How to Select the “Right” Financial Advisor

Brian Gribben |

Choosing a financial advisor is tough. There are generally a lot of options so how do you differentiate the crème de la créme of advisors who you can really trust to manage your hard-earned money?


Why don’t you test drive a few models before you make a final purchase? Most financial advisors offer a “free consultation” or some kind of ‘getting-to-know-you’ meeting where you can ask some questions before you commit.


If you only ask one question during this session, ask for references. Besides getting a feel of what it will be like to work with the advisor from this initial meeting, you’ll have an opportunity to learn first-hand what it’s like to work with the advisor based on the experience of his or her clients.


When you make the calls, keep in mind the qualities you want from your advisor. Here are a few that many people find important when selecting a financial advisor.


1. Trustworthy

It's no secret that the client-advisor relationship is based on a foundation of trust. While many top performing advisors seem to do an incredibly good job of building a top-notch image of trust, finding an advisor that is actually trustworthy can be a bit more difficult. Selecting an advisor who sticks to their word and always keep promises can be a challenge.


No, advisors can’t guarantee a return on your investments, but they can promise to make smart decisions and working hard for you. Many advisors seem to be naturally charismatic people, but following through is the important part.


2. Action-oriented

It's not enough to simply have great ideas - the most successful advisors know that it's all about putting good ideas to work. Great advisors are always ready to take action and get the ball rolling. They want to set deadlines and get working on making great ideas turn into successful ideas. How can you identify action-oriented advisors? Look for someone who is ready to get moving and sets concrete deadlines for themselves.


3. Sets high standards

Top performing advisors set unrealistic goals. And meet them.  They make a habit of setting standards really high and somehow, against all odds, find a way to meet these goals. Advisors who think about their goals in terms of opportunities rather than challenges are better at thinking outside of the box.

This trait doesn't just apply on the job - the most successful advisors set high standards in all areas of life. Look for advisors who are active in the community. They are star athletes, students and performers because they always expect the best out of themselves.