You wouldn’t hesitate to bring in a professional to help with tasks you either can’t or don’t want to do. Car making a funny noise? Take it to a mechanic. Want to remodel the bathroom? Bring in a contractor. Need surgery? See a doctor.

 

One misconception is that you need to be wealthy to work with a financial advisor. Your ability and interest in dealing with financial matters or a life change are often better indicators of when it makes sense to work with a professional. You may consider consulting with a financial professional if your situation includes:

Life changes

Marriage, divorce, kids, or the passing of loved ones can have big impacts on your emotional state and your financial planning. An advisor can provide objective viewpoints to inform decisions that need to be made.

Knowledge gaps

If you feel underqualified or uninterested in handling investing strategies, tax considerations, savings and protection choices and debt management decisions, a pro can provide the technical expertise to help you make smarter choices.

You need help achieving your financial goals

You likely have several financial goals. From purchasing a home to debt reduction to sending the kids to college or traveling the world, coming up with financial goals are easy, but achieving them may be more difficult. A financial advisor can help you create a plan to reach your goals and can help you stick to it.

Find a financial advisor

Asking friends and colleagues for financial advisor recommendations is a good place to start your search. Then head online to The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA), which lets you search for Fee-Only Certified Financial Planners. Also, check out the Financial Planning Association and the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards for more insights.

 

OneAmerica can also help you find a financial professional. We’ve worked with advisors across the country who are ready to provide personalized investment and financial guidance.

 

Once you’ve compiled a list of potential candidates, you’ll want to set up an interview to get to know each person. Treat this like you’re an employer conducting a job interview. Consider their professional credentials, experience and overall philosophy. Personality is also important. You want to feel confident in the advisor’s ability to understand your goals and life values.

Here are a few questions you can ask to get things started.

What’s your experience?

The longer their tenure, the more likely they’ve managed finances through good and bad financial market conditions. Additionally, different financial certifications indicate the amount and type of education and specialization an advisor has.
 

What services do you offer?

Some advisors only sell a limited menu of products. Others may work with a broad range of products and services, including insurance.

 

How do you get paid?

Fee-only advisors charge by the hour or as a percentage of total assets they are managing. Fee-based advisors may charge by the hour or as a percentage of assets, plus they may receive commissions on certain products they sell.
 

What’s your approach?

Will they take a holistic approach that considers all aspects of your life, or just focus on money management? What’s their philosophy on risk? Get a sense of their ethics.

 

Before ending the interview, ask for some client references. When you speak to the clients, find out how satisfied they are, how often the advisor checks in with them and how quickly and thoroughly the advisor responds to questions. Finally, ask the advisor to provide a written agreement that spells out all services, expectations and costs.

 

Beyond the financial expertise, an advisor adds value by providing objective, unbiased advice to help keep your long-term objectives on track. This “behavioral coaching” can prevent you from taking unnecessary risks or making emotionally charged financial decisions. Collaborating with an advisor you trust can help you become more confident about the future.

 

OneAmerica Financial is the marketing name for the companies of OneAmerica Financial. Products issued and underwritten by American United Life Insurance Company® (AUL), a OneAmerica company. Administrative and recordkeeping services provided by AUL or OneAmerica Retirement Services LLC, companies of OneAmerica which are not broker/dealers or investment advisors.

Provided content is for overview and informational purposes only and is not intended and should not be relied upon as individualized tax, legal, fiduciary, or investment advice. These concepts were derived under current laws and regulations. Changes in the law or regulations may affect the information provided. For answers to specific questions, please consult a qualified attorney, tax advisor, or financial professional.

Investing involves risk, including potential loss of principal.

Before investing, understand that annuities and/or retirement plan products are not insured by the FDIC, NCUA, or any other Federal government agency, and are not deposits or obligations of, guaranteed by, or insured by the institution where offered or any of its affiliates.
 

NAPFA, Financial Planning Association, and Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards are not affiliates of any OneAmerica company.