Selecting a Chicago Area Financial Advisor

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When selecting a Chicago area fee-only financial advisor, make sure you know more than just their name and professional credentials. Here are some guidelines.

The first step is to decide whether you want to work with a fee-only financial advisor or with an advisor that is paid by commissions. You will also need to decide if you are comfortable working remotely (via telephone and email) with a professional located somewhere around the world or if you would  prefer working with someone in your own community with whom you can talk face-to face.

To understand the differences better, see Why Fee Only?

In addition, be sure to:

1. Use FINRA BrokerCheck to make sure that the investment professional and his or her firm are properly registered.
2. Talk with several financial professionals. Ask about their:

    • Registrations, licenses and professional credentials
    • Areas of specialization
    • Products and services
    • Investment experience

3. Understand how the financial advisor will be paid. Fee-only investment professionals are typically paid in one or more of the following ways:

    • An hourly fee
    • A flat fee
    • A percentage of the value of the assets they manage for you
    • A combination of the above