How to find a financial advisor who won’t lead you

Don’t lose sight of your short- or long-term financial goals by rushing into an important decision

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Hannah Chafe is stressed about her finances.

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As a graduate student at the University of Toronto, she finds that inflation and the economy are taking their toll.

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While house prices are falling, they still remain high and rising interest makes the prospect of home ownership still seem out of reach.

And although Chafe has a financial advisor, she’s reluctant to use the service.

“Awkwardness,” she says, “I think plays a big part [of it]. My finances are a mess.”

And she is not alone.

Approximately 71 percent of Gen Zers and 72 percent of Millennials are unsure how to get trusted financial advice for their questions.

Finding the right financial advisor is no easy task. You need to do your research and find an advisor who aligns with your financial goals and ideals.

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Ask the stupid questions

Trust is the key to any good relationship. Your relationship with a financial advisor should be no different.

Candice Dziedziejko, investment advisor at BMO Nesbitt Burns, encourages those seeking advice not to be ashamed to ask embarrassing questions.

“No question should be off the table, no question is stupid or stupid,” says Dziedzejko.

Finding an advisor to discuss your financial issues with is important. A paid consultant is your best bet as they work for a flat fee and provide unbiased opinions.

Prepare with a goal in mind

Dziedejko emphasizes the importance of having a goal, whether it’s buying a house or car, or saving for college or retirement. Having this goal gives you a tangible item to build on and gives you a clear idea of ​​why you’re saving your money. This will help your advisor create a plan for you and give you a clear path to achieving your goals.

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Dziedejko stresses that one person’s saving style may not work for you. Whether it’s not being comfortable with the volatility of certain stocks or investing in one type of asset rather than another, it’s crucial to ask your prospective investor how they can help you achieve what You want to.

to look for things

If you are looking for a trustworthy financial advisor, consider these tips:

**Are you dealing with a consultant or planner? **Anyone outside of Quebec can call themselves a financial planner or advisor. Legislation is in preparation in Ontario to formalize the use of the titles, but the process is ongoing. While planners typically help you achieve your financial goals, advisors help you manage your money.

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Check your advisor’s certification. The Qualified Associate Financial Planner, or QAFP, designation indicates that the person you are dealing with has a proven track record of financial planning. A Certified Financial Planner, or CFP, possesses a high level of skill and knowledge and will work with you to achieve both your day-to-day and long-term financial goals. A QAFP designation can be a stepping stone to the CFP designation, which is the highest standard.

** Have you had any disciplinary action against your advisor? **If there are complaints or disciplinary action taken against your Distributor, you should try to find a reputable Distributor. The Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada is a good place to start looking for action against an adviser.

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**You should also be aware of how you pay your consultant. **Some consultants work on an hourly basis, others on a commission basis, while others are paid by salary. In general, paid advisors offer the most unbiased advice as they are not encouraged to sell any particular product.

Some things you may want to ask your consultant are where they were trained, what certification they hold, how long they have been practicing and where they are currently employed. If meeting with your advisor in person is important to you, make sure they are able to do so.

Remember that it is your money that the advisor is dealing with, so you should be prepared to trust them completely. Ask for references if you feel it is necessary and make sure your advisor will work with you.

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It’s never too late to find a financial advisor

You may feel that you are of an age where a financial advisor is not of benefit to you. You may feel embarrassed that you’ve never had one or that your finances aren’t where you want them to be.

Now is the time for Gen Xers to find a financial advisor if you don’t already have one, says Dziedejko.

Goals like retirement and estate planning require careful thought, and the help of a knowledgeable advisor goes a long way.

“The benefit of working with an advisor is that they can not only help with a financial plan to plan for those goals, but also plan any benefits that can be leveraged by the government from a tax perspective.”

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It’s never too early to find a financial advisor

“I believe that it is never too early to start saving and, above all, to invest in the long term,” says Dziedzejko.

Whether you’re looking to start an RESP for your child or are considering the next steps in your relationship, it’s important to know that you can trust your financial advisor with some of the big questions you may have.

While Chafe may feel like her finances are a mess now, she’s optimistic that things can go in the right direction.

“I have hope for the future because I think it’s important to have hope,” says Chafe. “Something is needed, this is not a sustainable situation.”

This article is informational only and should not be construed as advice. It is provided without any guarantee.



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