How To Choose Between Financial Advisors


Finding a qualified and trustworthy financial advisor can be difficult, especially with all the different types of advisors, finances to plan and jargon associated with the field. If you do not know how to tell the difference between financial advisors acting in your best interest and those trying to earn a commission from those actions, shopping around for the right financial planner will be more difficult. Understanding some of the titles and certifications is an excellent place to start. For instance, while financial advisors in Florida can use either the fiduciary or suitability standard, those with an SEC registration or CFF are held to the fiduciary standard. Knowing how to tell which standard your advisor will be using can help you find the right help with your retirement and investment plans.

Certified Financial Fiduciaries

Advisors who are Certified Financial Fiduciaries, like Robert Ryerson of Freehold, NJ, are held to the fiduciary standard. They are not allowed to profit from advice, but they can charge fees. Certifications like this can help you feel more confident that the advice given by this financial planner and the actions he or she makes on your behalf will come from concern for your future and accounts instead of a desire for commissions. You will need to take a one-day class and a test to get this certification. You will then need ten hours of education every year to stay certified. While most with the CFF designation will earn it as a CPA or financial planner, as long as you take the class and pass the test, you do not need any experience or other education in finances. For this reason, many financial advisors will list degrees and other certifications besides this one on their website or business cards.

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SEC Registration

Financial advisors with various certifications and degrees can register with the Securities and Exchange Commission and use fiduciary standards without being a CFF. In general, you can count on advisors with an SEC registration to not earn commissions from the advice and actions applied to your finances because their standards and practices will have little to no difference from those of a CFF.

Financial Advisors

Financial advisors without SEC registration or a CFF can use the suitability standard. This standard often shows up in the fine print of contracts or is never disclosed. If you are unsure of which standard an advisor uses, do not be afraid to ask. For those who use the suitability standard for advice and actions, be sure to ask what types of commissions or other profits he or she is getting in exchange. As long as the client profits and the advice or action is suitable, the advisor can make a commission without revealing that profit.

Important Guidelines To Know About Financial Advice

Putting your trust in an advisor for your retirement or other financial plans can be difficult. To ensure that you are finding the correct type of help, you will first need to know the difference between fiduciary and suitability standards and then learn how to spot the difference.

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