A financial advisor is someone whom you recruit to help you to manage your finances or reach your financial goals. These intelligent men and women work with both businesses and individuals on helping them to realize their financial aims. Recently voted the best financial advisor in Florida, Patrick Dwyer Merrill Lynch Miami-based philanthropist and financial specialist is no doubt one of the best people to speak to on the issue. Recently appearing in Forbes’ top 250 wealth managers in the United States, it is fair to say that this is a man who knows exactly what good advice, and good advisors look like. We caught up with Patrick in Miami, to get his take on what a good financial advisor looks like, and how to find the right one for you.
Types of Advisor
The first step is to understand what type of advisor it is that you need or that you think would work best for you. There are generally three types of advisor:
– Commission Based
These kinds of advisors are generally brokers, insurance agents, and reps, who are looking to sell financial products. More often than not these advisors are employed by big financial institutions. The issue with these advisors is that they earn based on what they can sell, which causes something of a conflict between helping the client and making money.
In terms of financial planning and asset management, these are the advisors which you should be looking for. Fee only advisors or advice for a flat fee, they are not affiliated with any sales and they generally can offer more comprehensive advice on a wider range of topics.
– Fee Based
Fee based advisors fall in the middle of fee only and commission based, and there aren’t too many of them about. The key here is that they charge you a fee for their advice, but also hold a license to sell whereby they receive commission.
What Do You Need?
Once you begin to consider financial advisors, you need to first understand what you are looking for. Are you looking long term for investments or asset management? Are you looking for short term advice for a sale or to fund a large purchase? Or are you looking for someone to take on your finances and create a solid fiscal plan for you? Once you know the answers to these questions you can start whittling down you options easier. As Mr Dwyer so rightly states:
“Apart from taking the different types of advisors into consideration, you will also need to examine your current financial situation before making a decision”.
Once you understand your needs in terms of your finances and the type of advisor, the rest of the decision will be based on how you feel with the advisor. You should feel confident that they know what they are talking about, confident that they care about your situation and want to help, and confident that you are with a credible advisor who will have your interests at heart.