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Ready for a Financial Advisor? Here’s How to Find One.

November 27, 2023 | 5 min read

In this article

  • Advisors offer guidance on investment options, risk levels, retirement planning and financial goals. They can help you make informed decisions.
  • Find the right advisor by assessing their qualifications and aligning them with your preferences, as they play a crucial role in your financial journey.

When it comes to opportunities for long-term wealth-building, stock investments top the list of options. The average return from stocks is about 10% per year according to S&P 500,1 while the average savings account yields just .04% annually.2  

So, why are only 61% of Americans investing in the stock market, with most just having 401(k) accounts?3  One reason is that learning the ins and outs of investing can feel overwhelming to the average person. Some people wonder how to get started or where to get help. Others worry that they aren’t wealthy enough to start investing. Before you talk yourself out of investing for your future, consider speaking with a professional financial advisor who can clear up any potential misconceptions. 

I’m not rich. Do I need a financial advisor? 

The reality is that financial advisors work with clients at many income levels and with varying amounts of money to invest. While some financial institutions and investment firms have minimum investment requirements, they may also provide financial education and other tools to help you save the money you need to get started. At  Desert Financial Wealth Management, you’ll get the same exceptional service no matter how much you want to invest. 

What services does a financial advisor offer? 

A financial advisor can help you develop a plan, even if you’ve never invested before and this is your first step into the market. Because they have expertise in the field, an advisor can walk you through the different investment options available, from mutual funds, index funds, stocks and bonds to 529 college savings plans and real estate holdings. Financial advisors can assist with retirement planning and other long-term financial goals. They can also help you determine the risk level that you’re comfortable with, which can aid in choosing stocks and other investment products. And, of course, your financial advisor will facilitate the purchase of the products you choose. 

What don’t  they do? Tell you exactly which stocks, funds or assets to buy. A financial advisor can provide guidance based on your individual needs, but ultimately, they need your input to make financial decisions. 

How do I choose the right financial advisor? 

Finding the right financial advisor is important because you may be working with them for many years to come. Even if you hope to set up an ongoing financial plan that requires little input during the year, you’ll still need to meet periodically — and having a solid, pleasant working relationship will ensure this task is an easy one. 

Some firms and financial institutions have extensive questionnaires or requirements in place to determine if you meet their qualifications before you ever step foot in the door (virtually or physically). Others, like the Raymond James Financial advisors at Desert Financial Wealth Management, offer a complimentary initial consultation to determine your needs and whether the partnership is a good fit. Consider “interviewing” several advisors to see who you are most comfortable with. 

Here are some potential questions to ask during your initial consultation: 

  • What products and services do you offer?
  • What certifications or professional associations do you have?
  • is the minimum I can invest with you?
  • Do you specialize in working with certain types of clients and accounts?
  • What is your investment style and your comfortability level with risk?
  • How do you stay in touch with clients, and how often?

Go with your gut.  An advisor can have impressive credentials and a client list a mile long, but if you don’t mesh well personally you might have a difficult time working with them. If an advisor swears they always respond to clients quickly by email or phone and then doesn’t return your calls for three weeks, your gut might tell you this isn’t the right match. The same goes if your main interest is retirement planning with a moderate approach and the advisor has a history of making short-term, high-risk investments. 

Listen to your inner voice. If the company’s values don’t align with your own, it might be time to look elsewhere. If you have doubts about an advisor but like the way the company does business, see if there’s another advisor there you can work with. 

Finding your financial advisor 

If you’re looking to get into investments, choosing an advisor is a great place to start. Think of the process like you would a job interview: You are trusting this person with your money, so you want to make sure they are the right person for the job. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and be clear about your preferences and expectations. Because your advisor may be your guide throughout a significant portion of your investment journey, choosing someone you trust and are comfortable with should be a top priority! 

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Any opinions are those of Desert Financial Credit Union and not necessarily those of RJFS or Raymond James. The information contained in this report does not purport to be a complete description of the securities, markets, or developments referred to in this material. There is no assurance any of the trends mentioned will continue or forecasts will occur. Any information is not a complete summary or statement of all available data necessary for making an investment decision and does not constitute a recommendation. Investing involves risk and you may incur a profit or less regardless of strategy selected.

Investment advisory services offered through Raymond James Financial Services Advisors, Inc.

Securities offered through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., Member  FINRA / SIPC, and are not insured by credit union insurance, the NCUA, or any other government agency, are not deposits or obligations of the credit union, are not guaranteed by the credit union, and are subject to risks, including the possible loss of principal. Desert Financial Credit Union and Desert Financial Wealth Management are not registered broker/dealers, and are independent of Raymond James Financial Services.  
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The material presented here is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be used as financial, investment or legal advice.

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