It’s frustrating, time consuming and intimidating to find the perfect financial professional.
It’s the first meeting (finally).
What signs should raise the hairs on the back of your neck?
First hair: Products are discussed. How can an adviser discuss products when they have no idea of your situation? The initial meeting is one of inquiry and discovery, not solution or product. It’s fine if you have a product-based question, other than that? No.
Second hair: Too talky. You are seeking an inquisitive, active listener. Not a talker. You should be doing most of the jaw boning, not your prospective adviser.
Third hair: Not enough questions. A good adviser is like Columbo in less-wrinkled clothing. Keep a detective’s eye out for open-ended questions which allow you to tell your story and share concerns.
Fourth hair: Limited eye contact. A new client recently told me about her interview experiences. “He appeared in a hurry, like we were cutting into his lunch. He didn’t look us in the eyes. He wasn’t engaged. He kept peeking at his watch.” Enough said.
Fifth hair: Not enough experience. Ok, experience isn’t everything. Advisers can get “stale.” Some stop learning because they’re used to doing things “their way.” Hey, financial services is an ever-changing business and your future financial partner better be up for the job.
Experience is important. You don’t want an adviser who gets spooked by bear markets or volatility. However, you must make sure a “seasoned” professional finds value in keeping current and has a passion for ongoing knowledge.
Take notes. It’s an interview. Ask for clarification on key topics discussed.
Remember – it’s your money.
You’re in control.
There are great advisers out there.
It’s only a matter of time before you find the right one.