How To Find The Best Financial Advisor & Planner In The Rockford Area? By Antonio FilipponeFinding the Best Financial Advisor in the Rockford area that is also the right fit for you can be difficult. After all, not all Financial Advisors are created equal, and not all of them will be a good fit. There are just so many things to consider: How do you know you can trust the financial advisor in question? What level of experience does the financial advisor need to have? Is the advisor really operating in your best interest or just looking out for themselves? How ethical is the financial advisor you are considering? Important Side Note: Here is a short video about an often overlooked problem that many financial advisors seemingly ignore but could cause you to run out of money early in retirement. Click Here Now To Learn More. Let us look at 3 things to pay attention to when selecting the best financial advisor in the Rockford area for you and your family: How do you know if a financial advisor is legitimate? How do you know if a financial advisor has your best interest at heart? How do you know if a financial advisor will be a good fit for you personally? Let us look at each of these questions one by one: How do you know if a financial advisor is legitimate? When dealing with something as important as your life savings you really need to do your due diligence, but most people are not sure where to start. The first place you may want to check is a website called BrokerCheck. https://brokercheck.finra.org/ Why use the Broker Check website to do your due diligence? This is a FREE tool that allows you to research Financial Advisors’s backgrounds. You can find out what licenses a Financial Advisor Holds and if they are active. You can learn about an Advisors’s background and experience from a neutral party. You will see if a Financial Advisor has ANY regulatory action or complaints pending. Don’t you think this would be good information to have in advance of starting a relationship with an advisor? I do. How do you know if a Financial Advisor has your best interest at heart? It would be a good idea to ask an Advisor if they are a Fiduciary? I know that is a ten-dollar word, but a Fiduciary just means that an Advisor is legally obligated to work in your best interest. Surprisingly, Stockbrokers and Insurance Agents are NOT required to live up to a Fiduciary standard. Only the Fee-Based and Fee-only advisors are held to this high standard at this time. To understand more about the different business models a Financial Advisor may be working under so you can know where they are coming from check out my article on How Much Does A Financial Advisor Cost? Another way to know if an Advisor is really putting your interests first is what they ask you to bring to your meeting. For example, if ALL they are interested in is your financial statements then you might conclude they are not going to do much comprehensive planning. They simply are interested in managing your money. However, a holistic Financial Advisor that is looking out for your best interest will likely ask for: All of your insurance contracts including home, auto and life. Your legal documents including your Will, Trust and POA’s. Your financial statements including your assets as well as your debts. Your last year’s tax return Your Social Security statements Information about your health insurance and work benefits. An estimate of your expected pension benefits. Growing your money is important, but if these other needs are not properly tended to you and your family could run into serious problems down the line. How do you know if a Financial Advisor will be a good fit for you personally? Many times, this is more of a gut decision than anything else but do not discount your gut! If everything mentioned above checks out the last filter is you. Do you feel like you have chemistry with this person? While that may sound like a weird question you will likely be working with this Advisor for years to come. If something about them seems off or you just do not like them you should consider moving on. After coming up with a Financial Plan for someone I always ask them how they FEEL about what I have proposed? Why? If it does not FEEL right to them, I really do not want them to move forward. Moving forward on a plan that does not feel right to you is likely to blow up in your face at some point down the road so just do not do it. Sleep on it if you have to. The right advisor will never make you feel pressured to move forward on something that just does not feel right so pay attention to what your gut says about the plan and the Advisor suggesting it. Please keep in mind finding the best Financial Advisor in Rockford for you to work with is only one of the decisions you will need to make as you get closer to retirement. To learn more about how to formulate the right retirement plan for you please check out our FREE video, How To Avoid Going Broke In Retirement While Securing Your Nest Egg.