Regardless of your experience level, it never hurts to get professional advice on how best to reach your financial goals. A good financial professional will take the time to understand your needs and wants. They’ll help you see the big picture, and they’ll make sure any choices you make are appropriate for your situation. But not all financial professionals are created equal. So, when it comes time to seek out a financial professional, look for someone who:
- Listens to you
Everybody has unique financial needs and goals. Your financial professional should be a partner on your investment journey. That means you’ll need to find somebody who will take the time to listen to you and will help you prioritize your goals in a realistic way. They may even need to tell you things you don’t want to hear, so make sure you find somebody you can trust to help you make the right decisions — and not just the easy ones.
- Helps you understand
Two of the most important factors in the choices you make are the amount of time until you need to reach your investment goals, known as your time horizon, and the amount of risk you’re willing to take on with your investments. These seemingly simple concepts can sometimes get complicated when you start getting into specifics. So, find a financial professional who will help you understand these and other factors important to investing, and then will collaborate with you to develop a clear, logical plan that meets your needs.
- Has the resources you need
Your financial professional needs to have access to the right mix of products and services. A comprehensive strategy won’t do you any good if you can’t invest in the right products. Take a close look at the types of products and the fund families your financial professional can offer, including whether they offer products such as life insurance or annuities in addition to mutual funds. Their offerings should cover a broad and deep variety of investment options that offer diversification across a range of asset classes. You should also ask them about the fees on the funds they offer and how those match up with the rest of the industry.
- Is in it for the long haul
Long-term investing is about more than just setting up the right portfolio and watching it grow, though that’s important. Look for a financial professional who also will be there for you when life changes or market fluctuations raise questions about the suitability of your strategy. Make sure the professional you choose is there to support you, not just when you are making your initial investment, but when the inevitable questions arise down the road.
Reach out to your State Farm® registered agent to see if they might be a good fit to help you reach your financial goals. And keep this list of traits in mind when you talk to them.