In Search of Wise Counsel

Key Takeaways

  • We tend to ask our close family or friends for financial advice when we should really turn to a professional to help us.
  • When looking for a financial advisor, there are a few things you should keep in mind, but LRC – Leadership, Relationship, and Creativity, is key.
  • Big-name financial firms are not always the best places to turn to for financial advice as many times, they have a set of services or products they are expected to push, whether you need them or not.

If you look on Reddit under “personal finance,” there are all kinds of questions. Things like “Hey, can I afford to buy a house on $2,000 a month?” Another one that says, “How much do I need to put in to an emergency fund?” Here are a few other requests:

There are many others out there, but the first question reminded me of many years ago, when I was in my 20s and I bought my first home. I went to my brother-in-law and asked him for advice on how to go about buying a home. He told me about mortgages and down payments and so forth. In hindsight, I should have never bought the place! I did buy, and I was lucky enough to sell it at a profit, but not by much.

These financial decisions are very complex. But we tend to turn to our brothers-in-law, our coworkers, our friends and families for advice, when we really should be talking to professionals.

If you are out there looking for professionals, what criteria should you use? First, you want someone who provides LRC:

Leadership is about giving you great direction. Relationship is that they want to build a strong relationship with you to help you get where you want to go and that you are confident in them helping you get there. Creativity applies in that they have the capability to make choices necessary to make smart decisions about your money.

Typically, that capability and creativity is backed up by some kind of credential. They’ve gone through coursework where they’ve got a credential that recognizes them as having the ability to be a financial advisor or wealth manager, but there are other names for financial professionals out there.

When you are looking at how this financial professional operates, they are probably going to do investment consulting, they’ll have some kind or relationship or partnership, and they work with an expert team consisting of accountants, attorneys, insurance agents, bankers, and others to help you make a variety of decisions on services and products that you need.

You’ll find advisors that can work in this manner in low-bureaucratic organizations, places that are not requiring them to sell certain products or services, but allow them to be free to offer you what you need to be successful.

You can search for advisors on the internet, but it’s best to ask close family or friends who have worked with an advisor, so that they can verify that this person is good to work with.

Until next time, enjoy! Gary

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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