How to Choose a Financial Advisor

Part
01
of six
Part
01

Article Themes - 1

The major themes of the articles in rows 10-28 of the attached spreadsheet were identified. Some common themes include asking for referrals, knowing and understanding credentials and looking for advisors with years of experience were some common themes identified.

Common Themes

  • Several of the articles discussed asking for referrals from friends and family when looking for a financial advisor.
  • Many identified knowing and understanding a potential advisor's credentials as an important element of finding a financial advisor.
  • Years of experience was another common theme, with many of the articles recommending that people looking for an advisor find someone with years of experience.
Part
02
of six
Part
02

Article Themes - 2

The main themes for each article in rows 29-46 of this spreadsheet were identified. Some common themes include prioritizing fiduciaries, understanding the credentials of advisors, and checking their fee structures to avoid a potential conflict of interest. Other repeating themes are listed below.

Common Themes 

Part
03
of six
Part
03

Article Themes - 3

Rows 47-65 of the attached spreadsheet have been completed. The themes provided in the spreadsheet include types of questions to ask when choosing a financial professional, tools used by an Ameriprise financial advisor, key questions that investors should ask themselves before researching for a financial advisor, and others.

Selected Themes

  • One of the main themes in “Choosing a Financial Professional - University of Illinois” includes the types of questions to ask when choosing a financial professional.
  • One of the main themes in “How to Choose a Financial Advisor | Ameriprise Financial” includes the tools used by an Ameriprise financial advisor.
  • One of the main themes in “Choosing a Financial Advisor: An Investor's Checklist” includes the key questions that investors should ask themselves before researching for a financial advisor.
  • One of the main themes in “Choosing a Financial Advisor - Arvest Bank” includes the first step to find a financial advisor is to determine your needs or goal.
  • One of the main themes in “3 Questions When Choosing A Financial Advisor” includes the importance to feel comfortable talking to your financial advisor.
Part
04
of six
Part
04

Article Themes - 4

The major themes of the articles in rows 66-83 of the attached spreadsheet have been completed. Some common themes include knowing the credentials, making sure the financial planner is a fiduciary, understanding the fees, and doing a background check.

Common Themes

  • Many identified knowing and understanding the fees are structured.
  • Multiple articles recommend hiring a fiduciary because they must act based on the client's interest.
  • Doing a background check before hiring a financial planner is a common theme.
  • Several of the articles discussed the importance of choosing a financial planner based on their credentials.
Part
05
of six
Part
05

Article Themes - 5

The major themes of the articles in rows 84-101 of the attached spreadsheet were identified. Some common themes include ensuring your financial advisor is a fiduciary, checking credentials, understanding fees, finding an advisor who is aligned with your goals and needs and asking about their strategy or approach.

Common Themes

  • Several of the articles discussed the importance of hiring a fiduciary.
  • Many identified researching credentials before hiring a financial advisor.
  • Understanding how fees are structured is another common theme.
  • Choosing a financial planner who is aligned with your goals and needs is also mentioned in several of the articles.
  • Multiple articles recommend asking about a financial adviser's strategy or approach prior to hiring them.
Part
06
of six
Part
06

Article Themes - Top Ten Themes

The top 10 suggestions/themes from the 100 articles listed in the attached spreadsheet have been identified below. The top three themes include conducting a background check and verifying credentials of a potential financial advisor, understanding the compensation structure of the advisor, and ensuring that the financial advisor is a fiduciary.

Top 10 Common Themes

  • 26 articles recommend conducting a background check as well as checking and verifying credentials before hiring a financial advisor.
  • 18 articles suggest that understanding the fee/compensation model (and commissions) of the financial advisors and how they are paid is important while selecting a financial advisor.
  • 15 articles recommend opting for fiduciary advisors as they are legally obliged to act in the best interest of the consumer.
  • 11 articles stress on choosing a Certified Financial Planner (CFP).
  • 11 articles recommend asking for and verifying referrals/references from potential financial advisors.
  • 11 articles advocate that finding the investment approach/strategy/methodology is important in choosing a financial advisor.
  • 9 articles advocate that experience should be an important factor while selecting a financial advisor.
  • 9 articles suggest understanding one's own financial needs including knowing what services and/or the type of advice needed and the budget is one of the most important factors while selecting a financial advisor.
  • 9 articles emphasize the importance of checking qualifications/educational background before selecting a potential financial advisor.
  • 8 articles recommend finding out or asking about the services a financial advisor offer before selecting one.

Other Recurring Themes

  • 7 articles advocate that it is important to understand the different types of financial advisors before hiring one.
  • 6 articles advocate that certifications should be considered while selecting a financial advisor.
  • 5 articles suggest choosing a fee-only advisor over a commission-based advisor to avoid potential ulterior motives.
  • 5 articles recommended selecting an advisor that can meet one's needs in terms of services and cost.
  • 5 articles suggest choosing a financial advisor that understands/aligns with one's financial needs and goals.
Sources
Sources

From Part 01
From Part 02
From Part 04
From Part 05