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If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times: You need to invest for retirement, especially if you want to retire early.
That means, at some point, you’re going to need a financial advisor—someone who can explain complex investments in terms you can understand.
Finding the right professional may seem intimidating, but it’s not that difficult. You just need to remember a few things.
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What is a Financial Advisor?
Simply put, a financial advisor is a qualified professional who will help you understand your retirement, college savings or other investment goals. A good pro speaks in terms you understand and is committed to educating and empowering you to make decisions about your financial future.
Manage Your Own Money
No one else will feel the regret and pain of losing your hard-earned money like you will. Some celebrities and pro athletes lose their entire fortunes because they let other people manage their investments for them. It’s your money and your future, so don’t be shy about taking charge of it!
Related: Calculate your estimated retirement savings with our Investment Calculator.
A good advisor is smarter than you are about investing but knows you still call the shots. If an advisor wants you to do something simply “because they said so,” find someone else to partner with. You aren’t hiring a parent—you’re gathering counsel.
Hire Someone Who Helps You Make Smart Decisions
You can’t make an informed decision with your money if you don’t understand what you’re investing in. That’s why it’s important to look for an ace who takes time to help you learn about your investments.
Avoid sales-minded pros or “experts” who make you feel dumb for asking questions. The right financial advisor will explain every detail to you until you get it—no matter how long it takes.
Know How Your Financial Advisor Is Paid
When evaluating a potential financial expert, make sure you know how they will be compensated. In other words, are they on a commission or are they fee-based?
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There are positives and negatives to each approach, and professionals on either side have extreme levels of integrity. Just watch for possible conflicts of interest. If a pro won’t give you a straight answer about how they’re paid, then you may have a problem.
If It Doesn’t Feel Right, Walk Away
If something doesn’t feel right about a potential advisor, then keep looking. Hiring an expert can be difficult, and you have to feel good about the relationship. Interview as many pros as it takes to find someone you can trust to educate you on your options so you can make investment choices that are best for you.
Find the Right Financial Advisor Today
Keep all of this in mind when you’re hunting for the right financial expert, and you’ll be on your way to building a retirement strategy you can feel good about.
Not sure where to start? Try SmartVestor! It’s a free and easy way to find financial advisors near you. Find a Pro today!
About Chris Hogan
Chris Hogan is the #1 national best-selling author of Retire Inspired: It’s Not an Age. It’s a Financial Number and host of the Retire Inspired Podcast. A popular and dynamic speaker on the topics of personal finance, retirement and leadership, Hogan helps people across the country develop successful strategies to manage their money in both their personal lives and businesses. You can follow Hogan on Twitter and Instagram at @ChrisHogan360 and online at chrishogan360.com or facebook.com/chrishogan360.