5 Attributes to Look for in a Financial Expert

Next to finding the right babysitter or nanny to care for your children, there is nothing more important than finding the right financial expert.

Not only is it vital this person has the skills, knowledge and background to properly manage your personal finances, they need to be someone you can trust and generally get along with. I’m cautious when it comes to financial advice from experts (self-proclaimed or otherwise).

I’ve created a checklist of attributes that I feel a financial or investment professional should have.

1. Communicates on my level

I know a few things about finances and bookkeeping but I don’t think of myself as an expert, especially about in-depth categories like investing and retirement. My financial advisor needs to communicate with me, on my level and be able to answer any questions or problems that I have. I’m not going to give over my money if I don’t understand the basics, and feel comfortable with the decision.

2. Is organized and detailed

If they aren’t doing a successful job at managing their own finances or investments, why would I want them to manage mine? In general, a good financial expert pays attention to the details and keeps everything organized. I know that work can get overwhelming, and we all get busy but as a rule of thumb, even their office should be kept up since it’s an outward reflection of their work style.

3. Stays in contact

Whether it’s a quick email or phone call, I want to my advisor to stay in contact with me on a regular basis. If I have a problem or questions, I expect to hear back from them in a timely manner and be able to get a hold of them when needed. Nothing is more frustrating than to feel like my financial professional is too “busy” to respond or keep me updated.

4. Loves doing their job

This is probably the most important attribute any finance expert NEEDS to possess. They should love their job and enjoy their work (on some level). If they are just doing the job for the money, benefits or career opportunities then they aren’t doing it for the right reasons. Their enjoyment will bubble over into other areas, and create a good atmosphere for me as a client.

5. Genuinely interested in my success

Sometimes it’s easy for any expert to view their clients as just a number on a sheet or another file in the cabinet. But I feel it’s important for them to be genuinely interested in my success and my future. If they only care about the commission or meeting their quota then I’m not interested. I want the relationship to be professional, but I still think there should be an element of a more personable relationship.

Whether I’m looking for an investment professional, retirement expert or personal finance guru I want them to have these attributes. My money and future is one of the most valuable tools I can possess, and I want it to be in good, trustworthy hands.

What do you look for in a financial professional?

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