4 Financial Advisor Traits to Look For

Who you trust with your life savings is a big decision. But finding the right advisor can be difficult. In this post, we discuss what you should look for in a financial advisor.

Finding the right advisor can be difficult. Here are 4 financial advisor traits to look for

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Full transcript:

SPEAKERS

Anthony Saffer & Alex Okugawa

Anthony Saffer 0:00
Who you trust with your life savings is a big decision. But looking for a financial advisor can be a challenge. Today we’re going to talk about what you should look for in a financial advisor. All right, Alex, as financial advisors ourselves, we often meet with people and they’ve maybe explored, they’re talking to other financial advisors. And there are a lot of good ones out there and a lot of bad ones. But we empathize with the challenge that can take place. So we’ve written down four things that we think are pretty important, there can be a TON more that are out there. Let’s talk about what people may want to look for when it comes to finding a financial advisor. So number one we came up with was trustworthiness.

Alex Okugawa 0:39
Yeah. And this one, obviously can be hard to gauge, right? How do you measure, especially when you meet someone at the beginning if they’re trustworthy or not? For me, the biggest red flag of someone who isn’t trustworthy is literally when they say “You can trust me.” Just trust me. I’ve just met you a couple of weeks ago. Here’s what I’m recommending. Why recommend that? Well, just trust me. That is a big red flag. For me. Of course, trust is something that takes a long time to develop, it can take many years, and especially in the beginning, you want someone willing to show you, hey, here’s why I came up with this. I’m not getting offended that you’re asking questions or challenging my idea. This is a normal part of the process. And it’s a good idea for you to be involved in wanting to know why we’re recommending what we are.

Anthony Saffer 1:25
yeah, there’s a certain confidence and understanding that trust is built over time and being willing to show that trust to a client that you’re working with. Absolutely. Good. Number two is transparency. Yeah, transparency.

Alex Okugawa 1:37
So this can go a lot of different ways. I think, where people go with this the most is transparency over fees. And that certainly is a big area, you know, the whole fee-only commission, that’s a whole separate debate. At the end of the day, if your advisor is trustworthy and transparent, and these other two areas, then honestly, how they get compensated isn’t so much of an issue. But transparency over fees is certainly something you want to look out for. And honestly, knowing and looking for areas where the adviser will disclose conflicts of interest is another area that you want to be aware of.

Anthony Saffer 2:14
So let me ask you this question. You know, as a client, you’re looking for a financial advisor, you start negotiating with that advisor, good thing or bad thing if the advisor negotiates back with you?

Alex Okugawa 2:25
In my opinion, it’s a bad thing. What reason why is if they’re willing to negotiate on fees, what else are they willing to negotiate on? Clearly, they have not thought through their value proposition well enough, understood what they’re going to do for their clients to say, you know, what, this is the fee that I need to charge to provide all this value to my clients. Right? And at the end of the day, secondly, Joe could be getting a different fee rate than Sally. So you know, Sally getting a better deal than you is that something that you want to be happening, not just in your business, but as a client, knowing that all these clients are being completely treated completely differently, just because they negotiate with their advisor?

Anthony Saffer 3:10
Yeah, it can mean a more well-thought-out fee schedule, if there’s if this is how it is. And here’s the service we provide. There’s the value that comes with it. All right, the third thing is knowledge.

Alex Okugawa 3:20
Yep, knowledge. Again, all with all these areas, they can be kind of hard to gauge. But I’d say probably the first step is looking at designations. So for our industry, the certified financial planner, or CFP® designation is the gold standard for financial planning. But then you can also have other niche designations. So like you and I, we have to CKA® designation Certified Kingdom advisor, those are for those typically Christian families that are looking to align their faith with their finances. But then we also have some people in our office who have the CEPA designation, which is a certified Exit Planning advisor for business owners,

Anthony Saffer 3:54
right? And those credentials can tell a story in terms of what someone’s focused on the education that they’ve they’ve gone through, it doesn’t tell you to say everything, right, there are a lot of good advisors or bad advisors that have those designations, and they just don’t work well. So you need to see through it again. The other thing would be this, this idea that, hey, every question that I ask an advisor, if they always have an answer that they’re just giving no matter what, and they’re not? Well,

Alex Okugawa 4:19
it seems it just seems like it. I don’t know if that applies to me here. Right. In other words, saying I don’t know, I’ll find out is perfectly acceptable, at least in our book.

Anthony Saffer 4:25
All right, the fourth thing and final is just wisdom.

Alex Okugawa 4:31
Well, real quick, that last point you made saying “I don’t know.” But the important thing is, “I don’t know. But I will find out for you, and I will get you an answer.” And I will get you an answer by x date. We don’t want to have this thing be hanging out in limbo. But your other point, is your advisor wise? I think at the end of the day here, Google has answers for just about every financial question, we might have a very specific question. So for example, how much can I contribute to a Roth IRA? How much Can I contribute to a 401k? Google has those answers. What Google doesn’t have is how do I coordinate my tax planning, with my estate planning goals with my insurance with my investments and risk tolerance, goals, priorities? How do I combine all those things? Take all these different areas, combine them to what is appropriate? And most, I guess, applicable for me, my family situation.

Anthony Saffer 5:27
And you miss you mentioned that applicability. If someone has certain values or priorities, how am I taking these questions which are not black and white answers, and being able to use money as a tool as a resource to help me achieve or address those differences?

Alex Okugawa 5:42
Again, in all these different areas, we know that it can be hard to find a good financial advisor. At the end of the day, a good financial adviser should be well worth what they charge and more. So you want to find that good advisor who’s able to help you we know there are bad actors out there, but it’s worth the effort to look for someone worthwhile.

Anthony Saffer 6:02
Yeah, so for those of the like, check out one-degree advisors and how we work they can go to onedegreeadvisors.com Go to get started. You can schedule a quick 15-minute call just to see if we’re you know, worthwhile to talk have another meeting because we’re not the best fit for everyone. But that’s right, we’re not and oftentimes we refer people to other advisors that may be a good fit. But you know, we’d love to talk with those that are watching as well.

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This does not constitute an investment recommendation. Investing involves risk. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Consult your financial advisor for what is appropriate for you. See our website at onedegreeadvisors.com for full disclosures.

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