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How To Choose A Financial Advisor

Doug Fabian

Senior Vice President

Matt Cook

CFP®, Client Advisor


More than 650,000 so-called financial advisors in this country are eager to recommend how you should invest your money. However, not all of them are required to uphold your best interests above all.

How do you sort through different companies’ claims to find an advisor who’s truly focused on doing what’s right for you?

In this episode of The Science of Economic Freedom, I delve into why so many investors get poor advice at their expense. My guest Matt Cook, a Certified Financial PlannerTM with Mercer Advisors, shares one crucial reason: Not all financial representatives are bound by the same rules.

About 83% of advisors follow the suitability standard, which allows them to promote their own company’s investment products—while earning a commission on what they sell—provided the investments are suitable for their clients’ goals. By contrast, says Matt, he and other Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs) are required under the fiduciary standard to put clients’ best interests ahead of their own.

Matt provides several other tips for evaluating different advisors, including three questions to ask yourself:

  • Am I getting clarity or confusion out of our conversations?
  • Do the investment options in front of me feel relevant to my personal situation?
  • Is my advisor proactively working to guide me through the various stages in my financial life?

He also talks about what distinguishes comprehensive wealth management from simple investment advice, and how the financial services industry has changed over the past 20 years.

If you’re looking for reliable tools to help you choose a trustworthy guide on your wealth management journey, then give Episode 44 a listen.

A User’s Guide to Financial Advice