With 2023 kicking off and a recession in the cards, now is a great time to find a financial advisory firm that fits your needs and goals.
Here are a few key points we think are important when hiring a financial advisor.
Firms offering advisory services can get paid in two ways: an annual fee and/or commissions depending on the services offered. When discussing an annual fee, the advisor will charge a percentage per annum based on the assets managed for the client. Some firms will be fee-only, meaning they do not receive commissions for their services or transactions in a client’s account. Other firms may be fee-based, meaning that commissions might be earned on a given transaction depending on the services provided. Be sure to ask how the advisor gets paid and the rate they charge.
We are a fee-based firm that charges a flat annual fee based on the advisory account assets we manage at LPL. This allows us to make changes to a client’s portfolio without the generation of commissions and also ensures we are held to a fiduciary standard (more below). We wrap all of our services in that fee, meaning we do not charge extra for financial planning, investment management, or ongoing guidance to assist you in achieving your financial goals. We are considered “fee-based” because commissions may be earned on transactions such as life insurance but are always disclosed beforehand. Insurance can sometimes be needed when building out a comprehensive financial plan, which we are more than happy to help initiate.
2. Are They a Fiduciary?
This word has received more publicity lately. So what does it mean? A fiduciary means an advisor always acts in the client’s best interest. This sounds like it should be a given in our industry, right? Unfortunately, there have been cases where this has not happened, and unnecessary services or trades have taken place in a client’s account. Ensure your advisor is held to a fiduciary standard and acts in your best interest.
At Boyer Financial Services, we are client-centered in all we do. We are held to that fiduciary standard for our investment advisory accounts and clients. As a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, I am also ethically bound to uphold this standard in relations with my clients. In my opinion, it is of the utmost importance to work with someone with your best interests at heart, not just say they do.
3. What Are the Services Offered, and Do They Fit My Needs?
Not every financial advisory firm offers a complete list of financial services. Some may only do investment management, some may focus on financial planning or insurance. It is important to ask in the first meeting (or beforehand via their website) what services they provide and also make your needs/wants heard. This way, you can determine fairly quickly if it’s a good fit.
With over 40 years of combined experience, we are seasoned wealth managers and financial planners utilizing over 70 areas of proficiency and knowledge. In conjunction with the planning, creation, and management of your investment portfolio, we offer extensive financial planning services including, but not limited to: Retirement, Estate, Tax, Insurance, Business, and Education planning. Making Boyer Financial Services the comprehensive and skilled advisory firm our clients want and deserve.
4. Are They Independent?
I think this is an important one… Advisory Firms can do business in many ways by being affiliated with a bank, broker/dealer, or RIA (registered investment advisor). If a firm or advisor is not independent, they likely have products to sell in which compensation or bonuses may be paid out for pushing those “in-house” products. This is hardly in a client’s best interest most of the time… However, independence allows a firm to utilize various products or investments that specifically fit a client’s needs, not line the advisor’s pockets.
We are proud to partner with LPL Financial, the largest independent broker/dealer in the country (As reported by Financial Planning magazine, June 1996-2022, based on total revenue). No proprietary products being sold, total freedom! With our partnership, we are creating a highly specialized financial team that not only offers a client-centered approach but gives you access to some of the leading technology, investment analysis, and planning in the financial services industry.
5. How Often Will We Communicate?
I think not enough clients ask this question to their advisors in the initial consultation. A solid communication strategy will only enhance the client/advisor relationship and build the trust needed for a long-term relationship. Will the communication be inconsistent, or will you hear from the advisor on a regular pre-determined basis?
I like to set the standard by telling my client’s how often I will communicate and the options available to reach me (phone, email, text, social media, etc.) This helps my clients know that we are always just a click or call away to answer any questions. Life moves fast, and being available to our clientele is something we pride ourselves on at Boyer Financial.
Contact us if you have any questions or want to discuss the Boyer Financial Difference.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.