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How To Choose a Financial Advisor

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When people toil away in the gym for months without any signs of improvement, they may hire a personal trainer to step up their routine. Yet the same logic doesn't necessarily apply when it comes to finances.

Some common misconceptions help explain why people avoid seeking professional help managing their money: Financial advisors only work with rich clients. They cater only to people who have complex investing needs. Their high fees can't be justified with so many lower-cost alternatives available.

Indeed, hiring a financial advisor isn't the right choice for everyone. There are numerous ways to achieve your financial goals, not all of which involve paying a professional. Your options include:

  • Managing your money yourself
  • Consulting family members and friends for advice
  • Using a robo-advisor to manage your investments
  • Some combination of the above

But if you find investing for the future utterly overwhelming or know your situation may be more complex than most people's, it may be time to call in a pro. Here are four tips to help you navigate the search for a financial advisor.

» Not sure you need an advisor? NerdWallet'sfinancial advisor selector can help determine the right advice for your needs.


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