You have finally reached a level of income and assets that you need to find a conveniently-located financial advisor in California to get you to the next level of wealth building. Congratulations, because that is a good problem to have. The right financial advisor can not only steer you in the right direction, they can also do something for you that you probably never thought necessary; they can teach you about your own money. Like it or not, you can be, and probably are, your own worst enemy when it comes to managing your money.
The laws are different on the West Coast, so you are going to want a California financial advisor, not a voice on the other end of the telephone and on the other end of the continent. Beyond very specific advice, here are some general guidelines that will help you find the professional help that is right for you:
Right or wrong, consciously or unconsciously, an advisor who works on commission can have their judgment clouded by an individual transaction. Instead, look for an advisor that charges a fee instead of a commission. Do not be fooled by advisors who tout their service as fee-based, which simply means they charge a fee and a commission.
One resource you can use to find a fee-only or hourly financial advisor is the National Association of Personal Finance Advisors.
It comes as an unpleasant surprise to many seeking financial management; the only requirement to be able to legally give financial advice or to buy and sell assets is a passing mark on a test about securities law. If they are going to going to sell insurance, they will also need an insurance license. Just about everything else is mere filler.
The one designation that still retains meaning is CFP, which means that the recipient has underwent a thorough background check, has passed a comprehensive test covering all aspects of financial planning, and has at least three years of experience in the field. To maintain that rating, they must enroll in continuing education to stay current.
The Voice of Experience
The generally accepted length of the financial business cycle is seven to eleven years. Therefore, if you only consider hiring a California financial advisor who has served in that capacity for at least ten years, you will have the advantage of working with someone who has experienced firsthand the peaks and valleys of the investment landscape. When it is your money on the line, a cool and steady hand is what is called for.
There are risks associated with any investment plan, and past success is not an absolute predictor of future performance. But by following these three simple guidelines, you can maximize your chances of safe and steady financial growth.
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