Your 4-Step Checklist When Choosing a Financial Advisor

Taking control of your finances and finding the right financial advisor is a big life decision. The process can be slightly overwhelming at first, but here are four tips to simplify the process and help find the right financial advisor for you.

A financial study recently found that seeking professional financial guidance can add 1.5 to 4 percent to your portfolio returns over the long term. Obviously, this depends on your time period and the calculation of your returns, but there is value in having a financial professional to help you navigate your financial situation.

Whether you are planning to work with a financial advisor, or you are already working with one, here are some checklist items that are important to consider when it comes to choosing a financial manager that is right for you.

Experienced and educated, with a support team.

Money management requires experience and education, as well as a range of accessible experts or team members to meet your specific needs. Your financial manager should have experience and credentials, as well as a good reputation. The company should have a strong track record of success with clients willing to refer their friends and family. Also, take note of industry speaking engagements and publications as well that reflect authority and expertise.

Provides holistic advice.

Many managers provide portfolio management, including determining your asset allocation based on risk level and selecting appropriate investments for your timeline. Although, there are many other aspects that make up financial health, from college planning to retirement planning to estate planning. Your advisor should fully understand your spending habits, income level, debt obligations, insurance needs, and life goals. Investment advice is helpful, but you should seek a professional that can provide a comprehensive roadmap to retirement that will ultimately achieve your dreams and goals.

Takes a proactive approach.

In order to make the right decisions, your financial advisor must ask questions, from general to personal, to understand everything from your major life purchases to your estate planning wishes. The more information they have, the better they can address your financial health proactively. Your financial advisor should also help to educate you and make complex financial information understandable. A proactive approach does not mean haste or urgency, but patience and long-term planning with a thoughtful mindset.

Believes in open communication.

The financial manager and client relationship should have a foundation of trust and open communication. It is beneficial to do your homework before your initial meeting and have your questions and financial information handy. Having an open, honest discussion will help your financial manager make the best decisions for you. It is also beneficial to be on the same page with communication, such as the frequency of “check-ins” and reviews. You should be comfortable knowing your financial manager is someone you can call when life events happen and has your best interests in mind.

You work hard for your money and it is a very important aspect of your future. Your overall wants and needs must be fully understood by anyone managing your money since a financial advisor and client relationship extends beyond just money.

If you have questions about working with a financial professional or would like more information, contact Bayntree Wealth Advisors at or schedule an appointment with us today!


Bayntree Wealth Advisors provides comprehensive financial planning and wealth management. The Bayntree team specializes in all aspects of financial health, including retirement planning, risk management, investment advice, tax strategies, estate planning and insurance. Bayntree does not provide specific legal or tax advice. Please consult with your tax advisor or legal professional for guidance with your individual situation.

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