Financial Independence

How to Find a Financial Advisor

Finding a trusted financial advisor presents one of the most challenging tasks investors face. Sadly, the investment industry is filled with individuals who go by a variety of names, and most of them are salespeople looking to earn commissions rather than looking out for your own best interests.

To help you do your homework, check out the resources below.  The interview below with the highly regarded Michael Kitces is a great place to start.  He wisely warns that taking advice from friends and family on this topic may lead to trouble.

How to Choose a Financial Advisor (podcast interview with Michael Kitces)

In this must-listen to interview of the legendary Michael Kitces by Financial Mentor Todd Tressider, Kitces provides useful insights on how to choose a financial advisor.

How To Get The Right Financial Advice For The Right Price (article by Todd Tressider)

Although a bit frightening to read, this article will help you understand how your adviser’s pay may influence the advice you receive.  No one cares more about your money than you do, so understanding how the incentives work will make you a more informed consumer of such services.


The FPA Planner Search Tool

The Financial Planning Association (FPA) is a professional membership organization for the financial planning community, and is considered a good place to find a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®) professional.   FPA member planners can help people assess their financial health, set realistic financial and personal goals, and develop comprehensive plans to meet those goals.  You can use this tool to search for professionals in your area.


The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA)

The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) is the country’s leading professional association of Fee-Only financial advisorsFor finding fee-only financial advisors.  The fee could be based on assets under management or hourly.

Garrett Planning Network

A national network of hundreds of hourly-based, Fee-Only financial planners.  Perfect for locating exclusively hourly fee advisors for project-based help (e.g., a lifestyle change), or for asking a few questions or more.

Check out your broker with BrokerCheck by FINRA

FINRA (the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) oversees the people and firms that sell stocks, bonds, mutual funds and other securities.  On this site, you can type in your current or prospective broker’s name to see employment history, certifications, and licenses—as well as regulatory actions, violations or complaints you might want to know about. You also can get information about your broker’s firm. There’s no reason not to check.