William D. Smith, CFP®, AIF®, AEP®, RICP®, LUTCF, CLTC 

Advanced Planning Advisor

Do They Really Care?

I’ve been working in the financial industry for nearly 20 years and have always been interested in how people settle on choosing one advisor versus another.  Not just how, but why, they do.  Over time, I’ve noticed that one thing - one very important thing -  to interview for and be aware: how much does the potential advisor really care about my situation?
 
Let’s step back for a second - if you Google “What to look for in a financial advisor,” there are several important items that come up.  These range from their qualifications, their tenure, whether they have a clean BrokerCheck, do they have a CFP®, do they have a written contingency and succession agreement, when is the advisor going to retire, do they serve their clients as a fiduciary, are they’re captive or independent, etc. 
 
However, what is harder to pin down but should never be overlooked goes something like this:
 
What causes you to really care more than another advisor?
What is your background and how were you raised to think about money?
How hard have you had to work to get to where you are?
What is an example of your proactiveness during a tumultuous time?
What are your personal values as it relates to empathy and accessibility during times of uncertainty or tragedy?
 
Some may see this is a shameless plug, but hopefully it’s a reality check. Ultimately it’s up to people to decide what’s important to them and what’s not. The intention behind this article is simply to help remind people that there’s more to choosing an advisor than just what’s on the surface.  Ask more questions so that you get a genuine feel for whether this advisor really cares about your situation before engaging.
 
Check the background of this financial professional on FINRA's BrokerCheck
Check the background of this financial professional on FINRA's BrokerCheck