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Your retirement advisor will play an important role in your retirement plan. Surveys show that investors credit their advisors with helping them get better returns as well as improving their knowledge about investing and giving them peace of mind about the future.
How can you spot an advisor you can trust for the long haul as you save and invest for retirement? Here are five important characteristics to look for:
You’ll want an experienced advisor who’s familiar with the stock market’s cycles. Investing studies show that it can take 20 years or more for an investment to ride out the ups and downs of the stock market and produce solid returns. But many investors hold their investments fewer than four years because they make decisions based on fear or greed—and they miss out on as much as 38% of their investments’ growth. Your advisor will remind you that you’re invested with a long-term view and your retirement fund will bounce back when the stock market does.
Your advisor is going to know a lot about you—everything from how much you make to how much you plan to have for retirement. He or she will also have plenty of access to your financial information. You need to know that your information will be protected. It’s also important that you are able to trust that your advisor’s advice is in your best interest. If you’re feeling any doubts about your advisor in either of these areas, start looking for a new one.
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You and your advisor should be on the same page about investing. If you prefer to invest according to Dave’s philosophy through growth stock mutual funds, then your advisor should not push bonds, annuities or other types of investments that don’t suit your goals. In the end, your advisor should understand it’s your job to make the decisions about your investments and it’s his job to give you all the information you need to make those decisions.
Part of sticking to a retirement plan is taking the time to make sure you’re on track. Your advisor should have no problem meeting with you annually to discuss your progress—and more often when you have concerns or are transitioning into retirement. You should also feel confident that your advisor will answer as many questions as you need to ask in order to understand how an investment works.
Occasionally, you and your advisor may disagree. And that’s not a bad thing. As we pointed out above, it’s your advisor’s job to make sure you’re sticking to your retirement plan—even if that means telling you you’re wrong. But your advisor should be able to explain why he disagrees with you in clear, easy-to-understand terms—no financial double-talk! If your advisor simply tries to make you feel dumb, he’s fired!
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It can be difficult to find an advisor with all of these qualities. That’s why Dave built a network of SmartVestor Pros, investing professionals who agree with Dave’s investing philosophy. You can trust your SmartVestor Pro to give you the same great service Dave would. Find your SmartVestor Pro today.