. Feel free to call us and discuss this unique offering. We also are obsessed with our customer-centric approach. We focus on quality more than volume and that is why we took on only 17 new clients last year. Pillar Wealth Management is one of the best online financial advisors because of our white-glove level of attention.

At Pillar Wealth Management, our philosophy is to help the client reach what we call financial serenity. Financial serenity means achieving your financial goals while sleeping peacefully at night. We want our clients to be comfortable and to know that they are in safe hands. We want them to feel confident that the decisions we make will help secure their financial future.

Hutch Ashoo and Christopher Snyder are the expert founders of independent, fee-only, and fiduciary wealth management firm Pillar Wealth Management. If you would like to speak with them or simply ask any questions about how custom and trusted wealth management advice is offered to highnet worth individuals with $5 million to $500 million in investible assets, then feel free to start a conversation.

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