Did you miss Jim on Charlotte Today? (How to Choose a Financial Advisor)

WCNC CharlotteJim Knee Surgery

Jim discusses how to choose a financial advisor.
In Jim’s Wednesday, April 25 visit to the Charlotte Today studios, he gave us some key tips on how to choose a financial advisor you can trust to help you best achieve your financial goals.  Jim made a great analogy between both surgeons and financial advisors who operate either independently, or under a large captive firm or corporation.

Jim discussed the following:

  • Jim just underwent knee replacement and surgery pointed to the fact that cutting-edge technique trumps the norm.
    • Here’s the norm for knee replacement surgery: 6 weeks out of work and 6 months to get back to full speed.
    • Here’s Jim’s very different experience: Surgery April 10th at Noon. Liz and Jim were enjoying dinner that evening by 6 PM. Jim was back at work in 3 days and expects to be water skiing and playing tennis, full speed, in 4 more weeks.
    • Independent surgeons have more freedom to conduct their own research and use specialized techniques, making for an overall better experience and smoother recovery than those employed by the big hospital groups.
    • What’s the difference? Surgeons who work for a large healthcare provider are required to focus on how many surgeries they can perform and may have limitations on their ability to create custom solutions that give you the best outcome.
    • By conducting your own research as a consumer, whether it be a surgeon or a financial advisor, you may find someone who can tailor their services to your unique situation, to give you a much better result.
  • In the same way, financial advisors who are independent have unique advantages over captive advisors who work under any of the large, well-known big-box retail firms.
    • Much of the general population is under the impression that a large brand name is synonymous with better service and solutions.
    • Independent financial advisors are able to select from a large toolbox of product solutions to find the best suited for you and are not limited to only products that are on their big box company’s menu.
    • Advisors who work for large firms work to generate profit for their employer as their top priority. This is certainly not a guarantee, but advisors who are independent have the freedom to do their own research and provide the plan that works best for the client.
    • Individuals often gravitate to a large bank or investment firm because they know the name. However, a well-known brand name doesn’t always paint the entire picture when it comes to client service and providing the best possible solutions. Big banks are pushing investment and financial planning services more than ever today, and will heavily cross-sell other products, including commercial banking, mortgage, and insurance to name a few.
    • Consumers may find themselves better served by choosing an independent financial advisor versus a captive one if their goal is a comprehensive plan that works in good times and bad.

The financial services industry is not a one-size-fits-all service and requires customized planning for each individual or family. There is a world of difference between the norm in any industry and cutting-edge design. Whether it’s a knee replacement or a financial plan, your success depends on the quality of the plan design, and the research is based on. Conduct your research carefully, and ensure you’ve found the best plan you can get. After all, You’ve worked hard to get to this point, and you’re planning to live a long life and enjoy as much of it as possible.