5 Attributes You Should Look For In Your Private Wealth Advisor

5 Attributes You Should Look For In Your Private Wealth Advisor

When searching for a financial advisor, collect as much information as possible and ask the right questions to find the right match.

Many investors are eager to get help from a wealth advisor but don’t know how to find one that’s a good fit. Finding an ideal advisor — or team of advisors — is key in establishing a healthy, productive relationship.

Here’s a checklist of five things you should consider when you’re searching for a wealth advisor.

1. Search for the right credentials.

Financial markets can be unpredictable. Look for an advisor or team with enough experience in the field to navigate the different market situations you’re likely to face over the long term. “Don’t be afraid to ask to review a person or team’s bios,” says Stephanie Coln, Senior Vice President & Area Business Manager for Regions Private Wealth Management in New Orleans. “All professional advisors should have them available.”

Seek credentials such as a Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA®) or Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®). If there is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) on a prospective wealth team who can address tax-related questions, all the better.

“You want to make sure they have the bench strength to provide for all of your needs, and help you meet your financial goals.” Coln says.

2. Know how they make their money.

Advisors earn their money in multiple ways. For instance, some wealth advisors are paid on commission, typically tied to the investments they select, while others charge a flat fee


Any prospective advisor should be willing to provide you with a fee schedule up front. Know what you will be paying – and how the advisors are paid. “Transparency is key,” Coln says.

3. Inquire about access.

“Any advisor you’re considering should ask how often you want to meet, and how you want to communicate,” Coln says.

Many advisors reach out to clients at least every quarter, but there is nothing wrong with requesting to speak to your advisor monthly, if that’s your preference. Making your preferences known is important — you’re more likely to have your needs met if you communicate them up front.

Many advisors also provide market news to clients on a regular basis. If getting market information matters to you, ask if a potential advisor will provide it.

4. Match advisors with your life’s goals.

Before choosing an advisor, consider if you need help with specific financial goals. For instance, when you know you need help with post-divorce financial planning or saving for college, find an advisor who is an expert in these areas and current in the latest developments affecting them.

Don’t overlook teams that offer a one-stop shop approach. They may be able to grow with your needs more than a specialist – your financial needs in your 20s and 30s are different than when you’re nearing retirement.

5. Make sure their technology meets your needs.

Even if you prefer paper statements, the advisor’s online platform should provide a clear view of your portfolio performance. “Make sure you have access,” Coln says. When it comes to your life savings, it’s essential to have the right information readily available—whenever you need it.

Ultimately, the ideal wealth advisor will earn your trust — and has the professional track record to deliver. Focusing on the right topics can help you find an advisor who’s the right fit, so you can confidently plan your life’s goals.