What to Look For in a Financial Planner

Amyr Rocha Lima

4 min read

Retirement is a time to relax and enjoy the fruits of your labour, but it can also be stressful if you're not feeling financially secure.

A solid financial plan can provide the peace of mind that comes with knowing you're prepared for whatever life may bring. However, creating and implementing a comprehensive retirement plan can be a daunting task, which is why many people turn to a financial planner for help.

Choosing the right financial planner is a critical decision that can have a significant impact on your financial well-being. While a university degree and professional certifications are important, they are not the only factors to consider when selecting a financial planner.

To help you choose the right financial planner for your retirement planning needs, we have compiled a list of ten qualities that successful financial planners possess. We believe these qualities are essential for a financial planner to create a successful partnership with you and help you build a solid financial future.

1. Purposeful

A great financial planner is motivated by a clear purpose to assist clients in achieving their objectives.

They want to provide their clients with a superb service and uphold ethical and moral principles. For example, they may be committed to helping their clients achieve their retirement goals, such as having enough savings to travel or maintain their lifestyle in retirement.

2. Empathetic

A good financial planner knows that they cannot effectively service clients unless they can connect with them on a personal level.

They approach their work from the client's point of view and try to comprehend their clients' priorities by putting themselves in their clients' shoes. For example, they may take the time to understand their clients' risk tolerance and investment goals to ensure their financial plan aligns with their unique needs and values.

3. Authentic

Trustworthy financial planners are authentic, showing their actual selves to clients. By sharing their own personal experiences, they strengthen their connection with clients and foster genuine conversation.

This helps to establish trust and ensures that clients feel comfortable sharing personal information with their adviser. For example, they may share their own experience with a difficult financial situation, demonstrating that they understand what their clients are going through.

4. Intellectually Curious

Great financial planners are constantly working to improve their craft.

They are committed to advancing their technical knowledge and abilities and are lifelong learners who are receptive to new ideas. For example, they may attend industry conferences and take additional professional courses to stay up-to-date with the latest financial planning strategies.

5. Personally Inquisitive

Engaged planners are also adept at the "personal" side of personal finance.

Before developing a financial plan, they ask probing questions to their clients to learn more about their perspectives on money and life. For example, they may ask about their clients' hobbies, travel aspirations, or charitable interests to gain a deeper understanding of what matters most to them; the story behind their numbers, if you will.

6. Good Listeners

An effective financial planner listens more than they talk.

They ask questions that prompt in-depth thought and self-discovery, enabling clients to share their most cherished life goals. For example, they may listen attentively to their clients' concerns about retirement or offer a safe space for them to discuss personal financial struggles.

7. Passionate

Great financial planners are driven to improve their craft and ultimately increase the value their clients receive from them.

They have a strong sense of obligation to treat clients fairly and are passionate about doing well by others. For example, they may be motivated to help their clients achieve their financial goals, such as paying off debt or saving for a (grand)child's education.

8. Entrepreneurial

Successful financial planners manage their practice like a business and make long-term strategic plans.

When advisers run profitable businesses, clients benefit more. For example, they may invest in technology to improve the client experience or develop a marketing strategy that speaks to their specialist area of financial planning.

9. Honest

Effective financial planners establish reasonable expectations on manageable actions and likely outcomes.

They explain fundamental truths about money and investments, so that clients have reasonable expectations about their wealth - even when the best advice may not always be pleasant to hear. For example, they may be honest with their clients about the risks and rewards of investing in the stock market, ensuring that they understand the potential risks and rewards of any investment opportunity.

10. Disciplined

Successful financial planners don't let media messages or market fluctuations trigger irrational behaviour.

They educate their clients on how to handle shifting markets and employ self-discipline when it matters most. For example, they may remind their clients of the importance of sticking to a long-term investment plan, even during market volatility.

Final Thoughts

Finding a trustworthy financial planner is crucial for achieving financial security in retirement. The qualities outlined above are essential for a successful adviser, but the most important quality is trust.

When you find an adviser who demonstrates these qualities and earns your trust, you can feel confident that your financial future is in good hands.

For a more detailed discussion on this topic, please feel free to contact us. Our team are always available to answer your questions and to help you with any of your financial planning needs. Here’s what we offer: A cup of coffee… and a second opinion.

Client Stories

Mark & David Client Stories Chartered Financial Planner Strategic Wealth Partners
Mark & David Client Stories Chartered Financial Planner Strategic Wealth Partners

"The trust and feeling of comfort has grown over the eight years since our first meeting."

Steve & Liz Client Stories Chartered Financial Planner Strategic Wealth Partners
Steve & Liz Client Stories Chartered Financial Planner Strategic Wealth Partners

"They are good listeners and make thoughtful recommendations that are relevant to what we are trying to accomplish in our lives."

Anne Client Stories Chartered Financial Planner Strategic Wealth Partners
Anne Client Stories Chartered Financial Planner Strategic Wealth Partners

"Working with them on my long-term financial plan has been a source of comfort since my husband's passing."

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