Denver Financial Advisor FAQ
Finding a Denver Financial Advisor
How do I choose an advisor? Or, how do I evaluate my existing advisor?The worth of an advisor is in the advice they give you and most importantly whether or not that advice is ethical and in your best interest. The better question is, “How do I tell whether or not an advisor is being honest?” Things that don’t tell you honesty are:
Lots of Letters After Their NameThis suggests education and knowledge, but not necessary ethics. Ethics is a very wide and gray area, but it more likely to be the pertinent issue in choosing an advisor. People seems far more concerned about falling victim to an illegal investment (such as a Ponzi scheme), when the far more common pitfall would be falling subject to unethical advice.
A Fancy Office, Car, Clothes, JewelryThis doesn’t tell you anything about the quality of the advice. Often it is the assumption that an advisor with a lot of money is therefore good at growing your money too. It can mean that, or it can mean that they are really good at making money (which doesn’t tell you anything about their ethics one way or another). We suggest clients listen to the advice they are giving you. Does the advisor seem like they are in a hurry to get your money invested? Are they trying to pressure you into a decision? Do they make sure that you understand what you are investing in? Do they understand what you’re investing in? Above all else you should listen to whether or not your advisor is listening to you. Do they ask you questions? Do they dig deep? We think it’s best to meet an advisor with someone else (such as a spouse, sibling, parent, adult child or friend). Compare notes on your impression of the advisor. Product recommendations are also another part of this. We feel that products that pay brokers a lot of money are inherently suspicious. While we are more or less “neutral on product” (whether it’s individual stocks, mutual funds, annuities, etc. we feel that there are many ways to cross the finish line and each advisor will have their own convictions), we strongly feel that anything that pays brokers a lot of money is probably not going to be in the best interest of the client. How do you find out what they pay brokers? Bring it in to us, we’ll tell you. While on the subject, we do not shy away from explaining how we are compensated either. If anyone asks us, we tell them.
Orphaned?As an additional note, often people come to us upset about their current advisor. Common complaints are that they have been “orphaned” from their advisor (meaning the advisor has moved on or never calls them) or because they have begun to question what they have been invested in. Our recommendation is that if you are having problems with your advisor to go to them first and see if they can work out your issue.