Finding the right financial advisor for your needs in Portland, OR, or Vancouver WA, can seem overwhelming at times, considering the many types of financial professionals and the challenge of deciding which type of advisor would be the best fit.
Yet, by focusing on a few key characteristics, you can narrow down your options and meet with a few to decide who can best serve you.
What to Look for When Searching for a Financial Advisor
While financial services professionals go by many different titles, such as financial planner or wealth advisor, try not to get caught up in the names unless they relate to the advisor’s training or the firm’s fee structure.
In the financial advisor world, consider the certifications that the professionals within an advisory firm hold and how those credentials align with the services you need. For example, a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®) professional has to complete ongoing requirements in education, experience, and ethics to maintain the certification. Their holistic, broadly based training can make them ideal for people needing comprehensive financial planning services.
Other certifications can signify a high level of expertise in a particular area. For example, a Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA) designation indicates in-depth study in investment research and management.
In addition to certifications, consider the fee structure and legal status of the Portland or Vancouver area advisory firm that you are considering. We recommend working with a fee-only advisor, as this fee structure helps minimize conflicts of interest. Unlike a fee-based or commission-based financial advisor, a fee-only advisor cannot take commissions or other payments from financial services companies for selling their products to you.
We also recommend finding a financial advisory firm that is a Registered Investment Advisor. An RIA firm registers with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or state regulators. They also follow the fiduciary standard, meaning they must put clients’ best interests first.
Consider Experience and Services When Searching for a Financial Advisor
In addition to credentials, fee structure, and fiduciary status, you should also consider an advisor’s experience and the services they offer to clients. For example, some financial professionals focus on financial planning, where they help meet clients’ needs through a cohesive approach that incorporates areas such as cash flow, retirement, investments, and taxes.
Other financial advisors may offer primarily investment management. If that’s what you’re looking for, consider an advisor who emphasizes low fees and costs and tax efficiency so you can keep more of your money working on your behalf.
Like many people, you may find that your needs change over time. While you were younger, you may have wanted only investment management. But as your financial situation became more complex, you may have needed a comprehensive financial plan. If you are concerned that your needs will change, talk to your potential advisors to see if their services can adapt to those changes.
Some financial advisors also specialize in serving particular types of clients. For example, our Portland, OR/Vancouver, WA wealth management firm has experience providing financial planning to entrepreneurs and self-employed individuals, pre-retirees and retirees, wealth builders, people undergoing life-changing events, and those who are seeking to transfer their wealth.
Where to Find Financial Advisors in the Portland or Vancouver Area
Investors can find area financial advisors in many ways, including:
- Asking friends for recommendations
- Asking professionals like accountants and lawyers for recommendations
- Attending an educational workshop led by a financial advisor or related firm
- Listening to podcasts by financial advisors or related professionals
- Conducting a Google search for financial advisors in your area
When you do find financial advisors who seem to fit your needs, spend some time meeting with them to make sure they can be of service to you. Ideally, you’d like to find a firm that you’re comfortable working with on an ongoing basis, so you should be confident in their ability to guide you over the years as your life changes.
Schedule a complimentary meeting with our Portland, OR/Vancouver, WA financial advisory firm to see how we can help you reach your goals.
This material was prepared by Kaleido Inc. from information derived from sources believed to be accurate. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice.