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5 Ways to Know If a Financial Advisor Puts Your Goals First

5 Ways to Know If a Financial Advisor Puts Your Goals First

The decision to trust someone with your hard-earned money is very personal. And since you’re basically hiring someone to provide expertise that you don’t have, it can be tough to sort the good expertise from the fluff.

Whether you’re looking for a financial advisor on your own, or are referred by your loving uncle, consider these five criteria before you begin your relationship.

1. CUSTOMIZATION

Your needs are unique—and your investment strategy should be too. Make sure your advisor takes the time to understand your personal goals in order to recommend a customized plan that aligns with your risk tolerance. For example, your advisor mayselect investments that earn less in your portfolio yet make you feel more comfortable.

2. COMPENSATION

Consider an advisor who charges a fee for services rather than commission-only from sales of stocks, insurance or other types of investments. This can be an hourly fee, or a percentage of your portfolio. But it helps ensure that he or she is working to grow your investments, not profiting primarily from sales.

3. EXPERIENCE

While it’s a good rule of thumb to look for at least three years of experience working as a financial advisor, be sure to ask what type of investing with which your advisor is most experienced. If they answer “active trading in equities” and you’re looking for a conservative financial plan (or are about to retire), it may not be a good match.

4. INVESTMENT APPROACH

Every investor is unique. So make sure your advisor’s investing philosophy isn’t too conservative or aggressive for your investing style. And be sure to check their
assumptions when projecting rates of return—if they seem particularly rosy (e.g., 15% with an inflation rate of 2%) it’s not very realistic—it might not be very realistic and/or attainable for the long-term.

5. ACCESSIBILITY

Regardless of how much you have to invest, your Financial Advisor should be working with your best interests in mind. And even if you prefer to meet only
quarterly, or even yearly to discuss your portfolio, if you have questions your Advisor should always be available to give you answers. If they don’t return your
calls, it may be time for a change.

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. To determine which course of action may be appropriate for you, consult your financial advisor.

This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax or legal advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific situation with a qualified tax or legal advisor.

LPL Financial representatives offer access to Trust Services through The Private Trust Company N.A., an affiliate of LPL Financial.

This material has been prepared by LPL Financial, a registered investment advisor, member FINRA/SIPC.

To the extent you are receiving investment advice from a separately registered independent investment advisor, please note that LPL Financial is not an affiliate of and makes no representation with respect to such entity.

Not FDIC or NCUA/NCUSIF Insured | No Bank or Credit Union Guarantee | May Lose Value Not Guaranteed by any Government Agency | Not a Bank/Credit Union Deposit

© 2014 LPL Financial LLC. All Rights Reserved. The information contained herein has been prepared by and is proprietary to LPL Financial.

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