We work hard for our money!
And at some point, we want our money to go to work for us… Right? When you buy a product that is intended to INCREASE your money, it is called an investment. And for some of us, that’s where our know-how ends. Investments can be great if they increase our personal wealth. Investments can also be scary and drive your personal wealth into serious hole.
In order to make the best decisions, it is wise to hire an investment advisor of some sort. But, where do you start? And what IS an investment advisor anyway?
The University of Montana did a series of webinars called Solid Finances. (http://www.msuextension.org/solidfinances/webinarschedule.html)
The first webinar addressed exactly this topic. I highly suggest you listen to this before you go hire someone to advise you. Below, you’ll find a few of the highlights of the webinar that I thought were very helpful.
My favorite part of this webinar was the idea that instead of looking for an “investment advisor”, you should really be looking for an “investment team.” You, as the investor, would be the coach of this team, and you’d recruit the necessary people with the necessary expertise to make your team a success. Below is what an “investment team” would conceivably look like:
YOU are the coach!
Goal setting (ex. Financial Coach, spouse, pastor, friend)
Select Best Investments (Financial Planning)
Manage Risk (Insurance)
Minimize Taxes (Accounting)
Minimize Legal Complications (Attorney)
In order to pick your winning teammates, you need to look at what qualifications are necessary for each team member. Some things to keep in mind would be…
What’s required of a good team member?
–In their specific area
–Your unique situation
Finally, if you are looking specifically for a securities broker, you can look up any licensed individual or company at the FINRA Broker Check website. http://www.finra.org/Investors/ToolsCalculators/BrokerCheck/