How do you know when you’ve found the perfect CPA for you?What does that even mean? Finances are so important in our current economy and life in general. We work hard for our money and when we have the opportunity to invest and watch that hard work multiply, the thought of making a poor choice can be devastating. Instead of just assuming a good financial advisor makes you money, examine these detailed examples of what yours should always be doing for you.
We believe in implementing a system of performing as valuable advisors, based on all of our service and commitment to the client, not only on a dollar amount or amount of profit we produce. Investments are complicated. The guidance and support an advisor provides is just as important if not more so than the bottom line.
- Outperforming the Market is Difficult – Only those working in the market can truly understand how involved and difficult it is to try to make predictions and spend money on such a slippery slope. Television and other media paint a picture of overnight wealth and the stock market being something like a simple lottery, when it is not nearly that easy. A good advisor is honest about this environment instead of trying to impress with misleading promises. The market is like a living organism that acts and reacts in a way that can’t always be predicted or mapped. Everyone wants to make money, but sometimes the best advisors are realistic and modest and paid for what they don’t do. What an advisor doesn’t do can mean everything.
- Professionalism & Coaching the Client – A good advisor teaches and shares information instead of just making calls. Whether the money is going up or down or just hanging steady, a client that knows what’s going on and why, is going to understand and be less impatient and impulsive in their expectations. Obviously clients hire advisors because they don’t want to learn all the ins and outs, but a little bit of insight here and there gives them a glimpse into what goes on the mind of their advisor during critical decisions.
- Adding Value Through Portfolio Development – Rarely are one or two investments going to change the life of an advisor or their client. A good advisor will encourage the customer to diversify their funds across the board. A versatile and varied portfolio may not have any one giant return, but the steady performance of all of the investments together will prove to be profitable in the long-term. Portfolios do not have to be complicated, although they can be. The more a client wants to know and understand, the more a good advisor will work towards that end. There are clients who take on a more hands-off approach and that’s okay too. A great deal of trust in one’s advisor is necessary for that level of separation. Even a distant client should be bothered with critical information or decisions as the market fluctuates.
- Emphasis on tax-efficient strategies – A good advisor is always watching out for the client as a whole. This means keeping them safe while earning money, not looking for ways to avoid taxes or other practices that can cause a client a great deal of trouble down the line. Always looking for good investments within the guidelines of tax code and sharing these specifics with the client is the mark of a good advisor.
- An Open Mind and Ear – Continuing in this mindset of honest informing of the client, a good advisor is also open to the client bringing information and insight to them. Communicating truth is the smart road to any success. Whether a client has a concern or advice, they should be encouraged to contact the person or company handling their money at any time. Sometimes what the client brings is concern or frustration and these feelings should be met immediately with understanding and explanation. A good advisor communicates and explains as many times as it takes, because they want their client involved and on the same page.
Having a financial advisor that you consider good is really determined by you. Good doesn’t necessarily mean successful or popular. It doesn’t tie in to any certain age or even experience. Good in this sentiment comes from the security and attention given to the client. When you have yet to invest a dime, when you can’t possibly predict where this relationship may go, how do you choose the financial advisor that’s best for you? Look for these four attributes.
- Informed ~ Whether he graduated top of his class and has a lot of experience or just did okay and is fairly new, your advisor is informed. He’s always reading and watching and getting intimate with the market. He’s soaking up information like a sponge so he can pass it on to you and use it to advise wisely.
- Personable and Inviting ~ Your advisor needs to be willing to pay you the attention you need to feel at ease. This includes a willingness to educate, share market data and talk about options before just assuming they know best.
- Instinct ~ It may be hard to assess this at a first meeting, but ask around and ask your potential advisor about past experiences. Instinct means sensing risk, being street smart and not getting in over one’s head.
- Accessibility and Cost ~ Yes, this does matter! Choose an advisor who charges reasonably and has convenient office hours and location.
At the end of the day, only a happy client can identify a good advisor. Contact Gabrielle Louma to see if you have found the perfect CPA.