From time to time, all of us need to get some outside counseling on how to handle our finances in general, or to deal with a particular financial issue that has come up. But where do we go when these situations arise, and how can we evaluate the quality of the advice that we are receiving? Here are some tips to help you select finance advisors that will steer you in the right direction.
One of the first signs of really good finance advisors is that they will ask questions – a lot of them. You want to be wary of someone who attempts to cut your off and give you a textbook answer to your query in twenty five words or less. Advisors who have the best interests in mind for the people they counsel will want to explore in more detail what is happening in general with the person’s finances, rather than handing out a canned response and then rushing off to meet the next person. While you may find it odd that your advisor asks questions about your work and what your family likes to do in the way of recreation, remember that the idea is to understand how your family makes money and spends it normally. Armed with that background, the advisor can supply possible options for you that might have never come up otherwise.
Along with asking questions, good finance advisors know how to listen to the responses. By stepping back and letting you talk, your advisor is also providing you with a chance to work out solutions in your own head as you articulate the circumstances surrounding the financial issue. Being a good advisor means being a bit of a psychologist and not just providing you with road maps of things to do. A large part of it is listening to what you say, asking clarifying questions, and getting you to do some thinking on your own. Often, a good advisor is more of a facilitator, helping clients discover their own answers and then providing some constructive counsel on how to proceed.
Finding finance advisors that will work for you may be as simple as talking with a trusted friend, or scheduling an appointment with your banker. In other instances, you may want to speak with an organization that provides financial counseling at little or no charge to people who need some assistance in dealing with a sticky financial issue. Check around your community and see what types of resources are available to you.