How to Choose a Financial Advisor

How to Choose a Financial Advisor

July 19, 2022

You’ve already taken an important first step—you’ve decided to hire a financial advisor. Working with a professional will allow you to explore various opportunities when it comes to your finances, and take advantage of planning strategies you may not have been aware of. Your financial advisor should be a trusted partner you can turn to with your specific questions and concerns. But how should you go about finding the right one?

Know Your Options

There are many types of financial advisors out there, including but certainly not limited to:

  • Investment advisors
  • Certified financial planners
  • Financial consultants
  • Broker-dealers
  • Portfolio and asset managers

Some gray area and overlap exists between the services different types of advisors offer. For example, an investment advisor might specialize only in managing assets and investment advice. A certified financial planner, on the other hand, might offer comprehensive planning strategies to help you reach your goals in addition to providing the services above.

An advisor’s title can’t tell you everything there is to know about their services, but it’s a good place to start. If you’re looking for goals-based financial advice, you may want to interview certified financial planners. If you’re looking for a more hands-off relationship with an advisor who manages assets directly, a portfolio manager might be a better option.

Choose Based On Specialty

Advisor specialties should be one of your most essential considerations. Some advisors specialize broadly in retirement planning, while others specialize in narrower niches, such as retirement planning for physicians or portfolio management for real estate investors. 

Some advisors serve specific age ranges, others serve specific professions, and others even specialize in helping women or divorced individuals with their unique circumstances. In all likelihood, there’s an advisor out there who specializes in serving your particular needs.

In today’s virtual world, it’s less important that your advisor is located physically near you, and more important that their specialty aligns with your needs. Although being able to meet with your advisor face-to-face is nice, most work can be done through videoconferences, especially with features like screen-sharing and recording.

Vet Credentials and Philosophies

Finally, you should consider every potential advisor’s credentials and philosophies. The truth is, anyone can start a financial advising firm, and they don’t necessarily have to have any credentials to do so. 

For most financial advising services, we recommend choosing an advisor who is a fiduciary, which means they have taken an oath to always serve their clients’ best interests. Additionally, we recommend partnering with an independent advisor, because independent advisors run their own firms and are not tied to selling any specific proprietary financial products that could create a conflict of interest.

As for credentials, we believe the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® (CFP®) designation is a noteworthy credential for advisors to carry, as this credential is earned after years of study, service, passing exams, and a demonstrated commitment to ethics. Other noteworthy credentials include the Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC), Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®), and Accredited Investment Fiduciary® (AIF®). Not all credentials are created equal, so make sure you know what a credential entails when you see it after an advisor’s name.

In addition to determining your advisor’s credentials and designations, you should also ensure their philosophy regarding investments and wealth management aligns with your values. You can usually find out about a financial advisor’s philosophy on their website, but we also highly recommend asking them to tell you more about their philosophy during a consultation call.

Partner With an Advisor You Trust

Your advisor should not only have the credentials that will give you confidence, but they should also have a philosophy that aligns with your own. We at Favor Wealth are fiduciaries committed to taking care of our clients as if they were family. If you’re interested in learning more about our approach and how we help advocate for your financial well-being, contact us at 626-529-0445 or email Ricky directly at

About Ricky

Ricky Biel is founder, wealth manager and Chartered Retirement Planning Counselorâ„  professional at Favor Wealth, an independent financial advisory firm serving individuals and families near Pasadena, California. Ricky Biel founded Favor Wealth with a desire to provide unbiased, client-centered, community-based financial advice. Ricky and his team of caring, smart professionals want their clients to feel like they’ve done them a favor, making it easier than ever to accomplish their financial goals by blending proven investment methodologies with creative financial technologies. He is on a mission to help his family of clients feel both a sense of relief and excitement about their future. Favor Wealth takes care of their clients’ needs first and foremost and goes the extra mile to make their clients’ finances grow. To meet and see how the Favor Wealth team may be able to help, contact them today at 626-529-0445 or email Ricky directly at

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