Finding a financial advisor is easy. That’s because they find you. The problem is, the advisors who market this way are usually sales representatives (reps). If you are like most investors, you do not want sales reps telling you how to plan your future and invest your assets.
Finding higher quality advisors can still be easy. You just need a process that puts you in control of your choices. You determine whom you talk to, not advisors who purchased your name, email address, and telephone number from a direct mail house.
One solution is the “Find Advisors” service that resides on the Investor Watchdog (www.InvestorWatchdog.com) website. You choose the search method that works best for you. One popular method is to input your zip code and view listings for advisors in your community. A more advanced search method is to tell the system the types of financial services you need and the distance you are willing to travel to meet a prospective advisor. You also choose the method of initial contact, telephone or email.
A second method is assisted search that is also a free service. You may be too busy to conduct your own search or you would rather have Watchdog professionals conduct the search for you. A major benefit of this service is the search is based on your specific requirements. You do not waste time talking to the wrong advisors.
All of the financial professionals (planning, investment, insurance, tax, and legal) are profiled on Watchdog’s Paladin Registry. The Registry has been matching investors to advisors since 2004. Hundreds of thousands of investors have used these services.
The number one reason why so many investors use Watchdog’s services is it’s comprehensive screening and documentation processes. For example, Watchdog uses a proprietary four-part algorithm that rates the qualifications and services of advisors.
Part One is Credentials that include: Years of experience, degrees, certifications, association memberships, and other staff who contribute to the advice that is provided to investors.
Part Two is Ethics that include: A review of the advisors’ compliance records, criminal histories (convicted criminals can obtain securities licenses), and fiduciary statuses.
Part Three is Business Practices that include: Compensation, disclosure practices, reporting, and accessibility.
Part Four is Services & Products that include: Planning, investment, insurance, tax, and legal.
The last step in the Watchdog process is the advisors’ willingness to provide documentation. It has been Watchdog’s experience that high quality advisors are willing to provide fully documented disclosure because they have nothing to hide. Lower quality advisors prefer to withhold information that would expose their weaknesses. Investors would not buy what they are selling if they had the facts. Advisors who refuse to document information are automatically excluded from the Paladin Registry.
Watchdog has screened all of the advisors who are profiled in Paladin Registry. Plus, the advisors practice full transparency for their credentials, ethics, business practices, and services.