So, you have made the decision to explore working with a Financial Advisor. Congrats, big step. After a quick Google Search, you have probably figured out there are hundreds of different advisors to choose from. And, that list of potential advisors widens even further as you zoom out on your map. We get it, it’s overwhelming. So, whether you’re looking locally or nationally, here is our MDRN list of non-negotiables when selecting a Financial Advisor:
Financial Advisors and Planners can be compensated in many ways. Because of this, it is important that you have an advisor whose compensation will not be tied to certain products or commission schedules. Ensuring that your advisor is “Fee-Only” means that your advisor is paid solely based on the service they provide. Often this fee will be a fee tied to the assets under the advisor’s management. With this type of fee structure, the advisor is financially incentivized to do what is in your best interest and grow your assets with you. In other words, they do better when you do better! The compensation agreement also keeps things simple. The advisor isn’t receiving a kickback for a particular annuity they sold you, or trails on a mutual fund they placed in your portfolio. They simply are paid a fee based on the assets they manage for you.
This is arguably the most important non-negotiable that a Financial Advisor should have: to act in the best interests of the client, not the advisors. To act in a client’s best interest isn’t just a statement, it is ingrained into the practice and relationship management of a financial advisor. One way you can ensure a Financial Advisor is a Fiduciary is by checking to see if they are a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™. A CFP® professional takes an oath to act as a Fiduciary to their clients. If they ever break this oath, they risk losing their license.
Take a moment and think about the best service-related experiences you’ve had. One common characteristic is that the person providing the service was simply there for you when you needed them. It’s that simple. When it’s your money, your life, and your family, your advisor should be more than a quarterly check-in. This is not a dentist’s office; this is your life’s work. That’s one reason that, at MDRN Wealth, we don’t believe in biannual check-in meetings, M-F hours, and the typical “advisor” 8-4. We believe fostering great professional relationships is simple: be there when you need us.
Where is your financial advisor in their career and how dedicated are they for the long run? One of the first things that many financial advisors will say when first being interviewed by a client is to simply state how long they have been in the industry. Tread carefully; this could be a red flag. While being in the industry for a length of time is admirable, there are many other factors in finding an advisor that best serves you and your family. At MDRN Wealth, we are firm believers that having an advisor who will simply point out years in the industry does not show dedication. In fact, it could show the opposite. Do you want to work with an advisor who is towards the end of their career, or do you want to work with someone who is going to grow with you? Who can grow with your children? Who can grow with you throughout the different phases of your career and life? That is our dedication to you at MDRN Wealth. We back all this up with our Accountability Guarantee*
If there is anything the last few years have taught us, it is that the world moves quickly. Things can change economically, politically, technologically, and financially within the blink of an eye. How adaptable is your Financial Advisor? Are they using the best technology? Are they evolving their investment strategy based on the best that is available to their clients? Are they helping their clients adapt to new laws that might impact their tax situations? Can they help you make changes on the fly to ensure you are avoiding potential problems? In early 2020, my team and I put in extra time to ensure that we were tax loss harvesting in clients’ portfolios and making tactical moves based on the massive market sell-off that occurred. We also had to quickly adjust to a myriad of new legislation that came into effect associated with COVID-19 relief. That’s why we believe in ad-hoc adjustments when the market is calling. Ask your advisor for a similar story about a time when they had to adapt to markets.
Are You Ready to Choose a Financial Advisor?
Whether you are looking here at MDRN Wealth or elsewhere, these simple traits are non-negotiables in your search for a modern financial advisor.
*Accountability Guarantee: If you are not completely pleased with the services you have received from MDRN Wealth, for any reason, at your request we will reimburse you your previous quarter’s advisory fee as it relates to your concern. Our accountability guarantee can only be used by current clients. Refunds will be credited to the account(s) that was charged or to the payment method you used. Reimbursements can take up to four weeks of a valid request to process. No other charges or expenses will be credited back. We do not provide refunds related to market loss. Other restrictions can apply. MDRN Wealth reserves the right to terminate or change the Accountability Guarantee at any time.
MDRN Wealth LLC does not provide specific legal or tax advice. Please consult with professionals in these areas for specific legal and tax recommendations. The information provided herein is general information. It is not intended to be construed as investment, tax, or legal advice. Information in this article is not an offer or solicitation to purchase, sell, or endorse a specific company, security, investment vehicle or strategy. Investing involves risk and the possible chance for loss of principal. Please consider your tolerance for risk before investing. Past performance is never guaranteed and future results can vary. Opinions conveyed by MDRN Wealth LLC cannot be viewed as an indicator of future performance and are subject to change. Results may vary. Use information at your own risk.