Financial Fitness: How to choose an investment adviser

There’s a lot to know about investing so getting professional help is a good idea.

Finding an investment advisor may require that you interview several. To get a sense of how a prospective advisor might work with you, reflect on how they meet these criteria.

Understanding your investment style

You will want an advisor who takes the time to get to know you and your family. Someone who knows your investment style (aggressive, moderate or conservative), who will discuss your goals and will recommend only those investments that are the right match.


You will want to work with someone who will make the effort to educate you on investment topics and answer all your questions such as why diversification is important, what a market correction is, and how interest rate movements affect different investments.

Investment philosophy

You may have your own investment style and preferences, as do many advisors. Some have an overriding investment philosophy that governs their recommendations. You need to find this out before you start working with someone.

Good communicator

The most knowledgeable advisor in the world won’t be much help to you if they can’t communicate. You need someone who will regularly let you know if you’re on track and make suggestions when you’re not, even if you aren’t scheduled to meet.

No promises

There’s a big difference between someone who promises to do the best possible job for you and someone who promises big results. Be wary of advisors who claim they can consistently achieve high returns for you. There are few guarantees in the investment world.

Clear on compensation

Advisers are paid in various ways, often in some combination of fees and commissions. A reputable professional will be upfront about how they are compensated.

By reflecting on these criteria, you will be better able to find an adviser who is suited to work with you. Take the time to gather enough information to feel confident in your choice.

Deborah Leahy is an investment adviser with Edward Jones, Member CIPF,

1 Comment on "Financial Fitness: How to choose an investment adviser"

  1. Asking if the advisor has had any complaints or reprimands would also be important question to ask.

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