The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
It’s up to you to make enough money to have any to save, and it’s also on you to actually save it. Once you do save enough, you want to start investing, though. Turning to a professional for investment advice is a good move at that point, but you have to know what you’re looking for.
Industry certifications demonstrate a level of knowledge and skill in their profession. Also, make sure that the certifications are up-to-date to know they’re keeping up with the latest industry changes.
This isn’t to say you should only seek to work with fee-based financial advisors. You just need to make sure that anyone you partner up with is actually looking to help you. Some financial advisors working on commission do so because they’re actually really good at what they do, but do what you can to avoid anyone trying to sell you things they’re going to make money off even if you don’t.
Using outsourced trading solutions or something equivalent is a great way to access investment markets you might not otherwise consider. While domestic advice might focus around the traditional asset classes of stocks and bonds inside the country, there is a whole world of opportunity and growth across multiple continents and many sectors. The right professionals can point you in a lot of new directions your portfolio can grow with.
Your source of professional investment advice has to listen to you to get to know your dreams, goals, and tolerance for risk. If they’re not doing that, then any advice they give you isn’t really suited to your situation, is it?
Regardless of what kind of professional you choose, you need to pick someone who can actually talk to you. Never work with someone who talks down to you or makes you feel less intelligent than they are. They should be able to explain anything about their advice into a plain everyday language you understand.
Above all else, when finding a source of professional investment advice, turn to someone you feel comfortable with and can personally trust. You’re going to rely on them for handling your money, so you need peace of mind above anything else. For all the specific items on this checklist, your own gut instinct might be the decision-maker.