Article April 24, 2019

How do you recognize a good advisor?

Many of you have asked: How can I tell if my advisor is fulfilling all their professional obligations?

It’s a perfectly legitimate question, regardless of the type of advisor you’re working with.

Like all professionals, advisors in the financial services industry are bound by numerous obligations meant to ensure that they always act in the best interests of their clients.

Advisors who follow this principle are easy to recognize. Here are some of their most important qualities.

They take the time to get to know you

In order to guide someone, you need to understand their needs. Your advisor should be asking you lots of questions to find out about your financial and personal situation, your goals and your financial literacy. Your advisor needs all this information in order to perform a rigorous analysis and offer recommendations that will meet your needs.

Learn more about customer knowledge

They know what they’re talking about

Financial products tend to be complex, so it pays to have an expert on your side. Your advisor should be able to explain the features of different products to you, including their pros and cons. They should be highly knowledgeable and capable of answering your questions—which you shouldn’t hesitate to ask!

Learn more about product knowledge

They offer products and strategies that are right for you

Your advisor should be able to explain why their recommendations are appropriate for your specific situation.

Learn more about recommendations

They make sure you’ve understood

Your advisor should encourage you to ask questions. And if you haven't understood a concept, they should explain it again, or put it in different words, until it’s understandable to you. When it comes time to make important decisions, you’ll need a solid understanding of your situation to confidently give informed consent.

They record everything in writing

As time passes, your needs evolve. Because a good client-advisor relationship can last many years, it’s essential for advisors to keep records of your past conversations and strategies so you don’t forget anything later.

Learn more about record keeping

They are available and responsive

Your advisor should return your calls and respond to your requests in a prompt manner. No excuses!

They are transparent about compensation

A number of different compensation structures are used in the financial sector (base salary, advisor’s fees, initial sales charges, deferred sales charges, etc.). Your advisor should help you choose the option that works best for you.

Learn more about compensation

They protect your personal data

Your advisor should be using safe data storage methods to safeguard all the personal information they collect about you.

Learn more about the protection of personal information