How Can I Trust That I’m With The Right Financial Advisor? – Money Magazine

As fiduciaries, independent Registered Investment Advisors are positioned to offer highly personalized solutions that meet the complex needs of affluent investors.


Finding the right advisor can be a challenge. The field is crowded with professionals who have the requisite credentials and who are eager for the privilege of managing your money. But when you choose to work with an independent advisor you can expect customized advice that covers a broad spectrum of sophisticated investment strategies and consultation.


It’s important to invest sufficient time and effort in making the right match. Ask yourself these important questions to help ensure that you’re working with a trusted partner who will take a holistic look at your financial picture to grow and preserve your wealth.


1. Am I getting the attention I deserve?

Any advisor can build a portfolio of suitable investments for your risk profile. But if you’re looking for comprehensive financial advice that accounts for not just your risk profile but also your life goals, values, and complex finances, an independent advisor may be the perfect fit. The independent advice model evolved from a desire to focus on client relationships without the distraction of having to sell certain investment products. That’s why independent advisors will give you their individualized attention, whether they are serving your family with retirement planning and trusts or advising you on corporate stock and complex tax situations. Independent advisors are accountable only to you.


2. Is my advisor a fiduciary? Is he or she always a fiduciary?

Independent Registered Investment Advisors are fiduciaries at all times, which means they are legally held to the highest standard of conduct. They must always act in your best interest and take into account all of your finances, wherever they are held.


3. Is my advisor always objective when making recommendations?

An advisor’s independence is key to offering investment advice in your best interest. It means they are absent ties to any particular funds or proprietary investment products, which frees them to build your portfolio by choosing from a wider universe of investment options.


4. What am I really being charged and is it eating into my returns?

Most independent advisors charge fees based on a percentage of assets under management. This simple-to-follow fee structure ensures full transparency. You know what you are paying for and why. And it aligns the advisor’s financial interests with yours. In other words, your success is your advisor’s success.


Your relationship with your financial advisor is one of the most important business relationships in your life. As you consider your financial goals, it may help you to know that investors have entrusted independent advisors with a staggering $5 trillion of their wealth. Take the time to learn more and create a secure financial future.

Charles Schwab is proud to be the largest supporter of one of the fastest-growing segments in financial services—independent financial advisors who are entrusted with $5 trillion of their clients’ wealth.