How to Hire a Financial Advisor in Tennessee
It’s never too soon to start planning for the future, and establishing a relationship with a financial advisor you trust early on in the process can be a huge benefit.
As your wealth grows, your financial advisor can help guide you in the right direction so you make the most of the money you’re earning. The right financial advisor can be a part of your life for decades to come, helping you prepare for and navigate many of life’s biggest milestones. But how do you find the right financial advisor for you?
One of the biggest mistakes we see people make with their financial planning is working with the wrong financial advisor. Learn about a financial advisor’s qualifications, practice and approach. Make sure to check a financial advisor’s background and licenses before deciding to work with him or her.
The process may seem overwhelming, but a little extra work in the beginning can save you time and money in the long-run.
The TrustCore team has put together this guide to highlight important elements to look for – and avoid – when choosing a financial advisor in Tennessee.
Before hiring a financial advisor in Tennessee, take time to consider what services you’d like from your financial advisor. Are you looking for help specifically with your investments, or would you like more holistic guidance on a range of topics, such as college or estate planning, insurance, and preparing for retirement? Finding a full-service financial advisor who can help you with your entire financial picture can help streamline your financial plan.
Other things to look for when hiring an advisor include:
- Certifications: A financial advisor’s licenses and certifications can speak to not only his or her expertise but also his or her dedication to continuing education. Some certifications, like the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation, require extensive study to obtain and continuing education every two years thereafter to maintain the license. This is a designation that the TrustCore financial advisors are proud to hold. To learn more about our team of advisors, visit our team page.
- Areas of expertise: A financial advisor’s certifications can also speak to specific areas of expertise. What types of clients does a financial advisor work with? Will a financial advisor be able to address your specific needs and concerns? (Read our client case studies here.)
- Independent advice: Working with a big-name firm may sound safe, but independence means a financial advisor has the freedom to personally craft solutions based on your specific needs, putting your best interest first!
- Accessibility: A key element of any successful financial advisor-relationship is communication. Know how to get in contact with your financial advisor, be it through phone calls, emails or even text. If you don’t feel your answers are being answered in a way you understand, this could be a red flag.
Just as important as what to look for is what to look out for. Common red flags include:
- A need for an immediate response – Choosing a financial advisor to work with is one of the biggest financial decisions you will make in your lifetime. This person can affect when you can retire, how you can retire and what you’re able to leave behind when you’re gone. If a financial advisor pushes you to act fast, you may want to look elsewhere
- Promise of returns – No one can predict the future. If a financial advisor claims to have a “special plan” for their “best clients,” beware. Who are these “special clients” anyway?
- Vague answers – If a financial advisor consistently deflects your questions or gives you an answer that you don’t understand, look elsewhere. It’s important to fully understand the steps you need to take to get you to your ultimate goals.
Hiring a financial advisor can feel like a luxury. But the reality is that the benefit of hiring a financial advisor extends far beyond just having someone manage your investments.
Financial advisors can provide an outside view of your financial life. They can help you work through the numerous financial decisions you’re bound to face in life, from saving for your kids’ college, to retirement and estate planning. As your wealth grows, the complexity of your financial life is bound to increase, too – especially if you work an unconventional job such as running your own business. Having a financial advisor who can help you navigate the journey can be incredibly beneficial.
A financial advisor can be your partner throughout all stages of your life. He or she should be someone you can turn to whenever your life situation changes or if market turbulence starts to make you nervous. Your financial advisor can be your accountability partner, ensuring you stay on track to meet your goals, and your voice of reason when emotions threaten to derail you. A financial advisor is the coach, partner and therapist we all need in our corner.
Business owners have unique and complex financial planning needs. A standard, cookie-cutter plan doesn’t always work, because every business and business owner is different. As such, a financial advisor can help you identify your individual goals and create a strategy that supports both your personal goals and the goals you have for your business.
High-net-worth individuals with more complex financial lives can especially benefit from a specialized plan. With greater wealth, often comes greater complexity. A financial advisor should be nimble and experienced enough to address your unique needs. At TrustCore, we help high-net-worth individuals weave in alternative investments that can help them take advantage of the opportunities their wealth creates while minimizing tax consequences – a process that can be extremely complicated for the average person.
Nonprofits also have very specific needs. Working with a financial advisor who has the expertise to address an organization’s intricacies can be essential to long-term success.
Not all financial advisors are able to provide a realistic economic outlook as well as advice on investments and asset allocation decisions for nonprofits. Make sure to research a financial advisor’s types of clients, and if you’re a nonprofit, that the advisor understands your unique needs.
For example, staffing levels often require management and team members to wear many hats and work long hours just to ensure the agency’s programmatic bases are covered. At TrustCore, we understand the complex landscape in which nonprofits and foundations operate. TrustCore Institutional’s experienced team can help you navigate the investing, governance, stewardship and management challenges you face, so you can focus on the heart of your work.
For more on what this looks like, visit TrustCore Institutional.
The plethora of free online financial advice can make it tempting to try going it alone. Why pay for a service you don’t need, right? The trouble with free advice is its often based on generalized information and rules of thumb. While you could certainly find information on how to invest in stocks or even a calculator to determine the right asset allocation for your age, these are generic recommendations. They’re designed to be “good enough” for the average person. Is “good enough,” well, good enough when it comes to your financial future?
A Certified Financial Planner (CFP), on the other hand, will work with you on an individual level. The CFPs at TrustCore consider every aspect of each client’s financial life, beyond just their age and risk tolerance. The fact is that your finances don’t exist in a bubble. Everything in your life is interconnected, and everyone’s life is unique. Why cut yourself short by trying to fit your financial life into a cookie-cutter mold when your financial life is anything but?